What’s so risqué about seed packets? Not a lot, unless your name is Dave Buonaguidi and then they become a playground for all kinds of tom-foolery and salacious sayings. Buonaguidi’s brand new show at Nelly Duff ‘Say it With Flowers’ takes the idea of giving a bunch of flowers (yawn) to win brownie points from your loved one, and turns it on its head. Impatience personified, this show makes all the statements you want to without even having to grow the damn flowers in the first place. In a fast-food-same-day-delivery-microwave-rice-one-minute-is-too-fucking-long world, Buonaguidi has used his squeegee to subvert your romantic notions of flowers and cut himself a brilliant and smirk-inducing short cut.
This Thursday evening we will be opening our doors to welcome you to an explosion of Buonaguidi’s works, adorning our walls in signature colourful and eye catching fashion. You’ll find everything from the romantic to the downright filthy, we’ve got a bouquet (or our version of it) for everyone. But, so you’ve got something to keep you going until then we had a chat with Mr. B about all things screen print, Ebay and sticky work… enjoy.
ND: This is your first show at Nelly Duff, are you excited about working with ND on ‘Say it With Flowers’?
DB: I am really excited to be doing my first show with Nelly Duff! We have worked together for two years now and to do a show is a real honour. I am also excited because these pieces are also very small compared to what I normally do, and the modular aspect of the work makes it feel fun and different.
ND: How long have you been working with screen print now? Are these works for the show quite different from the works you made when you started?
DB: I did screen printing as part of my degree at art school, but that was over a hundred years ago, and it was only July 2014 that I reignited my passion for screen printing.
These works are very different to the stuff I started doing, because I came to it all very late. When I started, I was trying as many different things as possible, to develop and improve both technically and creatively, to try and work out what I was good at and not good at, but more importantly trying to create my ‘THANG’, my brand I suppose, my style and my approach. It was only three or four years back that I stumbled upon printing onto found objects and now I scour auctions and online shops trying to discover interesting and unusual things that I can bring back to life from the box that they are currently living in.
When I first discovered these on the US Ebay site I was really excited. These vintage seed packets are truly beautiful, the artwork on then is so lovely and combined with the type and the logos, they are fascinating. I bought a lot of them and wanted to play with the idea of having words spelled out on them, inspired by the famous advertising endline for Interflora from back in the day.
ND: What would you like visitors to think when they come to see the show?
DB: For me, making nice pictures is not enough. I come from the world of advertising, where ever bit of communications must cut through in a highly competitive market place. The dream is always to create work that is ‘sticky’, work that connects with people in a more powerful way. I hope that when people see the prints on the wall all framed up, they like them, (that would be great obviously) but I want them to like them because they are fun and they mean something to them.
ND: The show features a series of different sayings, phrases and letters – which one is your favourite? Obviously, it should be the naughtiest one right?
DB: I wanted to explore a few different phrases and combinations of phrases, from the cute, to the romantic to the downlight filthy. My favourite is LICK ME. It’s a phrase that is seldom used, but when you say it..wow!
ND: What’s playing in your headphones while you print?
DB: Right now, it’s a playlist on Spotify called SUMMA that my daughter put together for the summer holiday we went on, happy days.
ND: Are you a green fingered man yourself or is it just the flower packets that struck your interest?
DB: I like making things and maintaining things, growing plants, making art, fixing bikes, and fixing cars etc, they are all very similar. I have to say I’m not great at plants, but it was the variety and the design of the seed packets that really swept me up.
ND: Can you tell us what’s been the edition or original artwork at Nelly Duff from you that you’ve loved the most?
DB: I think my favourite is the NORF SARF series that I do onto vintage folding maps of London. Maps are very attractive, when you see one, you are drawn to it, its where you’re from, where you’ve been and where you’re at and splitting London in two, immediately polarises opinion, which is always going to create a powerful reaction, which is what I want.
ND: As the undisputed screen printing powerhouse of Hackney, what would you say to introduce art newbies into the wonderful world of print collecting?
DB: It’s always nice to be recognised!!!! I have a lot of creative energy, I have come from a world that is uninspiring, unbelievably slow and over populated with nasty assholes, so doing my art has liberated me totally. I was bitten by the bug after doing the one-day printing course at Printclub in Dalston, and life has never been the same since.
I live fifty yards from the print studio, and I print whenever I can. I’m 55 and I’m running out of time, and having now discovered a really fulfilling way to use my creativity and express myself, I just can’t get enough of it. I just love it.
ND: We can’t wait for the show, will we see you there, trowel in hand?
I’ll be there. However, thanks to a terrible bit of luck and diary fuck ups, this time, it’s not about the opening night, it’s about the closing night. It’s going to be mega.