First World Problems

Contemporary urban street life is full of distinctive characters and personalities. In my work I imagine the hidden everyday narratives of these individuals. These ideas formed the framework of my comic series ‘First World Problems’. In consumer terms, Western society has never had so much or needed so little. ‘First World Problems’ is a comic apologia for those who moan over trivial matters.

A key aspect of my work is the attempt to create a more interactive fusion between the viewer and the art. While I fully defer to the importance of the ‘white cube,’ I am more concerned with creating a strong feeling of character and place, allowing my diverse work to be viewed as a conceptual whole.

My work is rooted in the ideas of social realism which allows me a framework for exploring contemporary life in Dublin. ‘First World Problems’ can be viewed as an artful analogy. The series consists of both ink drawings and paintings which incorporate image and text. The paintings vary stylistically, highlighting the dissatisfaction felt by many in society through a judicious mix of paint application and technique. The text features philosophical and whimsical messages based around life in contemporary Dublin with a focus on the more mundane problems people encounter. These are both overheard snippets of conversations as well as original material by the artist.

I collected these drawings into a series of pamphlets in order to bring a sense of sequence and ongoing narrative to these works. With the text being their connection into the anomalous world of First World Problems.

I’ve also taken inspiration from Michel Foucault’s use of the term ‘fiction’. By this he does not mean that what he is saying is not true, rather that his writings are constructed ‘stories’ about actual people and places and not representing what isn’t there.