Lovely Steven Quinn is a most extraordinary artist who bounces between street photography, collage and animation. Originally from Belfast but now firmly in London, he’s always interested to here what he’s up to so we gave him a bell.
Can you remember coming out to your parents saying you wanted to be an artist for a living?
I don’t remember a specific incident per se… Although I do always remember a certain amount of resistance and stern advice/lectures relating to job prospects etc. Ticking the fine art box for GCSEs and A-Levels never seemed such a fine choice to the folks. I’m sure it’s pretty common for the hopes of a parent not to coincide with the dreams of a child. Fortunately for me things seem to be ok as I get older and less embarrassing to show them what I do, I think they’re even genuinely interested.
Where do you get the best street photography, London or Belfast?
London has a higher frequency/hit rate. I’m never really home that often but because I know Belfast so well I find I never take many pictures. I think you notice things more when they’re alien to you and seen with fresh eyes so anytime I go somewhere for the first time I find I take maybe even too many photos. With my phone and a few ‘proper’ cameras. New York seems to be always great for good photos, for ones I take and for the work of photographers I like. From Weegee who I’ve loved since I was 14 or so to Joel Meyerowitz, who I recently met.
Why do you have a such a cheery obsession with apocalyptic things?
To be honest I really don’t know… A dark sense of humour? Making nice things ugly and vice-versa can be funny. I pasted up a flock wallpaper pattern made up of Belfast’s beautiful, wondrously insane, publicly graphic, political imagery years ago and after that I thought anything I made shouldn’t be so localised. Hence creepy end of days images with happy families and a global appeal. Saying that I’m making things in the studio at the moment which look quite religious… And I’m not religious. Although I did attend an Irish Catholic grammar school and learnt Latin etc
If you did a portrait of me, what kind of background would you put me on?
I’m thinking silk sheets strewn with rose petals. Nothing but the best for Josh Jones! In the background we’d have Enya of course.
Of course. Where can we see more of your work?
I’m really bad with website updates and Facebook has lost its charm, if it even had any?
Instagram seems to be the platform for now so - @stevenquinn_street and @stevenquinn_collage
Also the big fancy LED billboard at the Old St roundabout has some collage work on rotation at the moment if you’re in the area LOOK UP!
Interview: Josh Jones