Instagram Pick of the Week | Daire O’Shea

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This week its sculptor Daire O’Shea.

What is Instagram for you?

Instagram for me is a place where I test the water with new sculptures, captions and ideas, and in order to give them the context they deserve, it is also a place that I pad out with images in which I attempt to make my life look a lot more interesting and fun than it really is. Instagram is place where everyone can work on the image of their ever evolving personal lifestyle brand and for me that brand involves being an artist and bike builder so my Instagram is full of attempts to make it look like I am a master of both of these things. Instagram is also a great leveller, scrolling through my feed I am as likely to see a meme about that little hotdog thing attacking someone’s family as I am to see an image of an Alicja Kwade sculpture and because I see them both in the same context I am as likely to be #inspired by the meme as I am by the sculpture. Most of all Instagram, for me, is that little endorphin rush you get when you see a new like on your post.

2003 Called and It Wants Its Nokia Back | @daireoshea

Why/when did you decide to start sharing your work on there?

I started sharing my drawings on Instagram around a year ago, I was just after finishing my degree in sculpture and I was itching to make more objects but at the time I was living in a motorcycle garage in Austin Texas.  With no space in which to make physical objects I started making digital renderings on Sketchup and displaying them on my Instagram feed.  It started as a means to an end, with the image-objects being displayed every now and then among the rest of my posts but as the project wore on I became more and more interested in how these renderings functioned as works in themselves to be displayed online, and in particular how the caption could change the mood and reading of a work. How, for example a caption could transform yet another generic minimalist form into a map of the changing room where a ‘local millionaire suffocates after getting tangled in PVC raincoat two sizes too small’.  These attempts at humour in the work were influenced by the fact that it was being disseminated over Instagram (the fantasy world of deep fried memes) as opposed to being displayed in a gallery (an actual place where you have to wear an actual shirt) and it became an accepted part of the work, to the point where I was able to put on physical gallery shows with titles such as ‘If You Can’t Handle Me @ My 2007 Gucci Mane, You Don’t Deserve Me @ My 2017 Gucci Mane’ or ‘2003 Called And It Wants Its Nokia Back’. I now realise I like Instagram so much because it allows me to take the piss and be serious about doing it.

A Magazine is an iPad That Doesn’t Work @daireoshea

How would you describe your style?

Post-Mumble Rap Minimalism.

What materials do you mainly work with?

For the Instagram posts I use the free 2015 version of Google Sketchup, which is basically the 3D modelling software equivalent of finger painting.  When I make the transition from 3D model to physical object I use stainless steel (TIG welded), with a polycarbonate base and for those ridiculously artificial hues (and scents) I fill up the base of the sculptures with different types (flavours?) of shampoo.  When creating a physical object I like to make something that really necessitates a physical experience because otherwise why bother go to a gallery when you can just like it on the gram?  The shampoo achieves this by giving the sculptures the olfactory pleasure of a thousand just-washed scalps while also having the artificial colours that match with the fairly basic colour palette of my modelling software.

Doublecup the Water Sip Slow | @daireoshea

Who has been or currently is an influence on you?

The writings of Graham Harman, Jane Bennett, the Object-Oriented Onotology (OOO) philosophical movement in general influences me a lot when it comes to thinking about the experience of the materials in a physical gallery space and then the translation of that experience into a virtual one by taking a pic and uploading to Instagram. Brad Troemel’s project THE JOGGING and the whole post-internet (*embarrassed cough*) movement in general was a huge influence on me when I was getting started making work online. Nowadays I am as likely to be inspired by the @grapejuiceboys or @boyswhocancook meme accounts than I am to be inspired by an artist or a philosopher and I have no idea if that’s a good sign or a bad sign…

Space and Time | @daireoshea

What are your must-follow accounts on Instagram?

@pickled_flute_baby someday I hope my caption game can be this strong. @trigunwinampskin contemporary art memes, can’t go wrong. @t4ng3rin3sh4dow really cool vapor-wavey Instagram account based in Dublin. @brad_troemel for art that looks like memes and @snakelively for memes that look like art