Guest Blog – Rise Art Interview Mr Four Fingers

Rise Art has interviewed Street Art duo Mr Four Fingers to find out what’s behind their skulls and dark undertones…

What’s your story?
We are a young South African duo inspired by the grit and grime of London’s streets. An inspiration that has led us down a path of art, skulls and dark undertones. We are obsessed with what lies beneath, the tainted side – the unseen but only ever imagined.

How was Mr Four Fingers born?
We ended up living together in London and were looking for work in the advertising industry. By then the recession was in full swing and we struggled to find work in our respective creative fields, Doug as a designer/illustrator and Craig as a copywriter. Both increasingly frustrated by the lack of creativity in our day jobs and after some time living in Camden, we decided to start a creative blog, and from there devised a plan to start selling t-shirts in the Camden market (which never materialised but MFF was born from it.) This was the start of our Mr Four Fingers journey and the rest just snowballed from there.

Through your eyes

More after the drop

What would be a typical week in the life of Mr Four Fingers?
Doug – It’s a very mixed week as I tend to mix it up with blogging (MFF and skull blog – the Skull Appreciation Society), sketching in my Moleskine, checking out design competitions and coming up with ideas. I’m always working on some bigger projects, so I tinker away researching those and then leave to last minute and crunch out a final piece. Though this is something I have to work on! I also tend to watch loads of tutorials, even if they are to do with painting as I love to see the process of other artists and glean information. If we have a meeting that week there also tends to be loads of whisky.
Craig – Marketing the f*ck out of all our work haha. In all seriousness, I spend time working on the websites, promoting our brand through various channels, looking after online orders, blogging, looking for new partnerships with galleries, design collectives, collaborations with other artists and bouncing ideas with Doug for new business opportunities and art.

How did you come up with the pseudonym ‘Mr Four Fingers’?
As mentioned, the plan was to start selling t-shirts in Camden and there were 4 of us all living together. Each of us represented a function or skill that could be brought to the party, from accounting to investing, through to conceptualising and writing to illustration. So basically a multi-talented four-fingered hand that could do everything, except clap. Four Fingers – Mr Four Fingers. BOOM. Now it’s only two of us as we got selfish and didn’t want to share our amazing idea which is obviously worth millions.


How would you define your art in 3 words.
Dark, Curious & Tainted

Where do you get your inspiration?
Our inspiration comes from seeing other artists excel at what they do, which drives us to become better at what we do. The ideas for the designs generally come from a mixture of surreal dreams, oddities that exist in our culture and worn & scratched textured surfaces. I draw a lot of skulls, not just because they are iconic symbols; I just happen to like drawings them, enjoy what they stand for and admire their beautiful symmetry.

Why are skulls having such a great importance in your art?
The skulls represent a classic motif. They have been used for hundreds of years in art and have always represented death. But we see skulls as a representation of life, and the fact it should be celebrated, otherwise the inevitable happens you die and perish quietly into the night. Plus they look cool as fuck.

Who are your 3 favourite street artists at the moment?
Conor Harrington, Nychos, Dale Grimshaw

If you had to pick one of your works, which one would it be?
Doug – Cosmic Effuse because it was born out of pure experimentation with inks and water, where about 1 out of 30 blots of ink on paper would be usable to some degree. This particular one, mixed with digital vectors just worked out and made the discarded pile seem worthwhile.
Craig – Enigmatic Skull, A4 illustration given to me by Doug for my birthday. A total cop-out gift, but luckily it’s pretty cool. And I do love a good skull.

What’s up for you in the coming months?
At the moment we are currently involved in the latest Curious Duke Gallery’s exhibit, The Art of Curiosity. In the pipeline is also an October exhibition run by Mr Gresty called Whisper, we are also looking to run a live ‘Left & Found’ street exhibition where we, and a bunch of other artists, explore London leaving original artwork behind for some lucky passers-by, hopefully taking place in September. Finally, we are potentially putting on a small skull-themed show for Halloween – TBC.


Cosmic Effuse

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