As Arab Spring enters a new chapter this week with Egypt’s Islamist president making decrees granting him near-absolute powers, it looks like this piece by Fintan Switzer is perfectly timely. This is where the artist and the activist intersect, on a wall and in the street, and it has for centuries; a place to seek redress, to plead your case, speak your mind, demonstrate your power in the most public way. This piece from this summer will likely retain its relevance until it fades from the sun and the rain and snow.
This realistic and lyrical depiction on a metal door in Killarney, Ireland is called “Waltz with the Philistine”, an old testament story symbolizing fear and bravery and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. For Fitzer, it’s an age-old analogy that is repeating in the streets everywhere today. “David and Goliath is a story which I think runs parallel with the Arab Spring. Similar to David, the people of these heavily oppressed countries somehow manage to overthrow giant tyrants (with varying results) using mostly primitive weapons in comparison to the arsenal used against them,” says the artist.
Irish Street Artist and realist painter Fintan Switzer has completed a new outdoor painting entitled “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, which debuts here on BSA for you dear reader. With an abandoned lot that is overgrown with green framing his new piece, you may think you’ve entered a curated museum show. The placement may cause you to infer that you are seeing a previous inhabitant; a slightly stern or worried expression crosses the face of a man who pauses for a moment while sweeping to answer a visitor’s inquiry.
Fine artist Fintan Switzer has been leaving his studio and going outside recently to experience the fresh air and to explore what it’s like to paint walls. From Michaelangelo to the erotic wall painting of Pompei to the great Latin American muralists of the the last century like social realist David Alfaro Siqueiros and the firebrand Diego Riveira, we have been addressing issues of class and social station with paintings on walls for a very long time. With this in mind, Switzer has been creating his social themed realist oil portraits that appear to break free from the walls of Killarney in the south of Ireland.
Mr. Switzer talked briefly to BSA and explained his interest in “Silver Inheritance,” his most recent foray into the outdoors.
“Indoors you are confined to the dimensions of your canvas and your studio. Painting outdoors offers you the freedom to use the surroundings and merge your piece with the setting.
The title ‘Silver Inheritance’ is a play on the expression ‘born with a silver spoon’, I don’t know if the expression is used much in the States but it means to be born into a wealthy family. The character in the painting is working class, a labourer condemned to a life of hard work and low wages, living on the margins of society. His inheritance is his family’s social class, lifestyle and a future of unrelenting marginal existence”