Damien’s move from animal psychology to art pays off

A FRUSTRATION at no longer being able to buy the art he wanted inspired Damien Isaak to start creating his own works at the age of 40.
He’s now staging his second solo exhibition after the first over a year ago was a huge success.
Damien moved to Leamington six years ago, and runs his own rather unusual business there – as an animal psychologist. But there’s not many animals in his art – in this showing at Gallery150 in Leamington I only spotted some rather lovely geometrically-shaped angel fish in Think Tank.

Speaking at the gallery’s as-usual impressive opening night, Damien said: “I was rubbish at art at school but I went on and did my PhD and qualified as a psychologist and reached 40 and was an art collector.
“I liked Todd White’s work – he does SpongeBob Squarepants – but the originals went up to £40-80,000 and there was nothing else out there I liked so I thought I was going to make some art myself.”
His first exhibition at Gallery150’s former base in Leamington sold £4,000 worth of works in the opening night, and this second exhibition shows a change in his work. Picasso’s Dream is in the style of his earlier work, lots of colourful swirls, made up of enamel paints and water, with the water draining off to leave the abstract pattern, and glass placed over it to seal it.
But Damien said he felt himself drawn to lines and this exhibition has lots of them. He also likes creating practical pieces, and there are several tables and chairs with bold multi-coloured paint stripes on them.
Trapped is a simple purple square behind glass, and Candy Bar lots more stripes. The Horn Blower is a simple round but recognizable head blowing a huge triangle of black paint. Losing My Religion is an upside down cross.
The exhibition is called Life in Colour and it’s certainly colourful, loud and fun by an artist who’s obviously discovered a new very different and successful career in mid-life. But he was still telling a galley visitor to give their dog a kiss from him, so he’s not leaving his first career behind.
*The exhibition is on in the gallery at the Regent Court shopping centre in Leamington until November 6.


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