The adventures of Langworthy based artist, Trystram Menhinick, have taken him to the States and back to Salford again to put together his first solo show… Interview by Joe Parkinson.
Did you ever think you’d be a successful painter ?
“I grew up thinking I was never going to amount to anything except a factory life, I was actually told that by a teacher in my high school. The thing painting has given me is the knowledge that I’m very good at what I do and nothing anyone can say will take that away from me. In a sense that feeling and that ability to express myself and just the knowledge that I managed to get past that predetermined end gives me an immense feeling of liberation”.
How do you think coming from Salford influences your work?
“Being from Salford it’s inevitable that everything I experienced growing up is going to permeate every element of my work. In LA, people are really openly expressive about everything they do. The culture we grew up with here is much less so. The more important things that go on in our personal relationships go unspoken rather than the American approach where they want a deep and meaningful conversation about anything they can think of. People who grew up in Salford or with a similar psychology of environment are much more likely to pick up on the feeling I put into the work when I was doing it”.
How did you start painting?
“I was waiting for my friend in a coffee shop in LA, bored and doodling on paper. A guy I didn’t know stood watching what I was doing, left and came back with a starter set of oil paints and a pallet. So I bought a couple of $6 canvases and started painting. It was a way to pass the time ‘cos I was living in a burned out van. The Californian mentality being what it is, they will encourage you to do pursue anything totally irrespective of ability. It was that pointless encouragement that got me through the first five years of being utterly crap”.
Are you going to have an exhibition any time soon?
“I’ve been asked to get enough work together for a solo show but it’s going to be a year before I’ll have enough to cover the walls of a gallery with paintings because I’ve had to sell them all to pay the bills.“
You can see Trystram Menhinick’s paintings at www.artzu.co.uk