Marcus Dove

"The art world is probably the one true place that houses complete subjectiveness as a positive. No matter what I do on the canvass it's going to come from a place of freedom"

What do you do?

I utilise pyrotechnics like smoke grenades and gunpowder to paint large and small scale paintings which address 'creation via destruction' . It's my signature style which I'm constantly evolving and have exhibited in places from Hong Kong to London.

How did you get to where you are?

I was 19 and going to court for purposefully crashing my car into two police cars, my solicitor said if I enrol on a college course I won't get sent down. So I enrolled on an art course and then before I knew it I'd avoided prison and was graduating university with a BA in Fine Art and a MA in Creative Business & Innovation.

All through uni I was working with smoke grenades and even built an electrical missile launcher that fired paint-filled missiles, my recalcitrant approach quickly gained attention. The BBC did a couple of news pieces about my artwork and that gained some publicity. From there, I exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery for the START Art Fair and displayed my work called Two Birds and the Sun which I painted with the missile missile launcher and smoke grenades.

I then got to exhibit in Hong Kong for the Asia Contemporary Art Show where I met new collectors. I also gained early support from the Arts Council England to continue developing my practice and on-going sponsorship from Enola Gaye smoke grenade specialists.

My most recent solo exhibition was in London last year thanks to the art dealer and friend Justin Cook, it was called 'Fading Figures'. The exhibit consisted of abstract-figurative paintings where the outlines of females were created with smoke grenades in order to represent the fading away of relationships. That got listed as a 'Top 5' exhibition to see in London by the Londonist and World of FAD magazine.

This July I was selected to exhibit with JD Malat Gallery in Mayfair by a judging panel which consisted of art world heavyweights like Simon De Pury and Gavin Turk. That was for a group exhibition called 'Isolation Mastered', my work titled 'The Worst Lover You'll Ever Have' (which was made with smoke grenades and depicted the rising domestic abuse cases during lockdown) was selected for the show.

Why do you love what you do?

Obviously I have no genuine regard for authority and never really have. The art world is probably the one true place that houses complete subjectiveness as a positive. No matter what I do on the canvass it's going to come from a place of freedom. It also serves as a form of therapy for me and I'm beginning to channel and depict some inner demons. My most recent piece 'The Worst Lover You'll Ever Have' is a good example of that.

Why are you based in Leicester?

I'm originally from Birmingham but have a great art studio space in Leicester. I've been based here for a while and also do work for a charity based here called Pedestrian, it pioneers potential for 14-16 year olds who are either at risk, not in education, experiencing disadvantages and/or social exclusion. At Pedestrian we aim to pioneer creativity, a lot of the children have been excluded from school just like I was, so it makes sense for me to be there to facilitate, support and show them how I've turned my life around too.

What next?

I really want to depict some dark scenes from my upbringing so that's something to expect soon as well as some minimal abstract work.

I've also collaborated with the professional film maker Grisha Nikosky to produce a video about my practice and how I got into it. I've been saying for a while I'll be releasing it but we're just trying to find the right platform to push it out there first.

People can connect with me on Instagram at @MarcusDoveArt but it's best to message me via my website: , there you can see a lot of what I get up to.

Social media accounts to follow:


Instagram: @MarcusDoveArt

Twitter : @MarcusDoveArt