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Seize Matters

Pixar, Marvel and Disney all come together in Andy Seize’s new giant mural exhibition at BASH studios.

The 39-year-old graffiti artist Andy Seize is trying to appeal to all the adult-kids out there who will take pleasure in engaging with giant murals that mash-up the likes of Buzz Lightyear and Howard The Duck. His past work has graced everything from Reebok TV advertisements to community murals on Old Street. He also undertook the bizarre task of painting Lorraine Kelly's portrait while being suspended 60ft in the air on the South Bank. With his first solo show Size Matters, which opens tonight at BASH studios, he comes back down to Earth and returns to his love of cartoon characters and comics. Here, the artist talks about his cartoon faves and the evolution of graffiti... 

Dazed Digital: Have you ever had any trouble with the big corporations like Disney?
Andy Seize: No. I make the characters more street – they're always wearing sneakers and jewellery and I sometimes cover their faces in splats of paint. I try to experiment, I have done a series where I cover the canvas with bits of paper, then paint the images. I then lift the paper off at the end to reveal only parts of the character.

DD: Why do you think cartoon characters have gained iconic status?
Andy Seize: My love of cartoons comes from childhood, and I think this is true for most people. You grow up reading comics, collecting toys and swapping stickers in the playground, and when you grow up those are all great memories. They have been around for so long that they define a certain time in peoples lives.

DD: What has happened to the giant Lorraine Kelly portrait?
Andy Seize: It was a temporary piece for This Morning on ITV. It had to be painted over as soon as it had been finished!

DD: Your exhibition title refers to size, do you have any plans for other large-scale works?
Andy Seize: I've just painted the outside of the exhibition venue – a 70ft long wall on Curtain Road. I am always on the lookout for big walls to paint and for people to collaborate with.

DD: If your best friend and your worst enemy were well-known cartoon characters, who would they be and why?
Andy Seize: My enemy would be 'Wile Coyote' (Warner Bros), because he's always causing trouble and up to no good and my best friend would be Mr Incredible (Pixar), because he's always there to serve and protect!

DD: Where do you see the future of graffiti?
Andy Seize: When I started out painting trains back in the day, my dream was always to exhibit my own artwork. People were often negative about graffiti then, especially in the UK where it wasn't seen as a legitimate art form. In Europe, graffiti artists were painting buildings and large-scale murals, and this was embraced by the public, but in the UK we could only paint illegally where the pieces wouldn't be seen. Now there are two sides to graffiti – aerosol graffiti (originating from 'tagging' and creating lettering fonts) where you only paint with spray paint, and street art which is more illustrative and uses stencils. Both have become mainstream and a recognised art form worldwide and are here to stay. The best is still to come!

'Size Matters' runs for four days, from Friday July 10 to Monday July 13, 12pm-4pm, at BASH Studios, 65-71 Scrutton Street, London, EC2Aa