In The Picture Davey Brown

Posted on March 6, 2015

Davey Brown is not your typical die-hard football supporter. When he’s not on the terraces shouting for his beloved Newcastle United, he is producing another pop art painting, writing his debut novel or creating a thought-provoking poem. Inspired by what is around him Davey Brown has become a prominent artist, selling his pieces to many celebrities from sport and TV, as he creates portraits of his favourite movie stars, athletes and some of the world’s finest DJs. You can catch Davey Brown and his work at the Atzaro Primavera Festival, where he will be exhibiting for the day, with a chance of showing for a couple of days after. We caught up with Davey to get an insight into how he was inspired to start painting and writing…

What drew you to Pop Art initially?
I am self-taught and when I first got into art about five years ago, I dabbled with different mediums and styles of painting. My first ever painting was of Winnie The Pooh, which I did for one of my kids! I searched for ideas and inspirations on the Internet. I came across an image of my favourite actor, Robert De Niro, which I loved. I painted my own version of it in acrylics, felt comfortable working in that medium and on completion of the painting I believed I had found my niche. All in all, I wasn’t drawn to Pop Art because of one particular artist, but instead, developed a passion for it whilst messing about with various ideas.

You specialise in portraits. Who has been your favourite subject to date?
I have two favourites: Sir Bobby Robson and Robert De Niro. I’m a Geordie and a Newcastle United fan, so along with many other people in this area, Sir Bobby has a special place in our hearts. I have done quite a few paintings of him and each one has been a challenge to capture the great man’s true character. Robert De Niro is my favourite actor, so it was fitting that he should be the subject of my first ever Pop Art portrait. His characteristic features and THOSE facial expressions make him a dream to paint.


What is the strangest thing you have been asked to paint?
I haven’t actually painted anything that could be classed as strange, but I have had a some strange requests which never made it to canvas. I did a market stall once and a random punter came over and asked if I did commissions. I said “Yes” and he showed me a photo on his mobile phone. It was of his scantily clad wife in a ‘suggestive’ pose. He asked my girlfriend if she would mind me doing such a painting and as I stood there trying to act all cool and professional, she scurried off giggling! I never heard from the bloke again.

Your DJ collection features some of the iconic names of the scene. What is it about DJs that makes them such good subjects?
The images I have chosen capture what I think epitomises the individual character of each DJ. Carl Cox oozing presence and style. Jo Mills, in control of the music, in control of the crowd and always looking like she loves what she’s doing. And Frankie Knuckles, well what can I say? That pose does exactly what it says on the tin – “I AM the godfather of House”.

You’ve sold to numerous celebrities from sport and music but also give your art away to support charities. Is the ability to give something back important to you?
Absolutely. I think we should all do our bit. I grew up in a working class area in a family with good old fashioned values. We were brought up to help other people and that’s what I try to do whenever I can.

Which charities do you support?
Cancer charities are close to my heart after I lost my Mam and Granda to that horrible disease. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Marie Curie Centre in Newcastle are special to me and I support them as much as I can.


Away from the canvas, you also have a passion for writing with a book forthcoming. What should we expect from it?
There are actually two books in the pipeline. One is about a guy who followed Newcastle United home and away for most of his 83 years. ‘Old Stevie’ Charlton was very well know among NUFC fans and he became a bit of a cult figure when Sky TV began picking him out in live games. Away from football, his life had been filled with sadness and hardship, but this gentle man always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone he met. He was one of life’s true characters. I am also doing a book of poetry; all Newcastle United poems; which will include one that I wrote in tribute to John Alder and Liam Sweeney, the two Toon fans who lost their lives on the Malaysian plane. I am donating 10% of all sales of both books to charity.

Both painting and writing can be creative compulsive. How do you manage both talents?
I have a huge passion for both. My painting is the main one at the minute, but I write in my spare time or if I’m travelling. I carry a pen and notepad around with me and I’m always scribbling ideas, notes, etc down. Once the exhibition in Ibiza is finished, I’m taking some time out from painting to concentrate on my books.


Scarface Painting Image 1