Fintan Magee is a muralist based in Sydney. Born 1985 in Lismore, NSW, Magee loved to draw as a child. He became involved in the Brisbane graffiti scene aged only 13. An arrest in 2006 saw him move away from traditional graffiti and he went on to study at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2009. He has worked both in public art and held gallery exhibitions all over the world ever since.
Magee works on a large scale. His murals are developed around the social and environmental nature of any site. He draws on personal experiences to express pressing global issues and his paintings inhabit abandoned and broken corners of city environments. A mix of surreal and figurative imagery, his paintings explore themes of waste, consumption, loss and transition and contain a sentimentality and softness influenced by children’s books.
Magee has travelled extensively, completing projects in London, Vienna, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Moscow, Rome and Dublin, among others. In Australia, he has been a finalist for the , and received the people’s choice at the (2012).
Magee’s work in the public realm includes a prominent mural in South Brisbane’s Fish Lane precinct (for CREATIVEMOVE). Head in the Clouds 2 refers to one of his own previous graffiti artworks, once visible from the train line in the area. It depicts a woman whose face is covered by a cloud-like formation of fabric. These fabrics are based on discarded cloths found in the Rocklea Spinning Mills, an abandoned factory in Brisbane. They swirl around the girl’s head like a dream or distant memory. The work pays homage to the disappearing factories and warehouses of South Brisbane and South-East Queensland and comments of the ephemeral nature of art, the de-industrialisation of the local area, and the ever-changing face of Brisbane.