‘i play with colour And space’

Artist and de­signer SYRETT’S hyp­notic paint­ings push cre­ative bound­aries where fash­ion meets art

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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.

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