You Rest You Rust

We chat to NYC-based artist DAIN as London's Rook & Raven gallery celebrates its launch with a group show also featuring Penny, Dale Marshall and Daniel Lumbini

'Pictures of You', DAIN

Art consultancy 2R Art is the brainchild of Richard Grindy and Rachelle Lunnon, and this week sees them expanding the creative empire even further by opening Rook & Raven, a gallery based in central London. As their flagship space, the gallery aims to support new and alternative artists and constantly push the boundaries of what is considered ‘fine art’.

The opening exhibition is titled ‘You Rest You Rust’ and it showcases the work of contemporary and critically acclaimed artists such as Penny, Dale Marshall and Daniel Lumbini. Also featured in the show is Brooklyn-based artist DAIN, who’s known for his use of Hollywood icons in his beautifully crafted graffiti and collage works. We had a quick chat with the artist about what he’s created for the exhibition and whether he sees himself as strictly a ‘street artist’.

Dazed Digital: How have you approached the ‘You Rest You Rust’ exhibition? Will you be showcasing new work especially created for the show?
DAIN: This show I approached a little different, instead of celebrities from the 30s and 40s I incorporated more newer images. I want them to still have an old hollywood glam type of feel but with some recognizable faces from today. 

DD: Present in a lot of your work is the use of old Hollywood icons, what is it about these celebrities and that period in time that inspires your work?
DAIN:
Yeah, I just loved the the 30s,40s and 50s. It’s not so much the celebrities that I loved but what was represented at those times. Movies actually had stories, women did not have to weigh 90 pounds to be considered beautiful and the men always dressed sharp. With all the good things that modern technology has brought, the simplicity of those times seems to be missed. Nothing is left to the imagination.. 

DD: Do you think ‘street art’ is a fair depiction of your work? How would describe what you do?
DAIN:
I grew up doing graffiti for many years in the 80s and early 90s. It was fun but dangerous. Those days were mostly just "tagging" the streets really just for fun. I put art on the streets now, call it "street art", whatever, makes no difference to me.

DD: Do you enjoy placing your work in a different environment, away from its original context in a gallery space? Do you think sometimes it helps people see it as ‘art’?
DAIN:
I love doing gallery shows but I still really enjoy hitting the streets. Walking down a side block in NYC and you come across one my Hollywood glam images on some beat up old door with graffiti and years of wear and tear, I think it works well. I try to squeeze that same feel to a 3'x4' piece hanging on a gallery wall.

DD: What’s next for you after this exhibition?
DAIN:
I have a couple of possible shows lined up after this exhibition. I usually don't like to plan things too far ahead. Plenty of street work for the coming year, along with a museum here in the states that will be displaying my art.

'You Rest You Rust' opens to the public on Friday 28th October at The Rook & Raven Gallery, 7/8 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1HN

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