Firstly, Keith Shore has many guises, and seems as happy painting weirdly-rendered, earless men as he does dealing in something more like realism. Secondly, he has a three-month-old and is very busy. Luckily, for us as much as you, he’s found time in his schedule to answer a few questions. Things dealt with loosely include: swan dives, octagon-shaped head people and firecrackers.
Keith, hi. How do you normally introduce yourself?
Hi. I’m Keith.
Seems right. How would you introduce/describe your work?
I like bold shapes, flat colors, loose lines, harsh angles and silhouetted boots. Lately I’ve been keeping it simple – just pencil on paper.
Swan Dives at the Causeway Hotel is a funny and strangely affecting painting. Did that happen? Where does the content of your work come from?
I made that piece after my first trip to Ireland. I was visiting some friends in Belfast. They took me for a drive in the northern countryside and we parked at the hotel. Like in a lot of my work, the content here is a blend of photos I’ve taken and just some random make believe. There were no cliff jumpers during my visit. But it seemed fitting.
So is Little Henry real? And why is he fighting a lion?
Henry is a character I have been drawing for the last few years. Henry was my grandfather’s name. I like bringing Henry into weird adventures. He’s been in a gang, fought a lion, rode a vespa with a cat chasing after him, had a run-in with the Devil, played with firecrackers, smokes a few cigarettes every now and then and enjoys soccer.
Do you enjoy “soccer”? It seems to be some sort of recurring theme in your paintings?
Soccer is okay. That theme began more out of an interest in drawing team or group photo sessions. I like the ball. I like the patterns. I like groups of people in similar outfits. My octagon-shaped head people came from drawing a lot of soccer balls.
You have a “friends” list on your site that includes many talented people. What’s the secret to popularity? And would you say you’re part of a scene?
Whoah, those links are old. I haven’t really touched them since my site was built. But yes, there are some talented artists on there. Most of them I’ve showed with at some point and some are good friends. Not sure it’s a scene – but it is a small world and when you start getting involved with group shows you end up being linked with a lump of other artists.
So what’s next for you?
I have been working on a lot of beer labels for the Danish brewer Mikkeller.