Whats your full name and hows it going?
My name is Andy Dixon, and it’s going well, thank you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I was born in North Vancouver. I was heavily involved in the punk and hardcore music scene in Vancouver for many many years – one might even say decades – playing in punk bands, then hardcore bands, then weirdo experimental bands, then electronic projects. All the while, I was drawing pictures and making t-shirts, zines, books, and whatnot. It took a long time to realize how important visual art was for me because I originally viewed it as a secondary passion of mine.
What’s new and what’s been going on for you?
2013 was shockingly successful. I had three solo shows here in Vancouver and virtually sold every painting I made. It was incredible. 2014 is gearing up to be a natural extension – I have signed with a few galleries, Rebecca Hossack Gallery in New York & London, and Wally Workman Gallery in Austin with the intent of harnessing the momentum I acquired in Vancouver and aiming it elsewhere. I’m crossing my fingers, putting my head down and making more stuff.
What are you currently working on?
I just finished about 15 paintings for the galleries mentioned above. It was an incredibly hectic winter. Now that those deadline’s have all come and gone, I’m enjoying the calmer pace in my studio while I work on more pieces. Rebecca Hossack has booths in a lot of art festivals around the globe, so I will be making more work for her in the near future, and I also have a solo show with them at their London gallery in the autumn, so that’s in the back of my mind now, too. I will be showing here in Vancouver in the autumn as well with Initial Gallery.
Vancouver has a great art scene. Which other cities has your art brought you to that has inspired your work?
I haven’t done much travelling with visual art as the catalyst because the whole thing is quite new to me. I have, however, done a lot of travelling in my touring-in-a-band days and like all artists do, I have subconsciously cherry-picked various delicious morsels of inspiration from everywhere I’ve been. The obvious answer is New York City, with it’s almost tangible energy, but I also really like Paris for similar reasons in addition to it’s staggering beauty. Ultimately though, I’m a true West Coaster, so I’m drawn to, and feel the most at home in, beach cities – places with slower paces, like Barcelona and the Mediterranean. I’m a real ‘take in the beauty with a Negroni on the beach’ kind of guy. I hope that’s evident in my work.
The progression of your work is a fun path to follow. Can you tell us about what has influenced // inspired you over the years?
Basquiat was definitely an initial catalyst for me to get into painting, which I think is a fairly common influence for younger, angstier people. There’s something intrinsically punk about his stuff that naturally appealed to me. Eventually my view of fine art broadened to include the abstract expressionists like Twombly, who I also drew parallels to punk culture, specifically a style of punk that we were calling “emotional hardcore”. I also really got into the modern, witty stuff like David Shrigley. Clearly I’ve always been drawn to those who fuck with the standards of traditional technical prowess. Whether that was informed by my time in the punk scene, or has been within me forever and is the reason I got into punk music in the first place, is my own personal chicken-or-the-egg conundrum.
Eventually the rich tradition of art history began to captivate me.
I saw a massive Matisse exhibit at Pompidou in Paris and had my mind blown by it. I began to study artists like Manet, who was such a bad ass motherfucker. I never went to art school or anything so there are a lot of common-knowledge art stuff that I’m oblivious to and only discovering now, realizing that my music scene metaphors which I use for my own work have accidentally aligned me with a lot of fine art movements, Fauvism, for example.
Music plays a large part in your life. How do you juggle music, visual art and running a label? When do you sleep?
Music has always been a big part of my life which should be fairly apparent in my earlier answers. I was involved in making music during my most formative years and it has therefor become the foundation for how I respond to all other art forms.
Honestly, I don’t juggle these worlds any more. I was trying to balance these facets for a very long time and it was wearing me quite thin. I also felt that my work in all realms was suffering because of this. A few years ago I decided to focus my energy singularly – and I chose to do so on fine art which I realized was making me the happiest. Ever since then, with the exception of a few remixes and production work here or there, I’ve been a painter.
Lets us know about upcoming projects / shows we should be on the look out for?
If you live in a city where Rebecca Hossack has a booth at an art fair in, drop by and say hello! If you’re in Vancouver, look out for the show at Initial in the fall.