Artist in Focus: Dex Hannon
Dex Hannon, Twisted Buttons, £1176, available here
Dex’s work is geometric, colourful and fragmented. Some artwork, such as the one above, combine colour blocks and geometric shapes with an abstract background that shows brushwork and has softer, more serene feel compared to the bold shapes. However, Dex’s work is always dynamic, fresh and intrepid.
His recent work deals with memory and how unreliable and inefficient it can be. Twisted Buttons could go all the way back into the Renaissance within our collective memory and up onto the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo gave Adam life.
Dex is a member of the Broken Toy Company, which is an art collective of 4 artists. He has held exhibitions in several countries and the most recent mention in print was in Art Share Love magazine.
Read on for our short interview.
Dex, why did you become an artist?
I have always been an artist. If I don’t paint I am terrible to be around. It’s not a desire. It is a need. It might sound cheesy but it is what I am.
How much planning do you do before you start on a new work?
I spend a lot of time painting it in my head. Sometimes I will make notes or sketch something out, but mostly I ruminate over it for up to a month.
Which artist would you like to be compared to?
Gerhard Richter – The finest living artist in my opinion.
When did you start to make art?
My Folks said I always had a pencil in my hand. Always drawing. So I guess I always have been an artist. But as a professional artist, I would say 10 years, before that I was filling myself with life and experiences.
Dex Hannon, Jumping off Tall Buildings, £1250, you can get it here
Does it matter to you when your viewers read into your art things that you have not intended?
I never expect people to see my art as I see it. The piece is created from my lived experiences. I don’t expect someone to ‘get it’ in the same way I do. I hope people interpret the work from their experiences. I believe a painting is not finished until the viewer stands in front of the work and soaks it in. Their life, their experiences and their connection to the painting is that final brush stroke.
That’s actually a really good point. Speaking of other people, what’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Never be scared to run through the town naked. I haven’t done this in reality, but metaphorically, being an artist, opening yourself up to the world, is the same thing to me.
Both photographs of Dex, courtesy of photographer Mark Hillyer
What music plays in your studio when you are working?
Music is a massive influence on the work, especially the ‘Digital Remix’ works, these are remixes of the paintings I produce. I was obsessed with the remix when I was a kid. It took the original single and completely remade it. It would be completely different. A new piece of work, in some cases better than the original. But it could never be separated, without the original single, the remix could not exist. Some paintings have titles that reflect the music I listened to at the time or give hints to it. Joy Division for the painting ‘She’s lost control, again’ ‘There is nothing subtle about Humanity’ I was listening to Talking Heads. Mostly though it is people like Zappa, Nyman, Secret Chiefs 3 and quite a lot of obscure Japanese punk opera.
Dex Hannon, Memory Crash, £345, available here
Memory Crash was recently used as an inspiration for an immersive music video by pop Singer Gideon Conns . As Dex says, music is a huge inspiration, therefore, his art being an inspiration for a music video, becomes a sort of closing of a circle. In the video you get to swim through the imagined planes of the painting, as if going through an ever changing landscape that moves and grows all around. You can watch the video by clicking here.
More by Dex Hannon