Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to announce Andy Dixon’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery, Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat. The Los Angeles based artist “explores themes of decadence, patronage, and the relationship between art and wealth.” Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat opens on February 28, 2019 and will remain on view through March 30, 2019. The artist will attend the opening reception.
The exhibition title cites lyrics from “Part of Your World,” a song from Disney’s 1989 animated film, The Little Mermaid. As the title suggests, Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat features paintings that explore the human desire to collect and covet objects, simultaneously referring to the opulent commodities depicted on the canvases and the paintings themselves. Dixon describes his representations of luxury objects as a “never-ending chain of alchemy,” because as the artist states, “a Flemish still life—a depiction of luxury objects—becomes its own luxurious object, and my depiction of this still life painting becomes its own luxury object.”
In his practice, Dixon recontextualizes visual culture from the history of art as well as the world of leisure and fashion, emphasizing the psychology of value. As the artist explains, “Since my versions of these recontextualized paintings don’t contain any of the properties that the art market would say give the original piece its value, such as antiquity, provenance, or even technical mastery, I’m asking the question of what gives my version its value.” Dixon relies heavily on the act of appropriation. The artist asserts, “I’m interested in the simple act of removing something from its original context and placing it in a new one—where an entirely new thing is created not only despite the appropriation but because of the appropriation.” By divorcing specific imagery from its original context, Dixon’s paintings boldly address contemporary art’s entanglement with luxury, a relationship often ignored by artists. These appropriated images, however, are not facsimiles of their originals, rather they have their own distinct aesthetic. Reminiscent of Fauvism’s bright colors and non-representational values, Dixon’s style is characterized by swathes of vibrant acrylic overlaid with oil pastel lines that define the ornate figures and objects.
For this exhibition, Dixon pulls imagery from a wide range of sources, including Christie’s Instagram account, designer shopping websites, and the history of art, especially attracted to works of art that reflect desire, such as François Boucher’s 1764 Allegory of Music and Jeff Koons’ 1990 Made in Heaven. Dixon’s affinity for appropriation can be traced back to his days as an experimental electronic musician. From 2003 to 2012, Dixon made experimental music under the alias Secret Mommy, which sampled cut up audio recordings, noises, and glitch-based audio media.
Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat also features an installation of an oversized Versace shirt. Measuring approximately nine by seven feet, the over life-sized shirt hangs on a four-foot-wide wooden clothes hanger. Not only does this hand painted garment reflect the artist’s affection for fashion, it aligns with his propensity for appropriation. As Dixon points out, Gianni Versace, like many other artists, “co-opted from mankind’s creative history.” For Dixon, this work illustrates the “never-ending chain of alchemy,” as it is “art turned design turned back to art again.”
Vancouver, Canada born artist, Andy Dixon currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Selected solo exhibitions include Alchemy, Beers London (2018); On the Ceiling of My Suite in the Royal Palace, Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); Expensive Things, Winsor Art Projects, Vancouver (2016). In 2017, Dixon participated in the Vancouver Mural Festival, painting a ninety-three by seventy-foot-tall mural, Vancouver Studio on the side on a building. A forthcoming exhibition catalogue will be published to coincide with Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat.