Multi-platform artist Daimon Downey is a pop-abstract painter, sculptor and ceramicist. With a music background included, the former front-man of Sneaky Sound System lets us inside his collector’s paradise Bondi Beach haven and self-proclaimed ‘refined mess’ space. Downey also shares notes on his digital exhibition Half Masked, where he has turned his Bondi home studio into an intimate preview space with live streams showcased as weekly dinner parties across Instagram every Thursday night. See our full interview below.
Tell us about your home, what drew you to the initial space?
Location, energy and familiarity. After touring life with the band, I needed a place that had some air and a horizon out the window but I still wanted to be amongst the hustle of a city so Bondi Beach ticked the boxes. The place has a great energy and history. The floorboards keep it casual but the original ornate plaster ceilings have a regal tone that lifts its game. The familiarity comes from my regular visits to great friends who occupied the apartment for ten years before I took it on.
What are your favourite of its features?
The light in the morning as the first rays smash through the studio windows.
How have you chosen to decorate?
I’m not sure if its choice but rather a subconscious collection and arrangement of my life as stuff and things... Some call it maximalist and busy but I think there will be 40 more layers by the time I expire. Maybe it’s a 'refined mess’.
Where did you find the pieces in your home?
Mostly the larger pieces, couch, dining table, sideboards etc, are from MCM house but the rest is the bounty from life's treasure hunt.
Which are your most treasured pieces and why?
LOVE my Arflex Italian leather seat and ottoman... It has stolen countless hours of my days with the best naps ever. Its plump and sexy.
LOVE my Beni Single painting in the lounge... It’s strong and dark and unlike most of the work in the house.
LOVE the fridge... I wish all white good came in colours... I would take a pink oven any day.
Tell us about your daily routine?
There's some cat cuddling, cooking and a 5m commute to the art studio. There's a bunch of hours staring at canvases and a few hours more painting on them. A little email admin when it’s totally necessary and chats on the phone with commission clients. More studio time after cooking lunch and if needed there are trips to the framers or paint shop. Throw in another cat cuddle and it’s time for Georgia to get home... We cuddle the cats again, cook some dinner and zone out.... I might stay up pretty late if things went well in the studio that day and I’m on a roll.
Now if it’s summer there will be some sun shine beach time thrown in the mix.
Tell us about your upcoming exhibition?
Half Masked is a show that is new for me... It is an abstract show of paintings, drawings and collages of the human face. Straight edge and quite different to past works. It’s a breakdown of the subject to the point it almost will be unrecognizable, a blurred line between abstract and expression.
How have you adapted to a new exhibition format in this strange new world?
Parts of the show that was postponed in April has been hanging in the studio and since we have been allowed guests into the house I have been hosting little dinner parties in the studio to show the works and also show what has now become available in print format for the first time ever. I have re-booked a physical exhibition for October, but in the meantime it’s all online on the new web site Daimonsartstuff.com or tune into the dinner parties on Thursday nights live on Instagram.
What do you appreciate the most right now?
I appreciate that people still need the arts...