Bradley Eastman (aka Beastman) is a multidisciplinary artist from Sydney, Australia. Influenced by the design aesthetics and repetitive patterns found in nature, Beastman’s detailed, organic, colourful and geometric artworks depict a futuristic world of new life, growth, hope and survival. The instantly recognisable deities in the works have spawned from the elements of the earth, as if nature has come to life in a way we could never have imagined. One of the most distinctive and prolific emerging contemporary artists in Australia, one third of creative group The Hours and co-founder of East Editions, Beastman has exhibited extensively throughout Australia, as well as in the UK, USA, Germany, Indonesia, Hong Kong and New Zealand. He has curated and organised numerous art exhibitions and projects, has worked with various brands including Element, Colab, Stone & Wood, Hyundai, Sony, Mini, Facebook, Capsule and Smirnoff. Beastman was named Best Artist at the 2010 Sydney Music, Arts & Culture (SMAC) Awards and his large solo and collaborative mural works can be found all over Australia and in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East.
Damo: What’s your first memory of the Screaming Hand? Where does it take you back to?
Beastman: The Screaming Hand graphic takes me back to the late 80s when I was about 7 or 8 years old skating launch ramps at my friends house in Sydney’s suburbs. We used to push down the side of his house and jump off the ramps over and over, trying to do different grabs and 180s. He also built a mini ramp which was a whole new challenge. I don’t have a specific memory of the Screaming Hand graphic, but all those early skate graphics like the hand, the Roskopp ugly face boards, the powell graphics etc just bring back happy fuzzy memories of learning to skate as a little kid.
Damo: In your opinion, what do you think the Screaming Hand has contributed towards the scene over it’s life? What do you think the future may hold for such an iconic image?
Beastman: To me the graphic has been a staple for Santa Cruz as a brand, and it embodies 1980s skateboarding culture. Not sure what the future might hold for the graphic, I guess this exhibition is the future for the graphic in a way, we are living the future right now! Haha! I was more exposed as a teenager to the skate industry of the 90s, I was definitely influenced by artwork affiliated with brands like Alien Workshop, Toy Machine, Girl, Chocolate, Stereo, Real etc.
Damo: How does it feel to be selected to be involved in the project?
Beastman: It feels good to be invited to be part of the project, especially because I grew up skating and have been aware of Jim Phillips for so many years. I had lots of fun making my painting for the exhibition, it was a refreshing challenge for me.
Damo: Why did you choose to represent the image in this way?
Beastman: I just wanted to explore the form of the image and reinvent it in my own visual language and current geometric style. Was definitely keen on abstracting it out as far as possible without losing its original composition and movement. And i felt the colours needed to remain true to the original also.