27 questions: Brendan Fitzpatrick, figurative artist
Hong Kong is a place full of talented and scheming people. In our 27-question weekly column, we get up close and personal with notable city figures, learn about their whims and dislikes, key life moments, hopes and dreams, all for roughly the same length of time as ‘a casual date.
Brendan Fitzpatrick is a man of eloquence and style, both in personality and in practice. Returning to Hong Kong for the past two years, he has slowly made a name for himself in the art field by creating commissioned portraits.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing about people, whether it’s their stories or their emotions and the things they’re going through,” says Fitzpatrick. “I started in Central Saint Martins, but then I was told that if I wanted to paint, I had to go to Italy, where I did my time. I was in Florence [Charles H. Cecil Studios], where I originally intended to stay for only three years, but one of the instructors pulled me aside and asked me to lead classes, so I stayed another year.
In 2018, Fitzpatrick received the Royal Ulster Academy Portrait Award. As an artist, he uses the technique of sight carving, in which a model is painted in person, to scale. Asked about his next steps, he said, “A solo show would be great. Collaboration would be great too, but I need to find the right person to really harmonize with.
Learn more about Brendan Fitzpatrick here.
Name: Brendan Fitzpatrick
District: Ap Lei Chau
Occupation: Figurative artist
1. What is your life motto?
The better you dress, the worse you behave.
2. What is the best meal you have ever had in Hong Kong?
The best meal was the family feasts my Po Po cooked for the family. Ten aunts and uncles, the children receive the fish cheek and the chicken skin. That was 20 years ago and I will never have it again.
3. Who is your role model?
Edouard Manet ; artist, bon vivant, quintessence of the flâneur. One of the few artists whose art is awesome and doesn’t need excuses for his personality.
4. What’s the best thing about or about your apartment?
My roommate, Dean. Hi Dean, you are the best thing about the apartment.
5. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a night owl, held hostage by natural light and social norms to be a morning person.
6. What is your biggest regret in life?
Only be able to live one life.
7. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?
The rent is so high that I fantasize about the balconies.
8. What is the first destination on your bucket list?
The Prado Museum in Madrid. Diego de Velázquez’s catalytic collection inspires the greatest from Francis Bacon to Michaël Borremans.
9. Which movie should everyone see?
Whiplash. On the passion, the abuses and the sacrifices that one makes in the pursuit of perfection.
10. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
I’m not picky, but I would love to live on a ranch someday.
11. What makes someone a true Hong Kong?
Know when to carry an umbrella.
12. If you could invite five people from around the world to your dream dinner, who would they be?
The Marquis de Sade, Salvador Dali, David Bowie, Fran Lebowitz, Édouard Manet. Although I think what I need is dinner with my five closest friends who I haven’t seen in two years.
13. If you had to describe Hong Kong in one word, what would it be?
14. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Being a little boy and watching movies with my dad, my head resting on his stomach, rising and falling with his breath. That or reading books in bed with my mom. Comfortable and cozy silences, with all the security of a cat in a basket by the fire.
15. What is your favorite scent around the world?
The smell of fresh lilies; the basil is just behind.
16. Which song do you know all the lyrics for?
“Without me” – Eminem
17. Who is the best teacher you have ever had, what is an important lesson they have taught you?
My art teachers in my last years of school. This depression does not have to come and conquer us.
18. What’s your unique party tip?
I drink a whole bottle of wine and embarrass myself.
19. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? which one do you wear most often?
More than I have room to store them. A black jodhpur boot with a Cuban heel.
20. Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life? Why?
Alone for the rest of my life because I can’t get my bowels out if there are people around me.
21. What is the greatest gift you have ever received?
My watch. My father gave it to me when I was 18, a sentimental relic, because it was my mother’s engagement gift to my father, and after his death, a memory of her every day. I wear it everyday.
22. What is your favorite tradition?
Whenever I want to think about my mom’s advice on a difficult topic, I will have breakfast at her favorite place while thinking about the matter.
23. If you were a TV series character, who would you be and why?
Niche, but I feel like I could be the entire main cast of Bojack Horseman. I am Bojack Horsemen.
24. What breaks romantic relationships for you?
25. If you could snap your fingers and correct one thing in the world, what would it be?
No one would ever accidentally bite the inside of their mouth while chewing food. You’re welcome.
26. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
I don’t, but I find the framework a fascinating springboard from which to develop ideas.
27. What is the scariest thing you have ever done and why?
Go against a lot of conventional advice, and dive into the unknown. No one I had witnessed growing up had been a professional artist, every step I take further into this unfamiliar space makes my heart beat like a baseline. I am incredibly grateful to have met generous souls who have helped light paths and avenues I never thought possible.