Tarek Sebastian | Issue Eight Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work

I’m a self taught Artist born in London to Iraqi and French parents. I did go to art school for a month but was told on more than one occasion that painting was dead so I thought it was obvious I wasn’t wanted or needed there.The work is my personal reflection on history, migration, culture, east, west, war, death and sex and everything in between.

What set you off as an artist?

I used to make cartoons at school in the back of the classroom instead of studying.

What are the themes you pursue in your work?

I have made a series revolving around the gulf war. Seeing my father get frustrated at the news when I was a kid has permeated the more recent work. I’ve also made paintings of couples and art history study drawings.

What are your influences?

Usually have people tell me my influences after the fact. I also use a lot of found images and don’t work from life.

What’s your most essential tool?

Essential tools are music as I can’t work in silence. Everything else is incremental.

How do you organise and plan your work?

I don’t work everyday and usually wait for something good to make me want to paint. I also lost my studio as I ran out of money so work in my kitchen or living room at the moment.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions?

I am currently trying to organise a show of new paintings and drawings but no date has been set yet.

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