Moving across the world with only $200 in your pocket, sleeping in your car and living rough in Los Angeles may sound like a movie plot, but for New Zealand artist Clinton Bopp, it was the reality that inspired him to become one of New Zealand's most exciting art exports.
It was 17-years ago that Clinton, born and raised in Lower Hutt to a Kiwi mum and an American dad, decided to pack up his paints and move to the United States, seeking inspiration from the energy of Los Angeles and the juxtaposition of the sprawling city with nature and his homeland.
At first glance, painting may seem like an addiction to Clinton, with him mostly using acrylic and spray paint on virtually any material he can find, including canvas, wood from demolished houses, discarded wooden pallets, walls, shoes and even furniture. Despite his evident talent with all forms of painting, Clinton is also an accomplished muralist, stone and wood carver, sculptor, and set designer, restorer and teacher, with him establishing basic art programs in Los Angeles. His teaching and volunteering honed in Los Angeles has also taken him to India and Nepal, as he aims to use art to help meld the gap between cultures, which in turn acts as significant inspiration for his work.
"My work is focused on human nature, culture and the world around us, and is heavily influenced by my own experiences". Clinton say. He cites realist New Zealand painter Charles F Goldie as his most inspirational New Zealander, and Renaissance artists such as Caravaggio and Raphael, and the surrealist Dali as those he aspires to and draws inspiration from. The diversity of his inspiration is a reflection of Clinton himself, a man of many artistic talents who does not shy away from challenging combinations of technique and subject matter.
Clinton shows and sells his work at many galleries across Los Angeles. You can find out more about Clinton the artist and his work at his website www.clintonbopp.com.