Every weekend the market at The Rocks draws crowds – some are there just to browse the many beautiful commodities on display, others are there to buy. There’s something for everybody at the weekend Market on The Rocks, even the art lovers. At the northern end of the Market at The Rocks is Darren Germain. He’s a fixture there, displaying his talents – spray painting – and his theme is “space” or “space art” as he calls it. To watch the genius at work is breath-taking. I watched him paint 2 pictures in about 15 minutes – each as imaginative and awe-inspiring as the other.

Darren Germain uses aerosol paints to create his masterpieces. I, perhaps, cannot to justice to his work by trying to describe them here, but I can say that they are different and wonderful. Darren is a performer, his workstation made of a low wooden platform that covers the sound system under it. He seems to need the music, perhaps getting some inspiration from it, or using the momentum to keep him going. A cushioned seat is where he kneels to do his work. Newspaper covers the wooden platform to protect it. He starts his music, and you can see the wheels in his head begin to turn. He gets his rubber gloves on, his mask to keep the fumes from the paint out of system and he gets to work. First one color, then another. Then a piece of newspaper on the wet paint, a few squiggles of his fingers on the newspaper and beautiful pattern emerges. He continues this way with different colors, using his fingers to work their magic on the newspaper pieces. There are old cans, plates and bowls that help him with circles, creating planets and suns of immense beauty, and a sharp edged, old instrument that may look like a scalpel is used to add elaborate touches to the art. Every color is vivid and bright. An old, rusted and paint covered can opener is his final weapon. When the vision in his head has been transformed into a beautiful piece of space art, he uses the pointed edge of the can opener to sign his name into a corner of wet paint.

I stood there mesmerized, unable to express what I was looking at. I wanted to take a video of him at work, but a small sign hanging at his workstation says no cameras. So sadly there is nothing to show you how great his talent is. It took him about 7 years to master the art of spray painting. He enjoys painting before a crowd, he’s a showman. The way he throws his cans and catches them before a spray, the way his body moves while he’s working – he enjoys the attention for sure, and I am very sure the crowd loves giving it to him.

His work is for sale, buy one for $40 or two for $70, and watching him paint is free. If I had a place of my own I would not have thought twice and bought one to adorn the walls of my home. I must admit that there are elements in his work that I would wish he hadn’t added, like spacecrafts for example, and if I wanted a custom one, he would definitely oblige, one that wasn’t quite so full and “busy”. But nonetheless, Darren Germain is a master at what he does and his talent is immense. For anyone who visits the Market at The Rocks, do seek him out and watch the master at work, watching him will be the highlight of the market for sure.

Post-script: A friend bought one of Darren Germain’s space art work and has kindly taken a snapshot of the painting and sent it across so readers will hopefully get an idea of what I have tried to express in my post. (Picture courtesy: Preeti Haldipur and original snapshot posted here)

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