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Unweave the Rainbow

Exploring the imaginative realm connecting colour and rave culture, Cain Caser talks us through his group show with Andrew McAttee, Jen Stark and Ye Hongxing

If you were wondering who the hot new art stars on the international art scene for 2012 are, look no further than London's Scream gallery. The newly unveiled ‘Unweave the Rainbow’ expo features seven of the most exciting home-grown and international emerging artists under one roof in this unique and original show. The selected works by Cain Cesar, Andrew McAttee, Jen Stark, Scott Hove and Ye Hongxing all share a psychedelic, and somewhat off-kilter, surreal sensibility and each piece plays upon a blurred disparity between imagination and reality in the mind of the viewer.

I've painted three pieces specifically for the show. The title is 'Unweave the Rainbow' taken from a poem by Keats with the idea being to explore the tension between dreams and reality.

We caught up with artist and master of colour, Cain Caser, who is showcasing a collection of his bold, abstract neon portraits. Sighting 90s rave culture and a long connection to graffiti and street art movements in and around the London, the artist has carved out a distinctive expressionist style that will leave viewers positively mesmerised.

Dazed Digital: How did you become involved in the exhibition?
Cain Caser:
I had a few pieces at 'The Other Art Fair' at the end of November last year which led to being asked to produce some work for this show.

DD: How would you describe the kind of art you produce?
Cain Caser:
The concept is hallucination, the sort of vivid images you might see on the borderline of sleep.

DD: What is the motivation/influences behind some of the neon portraits that you have decided to exhibit for this show and why did you choose them?
Cain Caser:
I've painted three pieces specifically for the show. The title is 'Unweave the Rainbow' taken from a poem by Keats with the idea being to explore the tension between dreams and reality. In the double portrait 'Thracians', the inspiration is the myth of Asphodel Meadows, a neutral place where you'd begin to forget your identity, in contrast with the everlasting ecstasy of the fields of Elysium. 'Krokodil Rock' shows the destructive effects on the flesh of Desomorphine, grinning while chasing the high, and in 'Weimar Republic' the decadence of Berlin sandwiched between the carnage of two world wars suggested the figure.

DD: The art you create plays on figuration and abstraction has that a theme that has always been something that interests you?
Cain Caser:
I tried including text, with more of landscape feel in older work but it seemed to look derivative. I have always been more interested in style than any conceptual concerns and that's just ended up with the focus on the face, it doesn't make sense to me to paint anything else at the moment.

DD: Who or what art/artists have shaped you and your work?
Cain Caser:
The drive to paint has been with me since about the age of 12 when I started doing graffiti in London. That came to an end in 1990 with being caught. It wasn't until 1996 when I went to a Basquiat exhibition at the Serpentine gallery that I started thinking about working on canvas. I have painted on and off since then but only started taking it seriously around three years ago. Bacon is a big influence, also currently the work of NY artist Bast.

DD: What other projects are you currently working on?
Cain Caser:
I'm starting some larger scale work at the moment, a few more pieces for upcoming group shows and another solo show at the end of this year.

Unweave the Rainbow, 27 January - 17 March 2012, at Scream 34 Bruton Street, London, W1J 6QX