Stamping his Mark on the Artworld: We Look at the Unique Medium of Gary Hogben

When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?

I was always interested in painting and drawing, doing it as a hobby to begin with, then I challenged myself to copy some old masters in oils, which I did; these are the only pieces my wife allows to be hung up in our home.

Then the usual things happened, got married, had children, and put down my paint brush. I did not do any kind of art for over 10 years, then I took my daughter to the Can’s exhibition in the arches under waterloo station in 2007, mainly to have a look at the Banksy art, I thought to myself how hard can this be. When I got home I cut some stencils and started spraying, It was then that I decided that I wanted to be an artist.

What processes led you to use stamps as your primary medium?

It’s the colour range that you can get with stamps, combined together you can make up some really intricate pieces.

A lot of your work directly references pop culture. What is it about this imagery and subject matter which appeals to you?

Famous faces always sell, if I can use my techniques to do them justice them I’m happy, also the vibrancy of the colours involved appeal to me. I love the work of Andy Warhol and enjoy trying to recreate his silk screen pieces in spray paint.

When did you sell your first artwork?

Sometime in the mid 80’s, so long ago, but since 2007 I’ve probably sold at least half of what I’ve produced, which is over 250 pieces.

What would you consider your biggest achievement as an artist so far?

Having a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the wall of a Judge’s chambers in Arizona, and having one of my Union Jack pieces in the private residence of the British Ambassador to Estonia.

If you could be represented by any major gallery, which would it be and why?

I have been approached by galleries, but turned them down as the commission rate has been too high, as far as I’m concerned I am getting quite a few sales of originals and prints from the various websites I’m on.

What do you hope to achieve artistically in the next ten years?

I would hope that I could give up working for a living and make enough money for me to do this full time, I appear to have found relative success rather late in life, but my head is full of ideas to experiment on.

Gary will be exhibiting in The Londoner's Compass this October 19th - 23rd, at The Strand Gallery.