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Rough lines, bright and pastel colours. That’s what Andy Dixon – a young, Los
Angeles-based Canadian who recently collaborated with lifestyle brand Versace for Milan Design Week
2019 – chose as the main tools for his art-making, which is based on the world of luxury, humans and
their hunger for more. Let’s get to know him up close and personal, hearing the story from Andy
First things first, how would you define your
Andy, when did you start painting? And when did you realize you
wanted to pursue a career in the art field?
I’ve been painting my whole life, really. I got into it at such an early
age that it was really just an extension of childhood doodling. I knew from a very young age that I
wanted to express myself creatively and that I probably wasn’t cut out for any kind of conventional
employment. Although, for a while I thought that expression would be done primarily through music.
That being said, what’s the actual message behind the rough lines,
bright and pastel colours in your artworks?
The playful qualities are meant to juxtapose the luxurious themes and subjects in
my work. I often paint objects where their value comes from the immaculate precision in which they’re made.
So by depicting them with the rough lines and bright colours you’ve mentioned, I’m trying to play with their
sense of value and seriousness.
You started spreading your music through Youtube. Now, your Instagram
profile has more than 70K followers. What’s your relationship with social networks?
I have a strange relationship, hate-love. I avoid the addiction, and I try to use
social networks in the best way, to promote my concerts and my new releases. However, it's a fundamental
mean, also very powerful for communicating who we are.
You live in Los Angeles, but you were born in Vancouver. Has being from
Canada influenced your art practice?
I’m not sure how much my time in Vancouver influenced my artworks, honestly.
Vancouver is a funny place, a kind of playground for the rich. It’s wildly beautiful with its oceans,
rainforest moss and canyons, but it’s also wildly expensive. So, maybe that’s what got me started on making
work about the value of things. My artworks contain a lot of self-deprecating humour, which I think comes
from being Canadian.
Andy, what’s your main source of inspiration?
I think all artists are inspired by every morsel of stimuli they come across, as
the colour or sound of things. That being said, I’m especially inspired by people and their desires, the
comedy of the human condition. Surprisingly enough, I watch a lot of reality TV and dating shows when I’m
not working and find them both ridiculous and completely relatable.
How often do you experience the so-called ‘writer’s block’? And how do
you overcome it?
I think that I have a unique relationship with writer’s block. Since all of my
work centres around specific themes, I’m not exactly reinventing the wheel when I start a new piece: each
one is more like a single sentence in an essay that’s going to take my whole life to finish. There’s always
more to say about consumerism, desire and how it relates to the art world. So far, I’ve been lucky enough
not to feel stuck in it.
Your artworks portray the luxury world. Nowadays, what does the word
‘luxury’ stand for?
My work portrays the world of luxury in order to address the real subject:
humans, their hunger for more and how this relates both to the art world and my role as an artist. I think
such ideas have been with us since the dawn of modern man. We’ve always wanted the biggest powdered wig, the
best Parisian dress, the original Rembrandt, the nicest pool or the Birkin bag with the George Condo
painting on it….
For ‘Milan Design Week 2019', you collaborated with Italian brand
Versace, designing two prints and revisiting a piece you created for ‘Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat’,
your latest art exhibition. Can you tell us more about this project?
Versace asked me to collaborate on an installation for their exhibition at Design
Week, which took place at Via Gesù in Milan. I had coincidentally just made a 9’ Versace shirt sculpture for
a New York exhibit at Joshua Liner Gallery. So, once the show came down, we restaged it in Italy along with
many of the works from the exhibit. Alongside these, I worked on other installation elements with their
design team, like wallpaper and throw pillows based on elements of the paintings.
Now you’re collaborating, on a project, with Canadian brand Dutil
Eyewear. Can you give us a sneak peek?
This one is a very limited edition collaboration; I think there are only about 20
frames being made, designed by the Dutil team and myself in my signature colours. We’re just waiting on the
cases which are going to be just as great.
You have over 45K followers on Instagram. What’s your relationship with social networks like? Do you feel like you belong to an online family?
I’m very grateful for my Instagram followers and am completely humbled by how many people want to see my posts, but ultimately I want people to see my work in person. My main focus is on my exhibits and my openings are where I feel ‘family vibes’ the most.
Is there any unfinished project you’d like to dedicate your attention to?
Actually, no. I can’t remember the last time I started something and didn’t finish it. There’s no time in my schedule for working on things that aren’t completely pre-planned. I always have at least the next two exhibits planned out and I follow through on them.
A random question: how do you dress for a day at your art studio?
I have a painting outfit that I change into at the studio. Since I work on the floor, I need painting clothes that have a lot of stretch and comfort to them. So it’s always a form of athletic wear, usually a sweatsuit. How I dress for the walk to and from the studio is a totally different ballgame, though.
What’s your dream for the future?
I’d like to own more art, get a cat, open a bar and, maybe, direct a movie.
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most importantly, one of the most ironic creatives of the Instagram era.
Antonio Colomboni is one of the Italians to keep an eye on. Born
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