Peter Meets, Adrian+Shane

A selfie of #Adrian+Shane

A selfie of #Adrian+Shane

Peter Meets, Adrian+Shane

Adrian+Shane are two artists working together as one since 1998. They use paint, collage, stencils, photos, and video to create what is, without a doubt, pop art. Much of their work includes self-portraiture. Many pieces are loaded with fresh and well-targeted social commentary. The vibrant and colorful works address common themes that include family and sexuality and also touch on their exacerbation with the daily grind, feelings of confusion, loss, and lack of personal identity. They first exhibited in 1999 ‘Sensation by Deprivation’ in Droichead Arts center, since then Adrian+Shane have had many successful solo exhibitions and group shows in Ireland and internationally, including London, LA, Sydney, and Barcelona. In November of 2017, they had a solo exhibition in Barcelona called 'Vain Fairy', which received rave reviews. In 2016 the duo exhibited in Filmbase in Temple Bar, the center of Dublin, as part of the 'Fringe Festival'. The exhibition titled ‘ZOO’ showed the duo creating art in a re-creation of their studio, while broadcasting themselves on YouTube. Their work has appeared in numerous publications worldwide. Adrian+Shane were recently commissioned to create a painting ‘Sole Of The City’, for the brand ‘Dr. Martens’, that is on permanent exhibition in the 'Dr Martens' store on Duke Street, Dublin 2. Adrian+Shane are currently working on a collection of new work. The duo will be exhibiting at the Solomon Gallery in April as part of a group show, 'Incognito'

I first met Adrian+Shane at my 2016 exhibition, ‘I AM HOMAN’. I had exhibited alongside them in a group show for ‘Marriage Equality’, but unfortunately never got to meet them at the exhibition. I reached out to them a while later on Instagram, I hadn’t had an exhibition prior to ‘I AM HOMAN’ in a quite some time, and sought advice from the pro's as I have admired them and their work for quite a while. I never expected them to write back to me, but to my happy surprise, they were only too willing to entertain my neurosis. On the night of my exhibition opening, I saw two handsome men walk into the gallery with the presence they demand when entering a room and thought, 'who are they?' They were familiar to me but I couldn’t place them. At a stilled moment during the evening, they came up to me and introduced themselves. The penny dropped, I was suddenly star-struck, and incredibly flattered that they came to see the exhibition. I admire them so much and am in love with the work they produce. They are what I want to be as an artist. They have the perfect balance of working alongside each other and loving at the same time while creating memorable and beautiful work. Thank you, Adrian+Shane, for your continued kind words of advice, encouragement, and patience you've given me. And for creating such innovative and captivating art for the world to see. 


1. Do you have a favourite artist and what’s your favourite piece by them?

Adrian: It’s really difficult to choose a favourite artist. Let's say David Hockney. I was introduced to his work when I was 18 and it opened me up to a new world. I love his portraits and California swimming pool paintings. “Portrait Of An Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” (1972) is a favourite.
Shane: I’m really into Cy Twombly’s work at the moment and love his Rose paintings. But I’m a huge fan of Christian Boltanski’s installations and James Turrell and his light works.


2. What was the last exhibition you went to? 

Last week we went to the RHA Gallery and saw the Elizabeth Magill show. We’d never heard of her or seen her work before. Her paintings are stunning. So vibrant, beautiful and dreamy. We went back the next day to see it again.


3. What’s your favourite book?

Adrian: ‘Life With My Sister Madonna’ by Christopher Ciccone is fun. And the audio book, which is read by the author, is especially great. It’s basically Madonna’s brother bitching about her for hours and hours.
Shane: So many, ‘Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind’ by Maura Soshin O’Halloran. She was an Irish woman who went to Japan to become a Buddhist monk. ‘City’ by PD Smith, an incredible book about how cities have developed. ‘The Tao of Pooh’, looking at Winnie the Pooh through the eyes of philosophy. It’s so lovely. And I recently read ‘Creativity Inc.’ by Ed Catmull, he is one of the founders of Pixar. Such an inspirational book.


