‘All three of us are reactions to our fathers’

An excerpt from a September 2002 Sunday Times’ Culture Section interview with Gavin, Gavin and Bono – promoting Guggi’s art exhibition in the Solomon Galleries in Dublin:

“To a large extent, all three of us are reactions to our fathers” says Gavin. “Bono has always spoken highly of his father, but he had the easiest time of the three of us when it came to fathers. In Guggi’s case, you don’t have to be Freud to see that the man with probably the longest hair in Dublin, who paints bowls, just might be a reaction to the father who inflicted the bowl haircut on him as a child. His upbringing and his partner, Sibylle have been his biggest influences.”

“The most important thing about his painting is its religious quality, which can be traced back to his upbringing” says Bono. “There’s a religious intensity to it, a monastic quietness, even in the canvases that look the least religious: a bowl is never just a bowl with Guggi-it’s the most intense bowl you’ll ever see.”

Gavin regards Guggi’s bowls as the equivalent of pop singles and can see him moving into more abstract work. “The bowls are immediate, they’re easily digested. Guggi has done the pop thing: the concepts album awaits.”

Guggi is not so sure. “Bowls are my language,” he says. They are no more important to me than they are to anybody else. They’re just shapes. But I’ve no plans to move out of bowls. I’d change tomorrow if I felt I should. But I see endless possibilities for the bowl.”