Elli Egilsson (aka AC Bananas) is the impulsive artist who crafts iconic, abstract scenes.
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Moving to London in 2008 with love of his life and beau Saga Sig, self-taught, Icelandic illustrator Elli stepped outside of his chilly, familiar territories to explore the world beyond. Becoming curious about the complex world of art as an infant, Elli grew up surrounded by his father’s paintings. Influenced and inspired by Erró, Roy Lichtenstein, Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, this 30-year-old bearded beauty creates with conviction. Vice, i-D, Cassette Playa and See No Evil have all commissioned this brave man’s hard work for paintings, illustrations, logos and typography. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing his work first-hand, then get busy painting by numbers with this customised Christmas card he has designed especially for yule! Get printing. Get painting!
What is your earliest memory? Being knocked out with a stick by my kindergarden rival Svenni, I must have been around 3 yrs old. When did you first discover your love of illustration? I remember hanging out at my Dad’s studio admiring his paintings and drawings. My entire family is intensively creative; I guess the ink runs in the blood. I once locked myself in the bathroom in our house and took my mother’s favorite red Chanel lipstick and smudged it upon every white tile on the wall. A few weeks later I did the exact same thing in my father’s studio on one of his nearly finished paintings. My Dad caught me in action but went back into the house, got his camera and snapped a photo instead of getting angry with me. Who and what have been the biggest influences and inspirations that have shaped your aesthetic? Great artists such as Erró, Roy Lichtenstein, Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat have had a huge impact on my career, both as an illustrator and a painter mainly because what they brought to the table was and still is such an eye candy. Besides my Dad’s incredible work I believe Erró was a huge inspiration to me when I was a kid, in the early 80′s. His colours and collage of comical superheroes, American war heroes and erotic Japanese Shunga art combined was very hypnotising and inspiring to me. None of the above have shaped my style but they truly inspired me. What up-and-coming talent are you exited about? I’ve got a feeling that my good pal Danny Fox will take over the game pretty soon, he’s extremely talented and I admire his work a lot. I also admire illustrator Tomohiro Muramatsu, artist and designer Claire Barrow and Berlin based illustrator Meyoko. What are the tools of your trade? A pen and a pad, keeping it simple. Describe a typical day in the life of you… Shower, coffee and avacado toast at Wilton Way Cafe, sketch, more coffee, studio, emails, work, even more coffee, get a call from wifey reminding me to eat, eat, home, work, emails. You know, the typical day in a life of an artist, cheddar cheezy as it sounds!
Text: Milly McMahon