Mark Wigan has been working in the art industry since the 1980s, and his career has taken him all across the globe. His work is synonymous with the London club scene, with Wigan setting up his own nightclub ‘The Brain Club’ in Soho; as well as painting murals in clubs in Tokyo and New York – Andy Warhol even described his work at The Limelight Club in New York as ‘HOT’. Dr. Martens spoke with him to find out more about some of his previous projects.
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Following exhibitions and mural painting in clubs in London and New York many of my projects took place in Japan. I started illustrating for Japanese fashion magazines in the early 1980s and designed murals and painted in night clubs in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyushu, Nagoya and Kobe inspired by the rare groove, electro and hip house and acid house music of the time. Having exhibited my artwork and collaborated on creative projects in Japan since the 1980s, Tokyo has become one of my favourite cities in the world. I have made many friends in Japan and I continue to travel to Tokyo on a regular basis.
Here I’m working in my studio in Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire (at The Museum of Club Culture) on one of my large scale works on paper; featuring hybrid creatures and totemic forms culled from my imagination. I work in the studio everyday on paintings, prints and drawings. After I have spent six months developing a new body of work I exhibit the artwork in international galleries; afterwards I tend to cut myself off in the studio and focus on developing my personal visual language further and creating a new series of artworks.
This is the Superbad A t-shirt I designed in Japan in 1988. I have produced limited edition ranges of t-shirts since 1984, when I first sold them on my market stall at Camden Market. T-shirts have proved an effective way of promoting artwork during the heyday of House music in London in 88/90. Thousands of clubbers were sporting my designs at clubs such as The Brain Club, Delirium, Spectrum, The Trip, Love at the Wag Club, Loveranch at Maximus.
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