INSA’s latest installation, Self Reflection is Greater Than Self Projection, allows visitors to literally step inside a salacious and darkly cynical art-world. His abstract pieces use digitally printed wall coverings which spread across entire gallery spaces. The effect is an optical illusion – one which depicts, almost voyeuristically, the goings-on of various salacious-looking women. The anonymous artist and fashion designer sat down with Wonderland to discuss the exhibition – a one-night-only event from 7pm at London’s LONDONEWCASTLE gallery – which aims to challenge our notions of attainment and success.
What was your first foray into art?
Well I started painting graffiti from a fairly early age from about the age of 12 or 13, but before that I used to make really budget monsters and special effects with my friends, like cut off hands and blown up heads. For a while my bedroom was more like a set of a horror film than a bedroom.
Sum up tonight’s exhibition in five words.
Immersive, unrelenting, multi-layered, provocative, temporary.
Running themes in your work include fame, sex, money and women, although it is a commentary on the world’s measurement of success. Is it something that you feel you detach yourself from or indulge in?
It’s hard to live in our society without having a desire for money and so on. We are constantly reminded that it should be our main drive, but honestly I want to be happy more than I want to be rich. Of course, money can bring a level of security that allows you to follow happiness, but it’s not that much money you actually need. I do detach myself from the identity one might assume from first looking at my work. I use my work to explore these inherent contradictions. I generally dislike the idea of excessive consumerism but at the same time I have a whole lot of new trainers. I am very concerned about my daughter growing up in a society full of misogyny and pressures on appearance, but at the same time I enjoying watching crappy music videos that don’t do much but add to these problems.
Do you have any weird hobbies?
Well I collect really tacky topless disposable lighters – yes, the thing you would find on beach holidays. It was initially an experiment into replacing a need to collect with something hard to find and representative of the disposable futility of collecting and owning lots. But it’s become a real focus and I have well over 400 now.
You recently directed a film for Channel 4 called “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”. What was it like taking the jump into film?
I loved it! I like to try out new mediums and experiment with different things all the time and it was great to have a platform like Channel 4 for my first go at filmmaking. I feel like this was just an introduction and look forward to doing future film-based projects. I enjoyed the fact you can create a whole world in film.
Are there any other creative outlets that you’d like to try your hand at?
I really wanna do more sculpture. The most exciting of the few I’ve done is perhaps the six foot high high heels I carved in ice for the Ice Hotel. That gave me a taste for larger sculpture and this is what I want to try and turn my hand to, but not in ice – something different.
Who’s your current favourite artist?
Here’s a few current favourites: Jeff Koons, Soyrama , Takashi Murakashi, Os Gemeos and ROID.
What else can we expect from you this year?
After this installation comes down I’m off to LA to paint some BIG walls and I have an exhibition coming up later this summer. I also have a couple of custom vehicles that I am going to work on.
LONDONEWCASTLE – 28 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DP
Words: Jade Thompson