Andrea Tyrimos – Artist
If you’re walking along one of London’s streets and you happen to notice a colourful painting of a zebra or angel emerging from a brick wall or a leafy covered telephone box which mometarily stops you in your tracks, it could well be the creation of Andrea Tyrimos. We’ve invited Andrea to tell our readers more about her work and herself.
Name: Andrea Tyrimos
Describe what you are involved in doing: I’m a contemporary artist based in London. I specialise in painting, in the most traditional sense, in that I only use oil paints and paintbrushes. My work crosses between fine art and street art. I like to make my street art paintings interactive, because it’s a quality not usually associated with paintings.
You’re very socially aware?
Yes, I also like to push the boundaries and look at contemporary issues in society and the world.
How did you start: I love art, you could say I’m obsessed with it, so for me there was no other option than for it to be my career.
So your love of art began quite young, what’s your first memory?
It was a time as a toddler when I was drawing an elephant and I drew the tusks with such detail. My mum was very impressed and praised me. I really enjoyed the recognition and also drawing from then on.
I graduated in Fine Art from Central St Martins in 2009, and have exhibited extensively since then. I have been featured in publications such as the ‘Evening Standard’, ‘Time-Out’, and the UK’s ‘Elle’ and ‘IN London’ magazines. I have won awards including the ‘Signature Art People’s Choice Painting Award’ and the ‘Art & Escape Award’. I debuted my BRICK project at London’s iconic Barbican Centre, and had my debut solo show, ‘Roadz’, in 2014 at the Curious Duke Gallery in London’s Islington.
What’s your most notable project so far?
BRICK project: My purpose is to create a series of hidden paintings, (using only traditional oil paints and paintbrushes) where I take to the streets of London to camouflage my pieces into their environment. The pieces have an element of interactivity within them, which is not usually associated with paintings. Often viewers struggle to see or find them, and as a result go on a hunt for them; I enjoy this playful aspect that the paintings can have. They are also concerned with the notion of ‘trompe l’oeil’ and the hidden beauty that can be found in the unexpected. The paintings themselves will not only mimic their surroundings, but will also take on the characteristics that go with it; whether this be stains, graffiti or peeling posters, as well as some cheeky additions here and there… It combines street art and fine art in a way which has never been done before.
Charles Baudelaire in 1863 called for painters to focus on ‘depicting the fast-changing landscape of life’, and described such an artist as ‘The Painter of Modern Life’; within my series of works, capturing such modernity is something that I attempt to achieve. My paintings represent a nocturnal narrative flow. The paintings are as much to do with the physical medium of paint itself as the intangibility of the light this medium attempts to reproduce.
What are you keen to explore? London continues to inspire me. It has a certain energy, a heartbeat almost, which I find captivating.
Do you have other interests related to your art work? I’m also very passionate about mental health and breaking down the stigma which still surrounds mental vulnerabilities. I’d like to try to break down this stigma through my art. I’ve previously run art workshops with young vulnerable people in a crisis centre; art can be used as a fantastic form of therapy.
Do you plan to do any more work around mental health?
I’d like to yes, mental health is one of those last taboos, and it would really help people to both understand and also for those who experience mental health to use art as a way to express themselves and as a way to increase the general public’s understanding of the issues.
What are you currently working on or promoting? I’m currently interested with changing public space and making art more accessible by allowing the public to witness the process, and to explore how art can alter people’s experience of the space. This is something I bring to my #Brick paintings, and I’ve also recently explored this with my #livingbox installation.
Where do your ideas come from? London, social/political issues, travel, and showing the beauty in the unexpected.
Why do you say “…showing the beauty in the unexpected..?”
This emerged from my work in the “Brick Project” essentially. In our everyday surroundings things change and evolve, I notice the moss growing on the bricks and also the chewing gum in the gaps and crevices. My work immortalizes these moments, and you could say I’m obsessed with walls, bricks and the history of it all. The environment tells a story, I liken it to a person with wrinkles, and I find that interesting and also revealing.
What are your past times and quirky things you like? I’m obsessed with my labrador Bonnie, love to meditate, travel and drink tea! Oh and I have to flick through each page of a chapter in a book before reading it – I don’t know why!
What are some of your recent works and achievements?
- Debut Solo Show, ‘Roadz’, at the Curious Duke Gallery.
- LivingBox; I was commissioned to transform a disused London Telephone Box in London’s Holborn, into a permanent art installation, to highlight the need for more clean air and greenery in London. ‘LivingBox’ is a permanent installation and can be found on Southampton Row, outside number 79.
- Winner of the ‘Art & Escape Award’ & ‘Signature Art Prize – People’s Choice Painting Award’
- My BRICK project sees me take to the streets of London to create a series of hidden paintings (the debut of my BRICK project was at London’s iconic Barbican Centre, in association with Fairtrade Foundation.
[Editors’s note: Watch this space for updates and more from Andrea and some exciting news.]
Follow Andrea on social media:
Twitter: @AndreaTyrimos (#AndreaTyrimos)
Instagram: andrea_tyrimos (#AndreaTyrimos)
Videos of recent work
Painting the ‘Barbican Brick’ at London’s iconic Barbican centre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7m7MLc2jWs
Painting ‘Ziggy’s Brick’ at Pasley Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2dxDJtcEpg by Whitesao.
Painting ‘LivingBox’ on Southampton Row: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR0IMFBTxVs by Mathilde Xiao. ‘LivingBox’teaser video for PublicSpaceJam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAaVUIO8ZvI&spfreload=10 by Frankie Hill.