4. Who’s your icon?

Adrian: Madonna. Since I was a kid I’ve listened to her. Watched her. Been inspired by her. She’s always been there.
Shane: I have so many, Tom Ford such an inspirational designer. Oprah, I f-ing love her. Grayson Perry, he’s a great artist that captures a snapshot of society in such a unique way. 


5.  know you’re accomplished printers and painters but do you like to dabble in other forms of art?

Adrian: We also like to take pictures, both still photography, and video. And we’re intrigued by performance art.
Shane: I like to make things with Lego. It’s a kind of art. It’s incredibly meditative. We were commissioned to make a 4-foot-high Lego mansion for an Irish film called ‘The Drummer and The Keeper’ in 2016 and it was so much fun. 


6. What influences you on a daily basis?

Adrian: Lots of things. Films. Seeing art exhibitions. Reading. Other people being creative is always inspiring.
Shane: I’m a big reader. So, I’ll always take notes from whatever I’m reading. Films, we watch a lot of documentaries. People watching.


7.  What’s your favourite sound?

Adrian: Babies laughing.
Shane: I love hearing our cat, Frank, purr. 


8. What has been the single most important event in your career so far?

Our installation, titled “ZOO”, was part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe festival in 2016. It got us quite a lot of attention and brought us to a new audience. It was also something very different for us to do. Part art, part performance. 


9. What do you hope your contribution will bring to your community?

Adrian: It would be great if our work could inspire future artists.
Shane: Hard work. Discipline. Determination. That you can be an artist and make a living. That you can contribute something positive to society, whether it’s a statement or questioning something. 


10. What is the hope for your audience when they encounter your work?

Adrian: I suppose I hope that they will see something that they haven’t seen before. That it’ll make them think. Or laugh. Or be shocked.
Shane: I don’t really think about what other people will take from our work. Everybody has their own opinion or understanding of it. But when I see other peoples' work what I take from it is a “WOW, I wish I’d made that”. Or a “how did they make that”. I suppose I’d like the audience to be stopped by the art, so many people just walk past paintings and don’t really stop and look. I’d like our work to take someone's attention and just have their gaze and pause a moment. I’d like them to reflect on our work and get lost in it for a while.


11. Who has been the most influential person to you and your work?

Adrian: Honestly I would have to say, Madonna. Since the mid-eighties, she has been so creative visually, from her music videos, photo shoots and the way she presents herself. The whole package. She’s more than a pop star, she’s an artist.
Shane: I’d say, Adrian. What I would make on my own is nothing like what Adrian+Shane makes. It’s a fusion of ideas. Also over the last few years, our friend Dacio has been a big champion of our work. Huge supporter. Anytime we’d meet him he’d leave us buzzing with ideas and possibilities. And sadly he died last September. We’re still gutted and heartbroken. There’ll never be anyone like him. Irreplaceable. 


12. If you could have dinner or a drink with someone, alive or dead who would it be?

Adrian: Madonna (obvs), Oprah, RuPaul.
Shane: Oprah, Tom Ford, and the Dalai Lama. Oh and someone funny, maybe Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson from Broad City.


13. Do you think an artist needs to be tortured to create?  

Adrian: Darkness seems to be an ingredient for better work. It might not be necessary but I think it helps.
Shane: No not really. We both have made work from a dark place. But our work is usually an escape from all of that. Our work is usually fun and energetic. We aspire to be like that.


14. What was the first piece of art you bought?

A Brian Hegarty piece that we bought in 2001. It’s still hanging in our apartment. We’d like some of his recent pieces too. 


15. Where’s your favourite space to get creative in?

Our studio is where we do all of our creating, but traveling is always inspiring and we try to get away as often as we can


16. What’s next for you?

We just finished making a few new pieces for the Jack and Jill foundation “Incognito” auction which takes place in April. We are currently working on a new series of paintings. And a new collection of prints. Also, we will have a new mini collection of T-shirts done for summer. And usually, other stuff pops up during the year, new private commissions etc. Busy, busy, busy.

Thanks Adrian+Shane. All the love in the world. xx





Peter Homan