We came across Charlie Anderson scrolling through old issues of some of our favourite international urban magazines. It was meant to be, really, considering the similarity of wanting to express ourselves through, well, anything. Why not talk to someone who is pretty darn incredible at it?

One could easily think that this whole canvas-filled part house / part studio set up of a painter with a white tank and baggy jeans smushed with paint working from home is so “Hollywood,” however that is kind of what you went through, right?

It’s funny I’ve never looked at it like that! I’ve often lived in my studios, making art can be an all-consuming process. I think the only way to progress with it is to completely indulge in it, so that’s always how I’ve lived.

There is a sense of critique in your work. What have you been having strong opinions on lately that you reflect through your art?

My work is rooted more in process than communicating a particular opinion, although I’d like to think it’s open to interpretation due to the way it shifts the context of the images I reproduce and regurgitates a lot of what I experience on a daily basis. My focus is really on the painting process though and working out how to produce the paintings.

Can you talk a little bit about the process of creating these attention-grabbing billboards of yours?

The process begins with a small idea, and I sketch out some designs before deciding on a final composition. The designs are composed of appropriated imagery that is manipulated to be so far removed from its original context that it is no longer recognizable. A glossy magazine model might be inverted and pixelated before being superimposed against a John Giorno inspired arrangement of words, or a medieval style gold leaf background with a glamorized reproduction of a gossip tabloid. I use a variety of techniques to apply the paint, from sign writing, screen printing, spray painting and brushing. Ultimately it becomes a case of finding a way, using only paint.

When do you know a painting is finished doing the kind of work that you do?

I used to randomly paint layer upon layer until I felt the painting was resolved. Now I work on a small version, then once I’m happy with the composition I paint a large version on canvas so I know exactly what I’m painting. It becomes quite a technical process at that point, measuring out specific areas to be painted certain colours or that need the paint to be applied in a certain way.

You tend to take out already existing materials and interpret them in your own way to reflect your point of view. What kind of material draws you in to begin a new piece?

It’s everything from photos I’ve found of ancient Egyptian wall paintings to internet pop up ads. At the moment I’m particularly looking at Roman mosaics and 8 bit video game graphics.

What do you do for fun? What puts a smile on your face?

Painting.

My work is rooted more in process than communicating a particular opinion, although I’d like to think it’s open to interpretation due to the way it shifts the context of the images I reproduce and regurgitates a lot of what I experience on a daily basis.