Ashleagh Hurren from Davidson Fine Art interviews Mark Demsteader
Your early working life was far removed from that of a painter, when was it that you realised art could actually be a career for you?
I kept up my interest in art by doing evening classes and life drawing classes for many years whilst working as a butcher, when the business closed I was out of work and thought i`d give it a go so took my portfolio to London and went round the galleries. Eventually got some in a small gallery and sold them, it wasn`t until that point I thought I could make a living at it so just carried on from there.
I`d be on the meat counter at Tesco.
I work every day with varying levels of success, it`s just an on going process the ideas come from working at things rather than thinking about them.
They all differed in how the shows came about but I was interested in trying to capture them as normal people rather than celebrities, each one was interesting to do in a different way but I was trying to capture the person behind the image.
I work mainly with professional models, I like the fact I have no real relationship with them, if it was a family member or someone close it changes the whole emphasis of how you portray someone, the models become a part of the overall painting as opposed to the subject.
She was an amazing athlete and I wanted to avoid any cliché as can easily be done when painting a ballerina, I didn`t want it to be a scene from swan lake but as I mentioned before a study of someone who is a person that happens to be exceptional at her craft.
I was amazed at her overall muscle structure and physique and the incredible work that goes into making something look effortless.
I knew I wanted the red dress to play a part as she is well known for her role in it, so I knew the colour scheme beforehand and just worked from there, and built up the image as I went.
I used to play guitar in numerous bands in Manchester when I was younger, don`t do so much now but still a big music fan.
To just keep going and hope I can improve on what I`ve done, you never know when your pinnacle is and when it`s gone.
One of my favourite musicians who`s just gone alas, David Bowie would be up there I would be interested in the person behind the mask.
Not really, seems like the same people handing out titles to each other, don`t think it`s relevant to anything.
David Bowie, Joy division, Nick Cave, Scott Walker. Plenty more I could mention I also like classical, theatre music especially if it`s a bit camp and a bit of opera thrown in.
Odd Nerdrum, Hughie o Donoghue, Jenny Saville are all good painters, the YBA`s are not.
I think it`s possible to turn your hand to anything as long as you do it as you would any other profession, if you wanted to be a hairdresser you wouldn`t be put off because you can`t be Vidal Sasson you would approach it as a chosen career path and just do it. I think the creative industries have a lot to offer as long as you learn your craft, as you can get found out very quickly if you don`t.
Adolf Hitler as I hate teetotal vegetarians.