One can not walk the streets of city life these days without a glimpse of what the modern world calls art. Many argue that street art has been on the rise since the early 1900s and the Futurists’ Manifesto with the belief “that we will destroy all museums.” And though the manifesto did redefine the way art was created and conceptualized, the artists’ intent was not to truly destroy museums but evade their constraints and to make art available to the public without admission. The concepts and delivery of street art continued to develop over the century and especially with the rise of graffiti art. Street art was now at the fingertips of the artists, to be distributed at a moment’s notice. Graffiti art attached itself to hip hop culture and eventually, the urban art world evolved into statement pieces, stencils, and murals encompassing entire buildings. And where most know Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Invader, Roa, and Titi Freak, a muralist of Urban Aesthetics known as Fin DAC should also be on your radar.
Originating from Ireland and now residing in London, Fin DAC (Dragon Armory Creative) has perfected an atypical paint and stencil style. His work is generally found in large format, covering entire building sides or rooftops. The colors are bright, his creations are beautiful, and the works always depict a bit of mystery. Fin DAC is a self-taught street artist who has perfected an unconventional spray paint style he has defined as Urban Aesthetics — modern urban stencil art combined with traditional portraits. While his art can be found framed in private display and on the auction block, Fin DAC has always preferred instead to let the streets be his studio as he parades around the globe, intent on finding his next canvas.
Fin DAC’s muses are vibrant renditions of females from around the world, dressed in the clothing of their heritage with distinctive makeup, stylish jewelry, tattoos, incomprehensible hairstyles, and are almost always masked with vibrant colors. Though the origin or meaning of the masks has never been detailed, they are painted as color splashes, complementing the entire piece. Yes, the women are all easy on the eye, but there is something about their eyes staring you down that also evokes compassion toward the viewer. You want to stare right back at them all while trying to figure out their story. They are not going to follow you around the room like the Mona Lisa, but they seem to lay as much judgment on you as you on them.
Fin Dac pulls influence from dark and graphic novels from Francis Bacon or Audrey Beardsley while finding creativity from travels and cultures of the world, further implying his art intends its viewers take whatever they want from the ambiguity of his craft. The size of his work certainly doesn’t leave much room for the eye to stray, but there is no need, as his soft touch with the spray can invites everyone to enjoy the well-manicured portraits of his Urban Aesthetic self-defined style. Unlike other street artists’ use of stencils for the entirety of their work, Fin DAC simply details the outline then finishes the piece by hand and with spray paint.
He works in the public eye and since the size of his pieces dismisses the option to hide his progress, you can pull up a chair and watch almost every paint stroke. Fin DAC tends to work alone and rarely embarks on collaborations. He lets the love and passion of his craft depict the direction in which he travels, lets cultural experiences fuel the fire of his work, and finds beauty in the character of his muses. He is self-taught and has been relevant to the urban art scene since 2008, while his work continues to stand alone and has never been replicated.
“When I paint, I forget everything for hours, even days. I have no plans until when I find something.” – Fin Dac
Fin DAC’s art is showing up on more and more buildings as major cities truly begin to embrace public art with the realization of its beauty and ability to decorate a skyline. His murals can be found around the world in cities like Los Angeles, Madrid, London, Montreal, Seattle, and San Diego. He lets the love and passion of his craft depict the direction in which he travels, and lets cultural experiences fuel the fire of his work.