It’s hard to pigeonhole Daimon Downey. Once a frontman for award-winning band Sneaky Sound System, in more recent years he’s made a name for himself as owner of Sydney bar Pelicano.

But Downey’s also an artist, his style an unabashed amalgamation of curious shapes and in-your-face colours. Later this week, he’s bringing his exhibition Walls of windows to the Kings of colour to Brisbane. Popping up on James Street will be 35 paintings, sculptures and ceramics, all available for purchase.

The artist compares his spatial, minimalistic paintings to windows hanging on walls. The idea is for viewers to use each work as a window to examine their own lives.

Never miss a Brisbane moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


“The artist does only half the job in making art,” Downey says. “The other half of it is left for the [viewer] to make up their own mind about what they think the painting is about.”

Downey has an obsession with colour. All his work draws on a vibrant palette that exudes playfulness. He attributes his focus on sharp and bright hues to a penchant for airy spaces.

“Positano [in Italy] is my favourite place ever,” he says. “And I live right next to Bondi Beach in Sydney, so I’m always surrounded by lots of natural light and colours.”

Downey calls his own style “Rothko minimalist” (a reference to famed minimalist painter, Mark Rothko) or a crossover between expressive minimalism and hard-edge painting. He hopes to “soothe souls” with his art in a frenetic world and provide a temporary escape.

“There is madness everywhere in our world,” he says. “Things are moving at a breakneck pace and it’s difficult to keep up with everything. Art is an important tool to help people cope with their reality.”

Walls of windows to the Kings of colour opens this Thursday April 26 in Shop 2/19, James Street.