A Word with the Artist

 Shaman of the Sky

Shaman of the Sky

YONEL WATENE

Where are you now?
I recently moved to Dunedin from Auckland City to set up a studio. 

And where did you come from?
The Watene whanau is from Thames, New Zealand, of the Ngati Maru iwi (people or tribe).

How would you describe the kind of art you create?
I give people a little piece of myself with every series I do.  My art is almost like a visual narrative of my life, the people; past and present.

What inspires and influences the illustrations/paintings you create?
I am inspired by obscurities in figurative painting history.  People and community also are a big influence in my art. Skateboarding's DIY culture, graffiti and it's word-of-mouth myths, art brut or raw art, and the art of the unlearned - this is my style of modern art, and what interests me.

What type of materials/medium do you prefer to use?
I use a lot of oil based paint markers and automotive paint. Anything that makes a bold and lasting mark - like a scar that can't be removed. I like to use drawing materials such as pencils and vivids, as I also consider myself a drawer. I also like to use everyday sharp objects found around the home to make physical marks; anything that expresses physicality in my work.

What would your dream project be?
I would love to expand my repertoire to include works that can branch out to other markets, outside the art world. I would like these projects to have purpose - have a positive impact for the public at large.

You can find more of Yonel's work here.