INSA Street Artist Biography
INSA was born in the United Kingdom and began painting at the age of 12. Prior to this age, he made low, low budget horror films with his friends, and even counts Nightmare on Elm Street’s monstrous Freddie Krueger among his creative influences. The artist is distinguished by the seamless mix of reality and fantasy apparent in all his work. His art is always changing, to the surprise and excitement of his viewers.
INSA’s Philosophy of Life and Art
His strong opinions regarding popular culture and consumerism are what his art is all about. INSA wants to be known through his art, not by any personal characteristics. He keeps his private life very private, but is most willing to talk about his life and thoughts as an artist. This shrouded identity keeps others from pretending to be like him and allows his viewers to conjure up their own image of who INSA is and what he looks like. He may be of any race, age or physiognomy. In INSA’s view, whatever the viewer imagines, that is what the artist looks like. The one thing he does want his audience to understand about him is his belief that fantasy is always better than reality.
INSA studied art at Goldsmiths as a young man and earned a degree in Design. Goldsmiths also gave the artist an excuse to move to London and paint the London streets.
The Artist’s Influences
INSA states that his most important influence as an artist is the simple fact that he is miserable when not creating art. The artist is also influenced by fellow artists Jeff Koons and the surrealist German artist and photographer Hans Bellmer.
He is inspired and influenced as well by people’s obsessions. INSA is himself a self-described obsessive personality, so obsessing over obsessions is certainly very much in character for this eccentric artist.
The obsessions that most interest him are the ones people have with graffiti, tennis shoes, popular street culture, the female as a sex object and bright, shiny cars. He represents these obsessions as fetishes in his art.
The Art of INSA
It is very apparent that his art is a concert of product, graffiti, fetishism and objectification. He is not reluctant to change and explore new avenues of expression in his creative life. Commercially, he has done work on commission for such famous companies as Sony and Nike. He opened an online company where women’s high-heeled shoes are for sale. The store is a reflection of INSA’s best known “Heels” image that merges black and white patterns that wave and distort the space, causing the viewer to question today’s popular culture of consumerism.
Along with his online shoe store, INSA also sells products such as ladies lingerie, toys, T-shirts and custom designed tennis shoes, all decorated with his original art work.
INSA and his art are both full of irony with visual exaggerations of objectification including oversized body parts embedded within the lines of a tennis shoe. The artist uses powerful, bold patterns often in black and white to emphasize the materialism and sexual objectification that he sees all around him and incorporates in his work.
The Artist’s Works
In 2010, the artist was commissioned by Tate Britain to create a work for an exhibit featuring the artist Chris Ofill. What INSA created was a pair of shoes with 10″ heels, with the sole made of elephant dung. This is clearly an ironic depiction of today’s materialism and sexual objectification of women. The work is titled Anything Goes When it Comes to Shoe(s). The idea for the piece was taken from Ofill’s artistic style which often incorporated elephant dung.
INSA created the project “Girls on a Bike” as a public installation. In the piece, curvaceous young female volunteers in provocative poses were photographed in front of INSA graffiti-bearing walls, all over the world, while riding their bicycles. This is another tribute to the sexual objectification of women and the fetishism of ownership conveyed by the bicycles.
One of the most exciting concepts the artist has come up with recently is what he terms “GIF-iti.” He creates this by painting and repainting walls several times each time with slight changes. He then photographs each change in the sequence he paints them. This creates a series of images or frames. These frames are then uploaded to the web in the same sequence they were photographed.
INSA’s inspiration for his animated web art was the many art pieces he found on the internet. Viewing art created offline on the web as though they were in a brick and mortar gallery did not suit his artistic sensibilities. To fix this problem, he thought it would be of interest to create art specifically to be viewed online. The internet then becomes the best and only space to view such work. The results might be described as animated graffiti or animated street art.
INSA is an extremely eclectic artist who works in all types of media and is currently producing sculpture for the first time. His fans around the world are hoping the reclusive artist is young enough to continue surprising them for many years to come – something he is sure to do as long as he is healthy and strong enough to maintain his abundant creativity. INSA is an artist who truly lives for his art, and on his own terms.