What Happened Next ¦ Aaron Wrigley

It’s always fascinating to know what our past models move on to do when they step off the catwalks. Aaran Wrigley began modelling at the tender age of 16, living across the globe from Japan to Milan working for the likes of Alexander McQueen and Topman. After a brief fling with acting, he moved into the world of production, putting on events, shows and exhibitions for global brands and designers. Currently, Aaron can be found amongst the brilliantly garish work of Mr Brainwash, a world renowned street artist who made his name in Los Angeles, and is steadily taking over the world with his outlandish pieces. In his latest exhibition, expect to stumble across eccentric  re-works of iconic images of our time and giant instillations of everyday objects (if you call a gorilla holding a paint brush ordinary). We caught up with Aaron to find out more…

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When did you start modelling with Models 1?

I started about 9 years ago, when I was 16.

How did you find it?

It was an awesome experience, really expanded my imagination. That’s what your life’s limited by really, and being a model showed me a lot. I lived in Milan and Japan for a while which was amazing. I actually started a club night whilst in Milan called Punks Wear Prada, which turned into a really successful night and is still running.

How did you make the move into production?

I’m not really sure why but I grabbed the first thing in front of me while I was modelling which was fashion show production, and it started from there. My first production job was working for the Topman Staff Festival. I had a year out and went back home to Buckinghamshire, and when I came back to London I was actually hoping to become an actor but I ended up doing other things and fell back into it. Work generates work and if you work hard people offer you other opportunities.

Tell me more about Family, the company you work for?

We do events for brands like Jo Malone, Topman and Tony & Guy. We also do art exhibitions. We just finished the Chinese art exhibition for the Olympics which was a big build, we had to ship a lot of stuff over from China. There are 12 of us, and then an extended family. We use the same security and caterers on every job. It’s all hands on deck basically, problem solving, sourcing stuff, anything that’s required.

What’s it like working with Thierry Guetta, AKA Mr Brainwash?

Mad! It’s quite interesting because this is the first client I’ve had that’s a graffiti artist so he’s got no interest in health or safety or the law. They’ve had me doing some crazy things, like cleaning up all the empty vandal paint on the building so he can re-vandalise it. He rents the space out so he can do anything he wants with it. I think he’s awesome, people judge him but actually he’s generated a lot of jobs through his work and his pieces are great.

The exhibition is held at The Old Sorting Office, what’s the venue like?

It’s a really interesting space; they’re obsessed with leaving it untouched. They don’t want anything changed so it’s all been left as it was. In some ways it’s annoying, there’s no toilets or anything.

What’s your favourite piece in the exhibition?

David Bowie.

Is there any other industry you’d be interested in moving into?

Acting is what I originally hoped to do, but I got side-tracked into production, which I’m really happy about. I did go to an amazing course which changed my life. I learnt to live truthfully, remove all vices, the cigarettes and the fake personality. I learnt to just be myself and life got a lot better. It’s been amazing.

Can you tell me if BANKSYs here?

I don’t know, I can’t say- he might be!

Mr Brainwash’s exhibition is open until September 7th 2012. Visit his website here.

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