He may well have worked for some huge commercial names, but for New Zealand-born, New Yorker Bemodern (aka Paul Darragh) success results from freely creating art for yourself. Graphic designer by day and artist by night this 20-something is making heads turn at galleries from Melbourne to Manhattan. CH caught up with the man behind the name to talk art, design and all that lies between.
What's with the name bemodern?
It's a fabulous name! It started out when I was living in Wellington, NZ. I used to go to the library and photocopy pictures from '60s encyclopedias and make collages. From doing that I got that sense of, "Hey, just be modern, it's a new vacuum cleaner" but that grew into something more. Being modern is never the future or never retro, it's right now, right here, all the time. Isn't that great? It also talks about an aesthetic that I'm very fond of: Brazilian architecture and Le Corbusier.
Where, when and why did you start out creating art?
Day one, because I had to. We are all put on this earth with a purpose. For some, it takes time to find that purpose. For some, you never find that purpose. For me, I knew instantly I had to create. It's as rudimentary as eating or breathing.
Would you consider yourself an artist or a graphic designer? Which is better for you to be known as?
I am an artist.
See more images and the rest of our interview after the jump.