‘i play with colour And space’
Artist and designer SYRETT’S hypnotic paintings push creative boundaries where fashion meets art
With an impressive background in textiles, design and fashion styling, SYRETT moved into fine art 14 years ago, and his work is now represented in galleries and collections around the world. SYRETT’S latest pieces use nail varnishes and lacquer in swirling, abstract paintings that are steeped in romanticism, while exploiting the textural possibilities of this unusual medium. We talked to him about his work and the exciting new collection that sees art, design and couture collide.
Tell us about your work...
I describe my art style as haute couture abstraction. I start with colour, and I’m fortunate to be working with True Brit London nail varnish and using its colour lab. It’s a treasure trove with a huge range of beautiful powder pigments – one of my favourites is based on microscopic pyramids, which create an iridescent colour change, depending on the light. To begin with, I worked with 10x10cm images, which I photographed and enlarged to create colour prints ten times larger. More recently I’ve been painting on square metre-sized pieces of Perspex and aluminium. Moving the varnish around is more challenging on this scale, so I use glaziers’ suckers to hold and manoeuvre the perspex.
How important are trends to you?
Fashion designers have to anticipate or create trends – and as a textile designer, I worked four years ahead of production. Now, as an artist, I have the freedom to be an image maker in real time, though I still work seasonally, creating two collections a year. Forecasting change, and being different and unusual are all important to me.
Any advice to those buying art for their homes?
Buy what you like – the artworld is unpredictable and investments can be tricky. If you love it, that’s enough.
If you could own one painting, what would it be?
Bildnis der Journalistin Sylvia von Harden by Otto Dix. It was painted in 1926 – a difficult period in Germany. Director Bob Fosse recreated it in the opening scene of his 1972 film Cabaret.