Why Catch 22?
After already buying ApieceAmonths from Blackpool’s He Dreamt Mars and Infected By Design in previous months, it was only a matter of time before I approached fellow crew member Catch 22 for some stunning geometric goodness, like the piece below that we saw him paint at Upfest this year, and I first asked if he wanted to join the APAM collective.

It’s officially become a case of Pokemon with Blackpool’s finest crew – The Homegrown Collective – Look out LowDown, I’m coming for you next!!

The piece
UNTITLED: Spray paint and Posca on box canvas, Signed on front, One off, 45 x 61 cm

About Catch 22
Email interview with Catch 22, 10/03/14:
I love the painting, thanks man. Who’s the lady & what’s the inspiration behind the piece?
Firstly thanks for including me in ApieceAmonth!! The painting was untitled, the lady in the painting is also unknown. I get images from a few different photographers I’m mates with who let me use their pics, which I usually keep all the details for, but on this occasion I can’t find where I got this image. I think it was one saved from my old laptop before it died, I tend to collect loads of images and then only a few get used, and those that do I’ve had ages, waiting to use!! Anyway back on point, the painting was created a while back now and was at a stage when I began really experimenting with bringing together my abstract and portrait work. I chose the image because I loved the attitude. The abstract background was my way of doing it in a way to work both with the image, and against it, if you get me!
As a viewer this and your other pieces around the same time, such as Iron Lion, feel like a real evolution in your style. Do you agree?
Yeah, I’d agree recent works have definitely improved, I feel the abstract backgrounds and the overlaying images are working better together. I feel I am putting out, personally, the strongest work I have done so far, I’m always trying new things and pushing myself while trying to keep hold of the style I’d already developed. My newest work, which I’m almost finished at the moment, is another experiment using a different colour palette. I am trying to use warm and cool colours behind the face. I’m really excited about this one, it’s not perfect but I’m thinking it’s the prototype for the next batch of work, so keep an eye out for that.

Tell me about you and your art history so far.
I’ve been drawing my whole life, I spent a lot of my youth hidden away at home drawing. I’ve always found it kind of moves me to a different place where nothing matters and it just chills me out. I was late at taking art back up properly and finally went back to college at 25, I then did a degree in fine art. I’d had a go at spray painting and stencils years ago but I didn’t really get into it until my 2nd year of Uni!! I was an abstract painter doing large canvases with acrylic paint, but in my 2nd year I was really researching artists and movements and it kind of dawned on me that I didn’t like any of the painters that were out there today, and the contemporary artists I did like were all spray painting. The more I saw, the more I was drawn in, and slowly my work became more and more influenced by street art, and I began using more and more spray paint in my work. By my 3rd year I was just spray painting! So I’ve only been using spray paint and stencils for about 4 years.

Is there a story behind the name, Catch-22?
The name Catch-22 came from the book. I’m often asked if I’ve read it, and I have! The phrase “catch 22” just kind of fitted my life, I’m always caught between my artwork and my family life; I’ve got two young kids, and it always feels like whatever I do with my time something else suffers, it’s a hard balance at times.

We were lucky enough to get up to Blackpool to see the 2013 illuminations with your designs showing alongside big names like The Toasters and Otto Schade. How did that come about? And do you know if the street art stretch will become a regular part of the illuminations?
The illuminations project was just handed to us really, it was pretty amazing and scary at the same time. The illuminations featured street art the year before, from My Dog Sighs and Rocket,
although they painted boards that were lit from the front, this year the artists were asked to paint directly onto light boxes. This hadn’t ever been done before and nobody knew what to expect. The paint had to be sprayed on very thin so the light could get through, it was a great experience and I hope to be asked to do it again, I think I would do a better job second time round 🙂
They seemed really happy with the work over the last few years so hopefully it’s going to be an ongoing feature of the illuminations.

What’s next for you? Any plans for 2014? (You showing anything? Any news from the studio/homegrown? Plans for any new pieces? Sand, Sea & Spray?)
As far as I know Sand, Sea &Spray will be on again this year so keep an eye out for that.
Due to work and home life I find it difficult to get to all the shows I’d like, but so far I’m booked at New Urban Era paint jam, and a music & art festival called Alfresco.
I’ve just exhibited in London and will be in the 158 show in Manchester in May. I’m planning on trying to be a bit more proactive in trying to get shows this year, as I’ve so far sat back and waited for people to ask me. I think my work’s ready now and I’m happy with it, so it’s time to start really pushing it!!

Good luck man. Hope to see more of you this year in London, or anywhere without the 6 hour drive to Blackpool!