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Boyarde Messenger

Boyarde Messenger

Name: Boyarde Messenger

AGE: 33

LOCATION: London, UK, and sometimes Belize, Central America!

Did you know a common children’s soup company in America is called Chef Boyardee?
YES, indeed, I have a tin of pizza topping for fun, I have not desire to eat it!

You work on some very expensive canvas. What was your first piece?
I have a penchant for painting on unusual canvases. I am known in the art world for painting on ladies’ bottoms, photographing them, and then selling it as a limited edition photograph. My art in general, address gender stereotyping in popular culture; the female body is the perfect canvas to convey a new narrative that addresses that balance between power and vulnerability. The transition to bags was quite natural for me as I seem to “paint on everything but paper.”

I started exploring the bag as my new canvas around 12 months ago, using kitsch as my tool to create a mischievous, humorous art. The expensive canvas came about when my friend asked me to paint on her Birkin to which I replied, “Are you bonkers?!” So that was my first designer piece: an Hermes Birkin! It turned out fantastically, and my friend said, “I always know I could trust you!”

Any expensive mistakes?
None so far. When painting on such an expensive canvas, it requires discipline, patience, and a very steady hand.

How many bags can you paint in a month?
It really depends on the design, if it is one or two sides, and what type of bag it is. The process is lengthy from discussing the concept with the client, to research, sketching and actual painting. Dependent on size and the above, perhaps 4-7 a month, bearing in mind I have to keep room for painting on bottoms too!

Does the paint chip or flake off?
I use Angelus Shoe Polish from Angelus Direct. It is a superior paint designed to paint on leather/vinyl and stay chip free, crack free, and waterproof, providing you paint using correct methods from cleaning the surface, prepping, painting and varnishing.

What did you do with Charlotte Olympia?
I was commissioned by Charlotte Olympia for Neiman Marcus, Miami, to paint 100 pairs of limited edition signature ‘Dolly’ shoes for Art Basel December 2012. It was a labour of love but the results were fantastic and they sold out within minutes receiving international press from Elle US to French Vogue. I am constantly getting requests to paint more Charlotte Olympia shoes, but that was a special project. Perhaps Charlotte Olympia and I will work together again.

Is there anything you won’t paint?
As I said before, I like unusual canvases, I like the challenge [and] regularly paint on walls also. I will never stray too far from painting on the body as that is my first passion and my “signature” canvas.

Clients can request anything they want – would you say your jewel font is your exclusive creation?
I have two style of art: my first is addressing gender stereotyping in popular culture where I get to have enormous fun mashing up familiar imagery with cult classic film quotes to song lyrics. This art has a message and is a mutual decision between myself and the client, where the client admires my art and wants a piece that fits in with this style. Currently I am in love with the glamour of “Old Hollywood” and the timeless classics of film noir. The second type is more client-led, where I simply paint initials and names out of objects; this can be from jewellery to tropical birds to diamonds. This art is just fun and colourful and gives clients the opportunity to put their stamp on their bag.

Any upcoming secrets you are willing to tell us?
That would be telling! But there is lots of exciting stuff happening. I will keep you posted!

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