A street artist whose 200ft-high murals shook up the art world was dubbed ‘a great talent of his generation and one to watch’ as his first British solo exhibition that is set to make nearly £1million opened in London today.
Fin DAC, 54, from Cork in Ireland, paints murals across the world but only started street art when he was 40 years old after a failed relationship.
The artist’s real name is Finbarr Notte, with his pseudonym an acronym for Dragon Armoury Creative, the original name of his virtual portfolio.
Art critic and curator Yasha Young said Fin DAC was ‘a great talent of his generation and one to watch’.
She told MailOnline: ‘Fin is a modern-day portrait artist.
One of the works in Fin DAC’s London show is a smaller version of his 200ft mural of Frida Kahlo on the side of a building in western Mexico. He said Frida Kahlo was ‘the pinnacle of what I try to get across in my work’
In 2019 Fin DAC, 54, was commissioned to paint a 200ft mural of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in Guadalajara, western Mexico, by the English National Ballet’s Isaac Hernández, who comes from the city
He quit his job as an engineer and draftsman and pursued a life on the streets of the world, creating colourful murals in countries around the globe. The artist’s pseudonym an acronym for Dragon Armoury Creative, the original name of his virtual portfolio
As Fin DAC rose to fame in the art world he started creating larger and larger works, even though he suffered from vertigo. He created this mural called Lady Kinoko at Ukai restaurant on Portobello Road in 2017
Fin told MailOnline ‘I did have a fear of heights but when you’re concentrating on painting a wall, nothing else really matters. It was a case of “suck it up, princess”.’ Pictured: one of Fin DAC’s works at his solo show in London
The name of the show is Afterglow/Undertow and is the first solo exhibition Fin DAC has put on in six years. The last was in Venice Beach, California, in 2015
While Afterglow shows the more recognisable of his works, Undertow is a separate room in the gallery with inverted colours in his portraits, as pictured here
‘The foundation of his work is Renaissance and Dutch portraiture but instead of simply painting a person, he designs a character around that person and paints the character as if she is real.
‘He imbues his muses with certain characteristics that are often an exaggeration of the muses themselves.
‘His muses are not nameless and faceless and are rarely just painted the once.
‘He’s worked with the same models for ten years or more but adds more as and when he finds a woman with an interesting story.
‘From the outset he decided that his work should not be about social or political commentary but should only concern itself with the beautification of the urban landscape.’
While some people have asked whether there is a difference between vandalism and street art, for prominent art critic Yasha Young, ‘Walls are canvas and the cities of the world the studios’. Pictured: Fin DAC’s first solo show in six years at Gallery Different in Fitzrovia
Fin creates colourful artworks depicting women who are mainly Asian or Eurasian. The artist has previously said he wants to rewrite stereotypes of women and Asian people
His works show women with a mask over their eyes. The artist told MailOnline while there is a meaning behind this, he didn’t want to reveal it as it was ‘personal’
Fin DAC with one of his first muses and models, Meg, who inspired his first ever venture into street art and was the inspiration for the bronze cast (left). The original work on the side of a wall in Portsmouth, UK (right). The renowned artist decided to create a three-dimensional version for the exhibition so viewers could find his show a more interactive experience
Two years ago Fin was commissioned to paint Frida Kahlo on a 200ft wall in Guadalajara, western Mexico, by Isaac Hernández, a lead principal with the English National Ballet.
Hernández was born Guadalajara and wanted the artwork to help inspire young people in the area to be creative.
Fin was the only artist with permission from the Frida Kahlo Foundation to change the Mexican painter’s image by adding one of his stylised masks to his portrayal of her.
The mural took 11 days to paint and is his largest one to date.
His show in London displays a smaller version of his giant Frida Kahlo mural, his first ever sculptures and more than 75 paintings worth nearly £1million.
While he maintained he was not on a par with the great Mexican painter, he said Frida Kahlo was ‘the pinnacle of what I try to get across in my work’.
Fin DAC added that each separate mask has a specific meaning to him. The blend of classical portraiture and bold colours means his work is attractive to collectors and art lovers
The Irishman’s first UK show opens today at Fitzrovia’s Gallery Different, where there are more than 75 of his works for sale for almost £1million
The most expensive piece is a whopping £36,000 while the cheapest is around £800. Fin DAC said the pandemic offered the ‘perfect excuse’ to take a break from travelling and sell some of his work instead
Art critic Ms Young said: ‘The foundation of his work is Renaissance and Dutch portraiture but instead of simply painting a person, he designs a character around that person and paints the character as if she is real’ (Image: John Domine)
Fin DAC has painted studio-sized versions of previous works for his London show, including one of this original mural in Melbourne, Australia (Image: Dean Sunshine)
The Irishman, who was previously an engineer and draftsman, told MailOnline the reason to get into art was to ‘take my mind off a bad breakup’.
Since his rise to fame in the art world Fin has painted on a larger and larger scale.
Yet although he has painted on walls 200ft high, the artist admitted he used to struggle with vertigo.
He said: ‘I did have a fear of heights but when you’re concentrating on painting a wall, nothing else really matters. It was a case of “suck it up, princess”.’
Fin DAC often works with the same models for his paintings. He has painted some of his muses, who are mainly Asian or Eurasian women, for more than a decade
The artist uses a mixture of bold colours and overlays to captivate his audience, who will part ways with tens of thousands of pounds to own one of his works. The most expensive single piece is on sale for a whopping £36,000 and the total value of his works on sale from today is £967,210
One of the Irishman’s murals in his native Cork city in the southwest of Ireland. Unlike street artist Banksy, Fin rarely uses stencils and instead does a quick sketch and then paints the entire piece free hand
Fin DAC’s mural on a two storey building in Miami. His trademark work can be seen all over the world from Los Angeles to Venice
Street artist Fin DAC, whose real name is Finbarr Notte and is from Cork in Ireland, only started creating murals after a bad breakup 14 years ago
Left, Artist Fin DAC is pictured at the Undertow section of his exhibition in Fitzrovia, London. Prominent art critic Yasha Young (right) said the Irishman was ‘a great talent of his generation and one to watch’
He said while there was a meaning behind the masks present in each of his works and behind the markings on each specific one, he wouldn’t reveal it because it was ‘personal’.
His exhibition Afterglow/Undertow, which opens today, is the first solo show the maestro has done in six years and he is set to make enough money to fund his travels abroad for a while longer.
The most expensive single piece is on sale for a whopping £36,000 and the total value of his works on sale from today is close to £1million at £967,210.
‘You do have to sell your work and the pandemic seems to be the perfect excuse to do it,’ he said.
‘The thing about a street artist’s life is my globetrotting is funded by myself.
‘Every time I come back from a trip abroad I lock myself in my studio and I create ten wood board works [to sell].
‘I think I have an excelling style.
‘I’ve never struggled to keep my head above water.’
Fin DAC’s His exhibition Afterglow/Undertow opens today at Fitzrovia’s Gallery Different and will run for a week from October 23 to 31.