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Zac Yeates

By: Tal Levy 

December 5, 2022

'Refused Entry by a Bouncer', 2022

Oil pastel, acrylic and gouache on canvas


Tell us about yourself.
My name is Zac Yeates, I was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1997. I moved to Berlin when I was 20 to study filmmaking and somehow ended up painting instead. I currently reside in Vilnius, Lithuania. I love finding things that make me laugh, making food for people, and watching films.


Where did your passion for art begin?
When I was a kid I enjoyed drawing traditional American tattoo flash. It became an obsession. I got good at drawing skulls, boats and flowers. In high school, I selected art as one of my subjects. It seemed like an easy class and I had a history of drawing tattoo flash. In art class I was introduced to painters such as Jeffrey Smart and Lucian Freud, But the artist that spoke to me the most was Francis Bacon.This is when I started to be interested in the art world. The class was short-lived because for an exam I decided to write an essay on Francis Bacon without researching absolutely anything about him but just making up what I thought his life was like strictly based on what I saw in his paintings. The teacher didn’t think I was taking the class seriously enough so she kicked me out.

In all fairness, I wasn't.

How would you describe your work to someone?
I still haven’t found a nice way to describe my artwork to someone but if I was asked it would most likely begin with a lot of mumbling and then something like “Portraits with face mouths, thick lips and big eyes”. But now that I can write it down and think about it, I would say my work is fragments of exaggerated features exploring personification and human forms. I am trying to evoke a parallel between the absurd and the comedic of ordinary life. I aim to capture the feeling of discomfort until the point where there is nothing else to do but let out a little laugh.

'Do All of Your Tattoos Have a Meaning?', 2022

Oil pastel, acrylic, and gouache on canvas


What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on experimental pieces. Testing new mediums and techniques. I am having a lot of fun with it and really excited about the outcome.




When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?
There is quite a bit of planning before I start an artwork. It begins when I have thought of a visual that I find amusing or the thought “It would be funny if…”. Then I try to sketch that vision on paper and then turn that sketch into a digital one and play around with it in Photoshop. Once I’m happy with the digital sketch I transfer it onto the canvas. This is when I do most of my improvisation. My main medium is oil pastels. They are the perfect medium for me, they allow me to use my fingers to blend, removing the brush between me and the canvas. I was never good at mixing colours anyway so having pre-made colours works in my favour.

'Stick 'Em Up Cowboy', 2022

Oil pastel, acrylic and gouache on canvas


Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?
My biggest influence is everyday life, exploring the things I am interested in and my surroundings. Discovering contemporary artists on Instagram is also a big influence, especially the work of Evgen Čopi Gorišek. Seeing the playfulness in his work has opened up new perspectives for me. I always try to incorporate comedy into my work so listening to stand-up and comedy shows has rubbed off in my work.

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I will be going back home to Australia for a couple of months. It will be my first time in 4 and a half years. 

'Leg and Arm Chair', 2022

Oil pastel, acrylic, and gouache on canvas


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