Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Aches from Dublin, Ireland, affectionately know as AchesDub) is a graffiti writer who has been hitting the streets for over a decade. Beginning his graffiti career in 2007, Aches transitioned to murals in 2015, while obtaining his degree in graphic design. Asked for his favorite thing about being an artist, Aches suggested it was his ability to travel & meet new people while expressing his fascination with how widespread graffiti culture has become.
When asked about his style of work Aches states "I paint portraits of my friends. My style represents the digital age because everyone is always looking at their screen, & I have a love-hate relationship with it. My brother lives on the other side of the world so it's helpful to keep in contact with him, but I have friends who live 5 minutes down the road that I seldom see because we constantly speak on WhatsApp. So my work is meant to represent the digital space & our simultaneous connection & disconnect."
2019 saw Aches achieve his biggest accomplishment (so far) as he collaborated with Montana 94 on a limited edition spray can. "I remember going to All City Records - which is the only graffiti shop in all of Ireland - & seeing the limited-edition cans, but never thinking I'd have one myself," said Aches, before contemplating what's next on his career bucket list:
"I'm always looking to paint a bigger wall! My biggest wall is only 4.5 stories tall, but I see some of the walls abroad in the (United) States & I would love to do something there. In 2021 it's definitely coming. I had a show in early 2020 at Stolen Space Gallery, but due to the pandemic it was made virtual, so I'm also looking forward to a gallery show abroad".
Speed round with Aches:
Che: What is the last good meal I ate, and where from?
Aches: It was coddle, that my mam made. If you haven't heard of coddle before and are now just googling it, it's a lot nicer than it sounds. Coddle is a traditional one-pot dish from Dublin. Che: Who’s someone that’s pushing/ inspiring you right now?
Aches: There's a lot, Maser, James Earley, Conor Harrington, to name a few. It's great to see there Irish artists doing big things, having started from a graffiti background in Ireland. My HUK crewmates inspire me too, they are all a lot more active than I am, which pushes me to paint more. Writers like Gary and Roids really inspired me to break away from what I thought graffiti should look like, they were and still are always ahead of the curve.
Che: If you could steal any one piece of art from anywhere; what would it be?
Aches: That's tough, there is a lot, but it would probably be Cataract 3 by Bridget Reilly, I've only ever seen it in a book, but it makes my eyes go crazy, I'd love to see it in person. Or maybe The Liffey Swim by Jack Butler Yeats.
Che: If you woke up tomorrow as a fictional character, or with any superpower; who or what would it be?
Aches: Easy. Spider-man! All that swinging around looks like good craic, although I don't know how effective it would be in Dublin with our small buildings haha. Che: It been a crazy year, any lasting words of uplift or inspiration for anyone reading this? Aches: Just push your own work; constantly do it and don't look for someone to come to you. If you're making good work consistently then the people will come to you. And invest in yourself with time and money!
Follow Aches on Instagram @achesdub to learn more about upcoming works