We have the pleasure to Interview talented muralist GOMAD who comes from a small city in Holland. His unique style involves mainly photo-realistic female eyes and hands in combination with abstract cubism and colour shapes. Each of his works manage to impress and beautify, creating the element of surprise to by passers. Read on to find out his future plans and thoughts!
-What would you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
Hmmm. I never drink beer, prefer wine by diner or a G-T with friends. One cup of coffee in the morning and during the day just tea or soda.
-Introduce yourself to us – as if we had no idea who you were!
My name is Marcus Debie, artist name ‘GOMAD’. I was born in Sittard a small town in the south of Holland. I still live and work there. I am 46 years old. I started with graffiti as a young boy when I was 12 years old. And now I am a fulltime urban artist or muralist. I’m actually one of a few artists who are color blind and still doing colorful art for a living when it was often said it couldn’t be done.
– Where does your (tag) Artist name come from?
My artist name is an abbreviation. G for Graphic, O for Ontwerp (Dutch for Design), MA for MArcus (my first name) and D for Debie (my last name). Together it’s GOMAD.
-How do you define yourself and why? Artist? Street artist? Something else?
Definitely urban artist or muralist. I think starting as a graffiti artist in the mid ’80 it’s difficult to get recognition in the regular art world of gallery’s and fairs. Especially when you work primarily with spray cans. They still don’t accept it as a full-fledged art form, so a lot of ‘former’ graffiti artist like me who are not doing graffiti-letters anymore but figurative art with spray cans nowadays also do acrylic and oil painting to get accepted into this ‘other’ art world. Actually we ‘figurative’ graffiti artists do not fit in any category. By the graffiti artist who do graffiti-letters we are not considered to be real graffiti artist because of our figurative style and in the regular art world we are not considered to be full-fledged artist because we paint with spray paint. That is why I prefer to call myself street artist, urban artist, mural artist or muralist instead of graffiti artist.
The acceptance of street art in the regular art world nowadays is a pre for artist like me. Slowly we get the recognition we deserve because it’s a serious art movement with skilled artists and more than 40 years of experience and growth since its origination in the early 70s in NYC.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
My artist career was first triggered by the movie ‘Beat Street’ in 1984. It’s a movie which shows the upcoming of a new culture called ‘Hip Hop’ with all its aspects like graffiti, breakdance and rapping. And not long after that I saw the graffiti documentary ‘Style Wars’. This intrigued me a lot but at that age I didn’t know that I would become an artist as an adult.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Visit the toilet
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
I still prefer Hip Hop the most, but sometimes I switch to Techno or Deep House to get shit done.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you and how does that end up in your art?
A lot of things can be an inspiration to me and I’m influenced by all of it. Like other art and artists, design, nature, advertising and so on. Actually everything that I see and do like traveling or meeting people, but especially the beauty of things all around us.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Sometimes my right hand just won’t do what I want it to do. I have more than 30 years of experience and I practiced a lot of different techniques and skills after finishing art school when I was 24. But I prefer to paint with spray cans for 90% of my work and 10% with acrylics and brushes. But doing fine art with sprays can be a real challenge sometimes the get all the complex details in the right place. This year I will also start an attempt painting in oil for the first time. A new challenge.
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes them so special for you?
I really like the style and the achievements of my fellow countrymen Telmo & Miel. I also like the work of Vesod, Joram Roukes, Belin, Ratur, James Bullough, Etam, Robert Proch and Fintan Magee. All muralists and fine artists with a unique style and lot of talent and skills. The transparency, layering and color themes in their pieces are stunning.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you as an artist?
I have to say Amsterdam was it when I was younger, but now all city’s with a lot of street art and graffiti can be inspiring like Valencia, Miami or Bristol. This year I hope to visit NYC and Berlin for the first time which are suppose to be the street art capitals of the world. I’m excited to go there.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
Other passions are: traveling, seeing the world, just enjoying life. I practice some sports like fitness and snowboarding to stay in shape. And my lovely wife of course.
-Do you have a special project that you hope to achieve some day?
Less commissioned artwork and more big murals and exhibitions in my personal style everywhere and see the world by doing that. That’s my goal.
-Tell us a bit more about your art; does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns? How has it evolved?
My personal style is often characterized by beautiful woman eyes and hands painted photo realistic with a lot of details. I combine this with cubism-like abstract color shapes and sometimes add birds or other animals to it. I like to call it Post-Neo-Cubism like my Spanish colleague Belin. What makes my way of creating artwork different to most of my colleague painters is that I prepare my design totally in Photoshop. So I’m not just copying a nice photo but create a new concept with several parts into a new digital collage using a lot of transparency and layering to make it look like 3D. This forms the base of my mural and paintings for 90%.
– How long time does your art work, on walls, usually survive for?
Most of my artwork in walls is permanent or at least it stays up for years.
-What do you think, people feel or think of, when they see one of your works on the street?
I love to surprise my audience with my art and personal style. Let them experience the joy of beautiful art and challenge them to talk and discussed about it or maybe start doing art themselves.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
I believe I’m doing well, am a successful and well known artist in Holland and our neighboring countries, but I want to build more name as an artist in the rest of the world. I run a full time mural-business together with the help of my lovely wife, manager and assistant Nancy in Holland doing commissioned murals and paintings for all kind of customers like companies and governments mostly in Holland, Belgium and Germany. Next to this I attend a lot of international street art and mural festivals all over the world to build a name as an artist worldwide doing artwork in my personal style. I also do paintings on canvas for several gallery’s, exhibitions and art fairs from Amsterdam, Madrid and Stockholm to Miami and beyond. Just completed a tour in Florida US doing a mural and an exhibition at the art show ‘Red Dot’ in Wynwood-Miami and another mural in Saint Petersburg.
I hope I can continue this work the next decennia till I can retire and life of my art in galleries.
-Is there a little wish you have that not many people know about?
Just getting the acknowledgement for my art and skills. I’m quite content… maybe settling in a country with a warm climate like Spain or Florida.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Keep enjoying the colors and crafts all street artist bring you. Colors vs Concrete!
Thank you GOMAD! It’s been great to get to know more about the person behind such talented and inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.