When did you first discover your personal style with regard to art? I’ve been collaging and painting since I was about 16. It was pure coincidence that I revisited these mediums many years later and combined them.
What do you do in your free time? I don’t get much free time, and when I do I’m usually messing with some kind of artwork; I’m also a keen collector so am researching a lot and am involved with curating shows as well. Time spent away from art is usually hanging out with my daughter, going to museums, watching sports - I love MMA so if I had any quality free time I would probably take up fighting again.
You’ve carried out several exhibitions before, which is the most memorable to you? Probably the In/Human show as it was my first decent show which I also helped to curate; it was significant because it was the first exhibition where I got to show alongside some guys I really admired.
What are some of your favourite mediums to work with? I like a bit of everything - I mix screens, acrylics, collage, lots of solvent and different resins but my favourite is traditional oil paints. Purely because they’re so pliable yet so difficult to get right….
There exists a combination of collage and oil in your work. Could you share with us the artistic processes behind them? The collage was originally a way for me to plan my pieces, enabling me to distort pictures and create a unique composition. I suffer from limited patience and destroy more works than I finish, but sometimes the final piece missing from a painting is just something so simple. I working on a painting but just couldn’t get the last bit to work, so had an idea to rip a piece from a magazine to see how this particular mouth would work instead. The contrast between printed piece and scruffy paint worked so well I just kept going with it, although I have since started messing with many other foreign things, introducing them into my paintings like sim cards and bubblegum.
Did you start out with the intention to convey messages/emotions through your art? I’ve always been more interested in the puzzle art presents, more so than conveying any message - I’m not interested in being clever or political, although I guess all artists want to make something thought-provoking, but I never set out with any agenda - I just want to create something that surprises or that’s never been seen before, which is virtually impossible nowdays …
The “distortion” of portraits is a recurring feature of your art, could you share with us why this is so? As with the use of collage in my work, I just like it when things look odd, ugly, quirky, or slightly wrong. I guess I’ve just always been more intrigued by unorthodox things - it’s these anomalies that pioneer things, and I guess that’s what I’d like to do. I also find it quite pointless when paintings look just like the subject - creating art gives you artistic license, which is an amazing thing and an artist should always strive to make something unique and inspiringly different.
Which piece means the most to you? I’m never sentimental about work. I have certain pieces where I feel I’ve made a breakthrough, like Son of Siam, but I always think I can do something better next time…
Who are some of your favourite artists? Right now am loving Dana Schutz, Ahmed Alsoudani, Dan Colen and Jenny Saville - anyone who can do big, bad and ugly.
What inspires you? Knowing there are amazing painters like this out there who are my age and who have achieved so much, and I haven’t. Yet.
What’s next for Daniel Lumbini? I have a busy year ahead, with a big show in March at Rook & Raven, where I’ll be creating renditions and reworking images from the renowned photographer Terry O’neill, alongside some really great young artists like Dalek, Curtis Kulig, Pam Glew and James Dawe - am very excited to be part of such a great lineup. Then I have a big joint show alongside a friend and painter who I very much admire, later in the year, but can’t give too much away until it’s fully confirmed.