If you haven’t heard about Oscar yet, bloody well get ready as this hot buzz act fresh out the UK has enflamed the loins of the music industry and media far and wide with his debut release Cut & Paste.
Raised in North London by musician parents, Oscar has been soaking up musical inspiration ever since he was old enough to be left alone with a set of headphones. Signed to renowned indie label Wichita Recordings – home of such legends of the British scene as Bloc Party and The Cribs – and with the album mixed by Ben Baptie (Adele, Mark Ronson), all those years listening and absorbing musical inspiration has paid off big time.
Yet it wasn’t just music that informed the young artist’s work. A lover of all mediums and artforms, Oscar looked at the worlds of Pop Art, Post Modernism and high fashion photography for inspiration in forming his own sonic and visual aesthetic.
With such a keen eye, we figured we’d get Oscar to explore his visual influences in The 6 Artists Whose Aesthetics Inspired Oscar.
1. Andy Warhol
I admire him as he is probably the artist most accurately predicted the state of current culture now. The self-obsessed, self-aware, self-publicising society, one where what Kim Kardashian isn’t wearing is equally as important as who is president. I liked his off-kilter and seemingly mundane commentary on pop culture and his use of appropriation. Andy Warhol is Pop art. And he was a Renaissance man too. Turned his hand to everything. Installations, paintings, illustration, ﬁlm, management. What an inspiration.
2. John Baldessari
Whilst at art school, Baldessari became one of my favourite artists. I went to see a re-collective at the Tate Modern and still to this day that is one of my favourite exhibitions. I love way that he plays around with image and text and that his work is so tongue in cheek. Another master of sampling and appropriation. The sense of humour and social awareness in his work gave me motivation to take myself much less seriously.
3. Henri Matisse
The O.G cut and paster. The simplicity and dexterity of his work has always inspired me. Not to mention his colour ways. I remember being a kid and trying to imitate his cut outs series, mostly done in pastels and then later in hand painted tissue paper. He inspired me use my scissors as a paintbrush and to be not afraid of imperfection and healthy amount of disproportion. I applied those things to my process of making music. Never fear mistakes or imperfections. Be bold.
4. Marcel Duchamp
I often fantasize about hanging out with Duchamp and where the conversations would’ve taken us both. One of the sharpest and humorous minds of the 20th Century. He pretty much single-handedly crushed every argument about what art should and shouldn’t be by sticking a urinal in a gallery. Punk attitude! His ready-made series was what I found most inspiring and he really taught me to take things out of their context and just run with it. See what you can do with it.
5. Keith Haring
I love everything about his work. The colours, the messages, the designs. My mum’s best friend bought me a book on him for my 8th birthday and I completely lost myself in it! I think he has been very inﬂuential to me in not only his aesthetic but his work ethic too. He apparently didn’t sleep all that much because he couldn’t stop making work. I sleep well, but can relate to the want to not sleep so as to get every idea down.
6. David La Chappelle
A complete universe of absurdity and fashioned extremes. A world where anything can happen, and well known faces act out some kind of neon-infused role play. I love the theatrical quality to Chappelle’s work. Particularly how intrepid he is in attaining his vision, his elaborate and tripped out scenarios where nothing is what it seems. Most importantly his colour palettes are incredible! My favourite book by him is ‘Hotel De La Chapelle’. It’s got everyone who’s anyone in the 90s performing in his blown out camped up world. Genius
Oscar’s debut album Cut and Paste is out now, grab a listen here and check out the single ‘Sometimes’ below!