Last week artrepublic jumped on the train to Shoreditch to have a chat with Pure Evil himself.
Pure Evil is a very busy man-hosting artists exhibition’s at his east London gallery space and showing his own work to an international audience. He may have the name Pure Evil, but the man behind the work, Charley Edwards, is a welcoming personable character with drive, passion and enthusiasm for his work which shows through. We catch Charley, Pure Evil, on one of his particularly eventful days and discuss his recent schedule.
Today consists of two exhibitions in two different locations running simultaneously- thankfully they are within close proximity of each other as Charley plans to flit between the two demonstrating hand screen printings.
This evening’s shows take place at the Pure Evil gallery and the trendy Box Park temporary mall space. Box Park exhibits his recent evolution of work based on the popular Nightmare series. The originals have been deconstructed and reassembled, merging multiple faces together to create one. Charley creates the faces by stencilling using acetate and hand spray painting onto paper. By using this process he aims to produce a “grime” effect, if he were to use photoshop it would create a “boring cleanness” that he didn’t want.
The alternate venue tonight, the Pure Evil gallery, hosts Charley’s body of up to date work including the original of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Bastards’, ‘Bunny Fingers’, and the Nightmare series. His gallery space is somewhat of a tardis and possesses a basement level complete with a staged area and separate sound proof room which is brimming with keyboards, drums, guitars and speaker equipment. Charley explains how he utilized these rooms and mentions how he will often spend evenings jamming in the music room after closing the gallery.
Around the corner from the gallery is Strong Room fm- a radio production house, who recently approached Charley to have his own show scheduled for the last Friday of every month. The collaboration with music and Pure Evil has always been evident in his work and Charley accepted the opportunity with much excitement.
When talking to Charley about the shows he puts on for artists and if he finds it difficult selecting from the masses of enquiries he receives on a daily basis he states it’s important to be honest with the artists. If they are good but not something that would be appropriate for the gallery then he would advise them where’s best to try. Charley’s view of the current UK Street Art scene is a very positive one. He mentions how he had recently been discussing with Ben Eine how the scene is becoming more global than Pop Art with more people doing it.
The most successful artists Charley has worked with are the ones he has found easy to get along with, who have a nice temperament and remain grounded, the artists include Roa, Ben Eine, Gustavo Ortiz, to name a few. If the relationship isn’t there with an artist then for Charley he would find further collaborations quite difficult. Charley has come to realise that his time is precious and it’s nice to be representing new artists but he is also glad to be selling his own work. “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket”.
Pure Evil is very active with self promotion and Charley mentions finding social media sites a useful tool- tumblr in particular, which he also uses regularly for inspiration and general interest. Charley finds the thumbnail culture allow him to scan through a vast amount of images quickly so he can pick out the images that catch his eye.