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Andy Dixon on the Expense of Aesthetics

STUDIO SERIES

A series in which we show up to the studios and workspaces of our favorite creatives to discuss their cultural contributions in style, art, and design. Andy wears the Jefferson 2.0 in Sky Blue: a new Future Classic slip-on made from a foot-forming, breathable knit.


Paintings of expensive things will become expensive things themselves: the seemingly simple yet profitable concept behind Andy Dixon’s depictions of luxury objects and bourgeois lifestyles. The color-driven artist, who assigns these ideas to vivid acrylic canvases with rough pastel lines, uses his medium to reconcile with the psychology of value, and the perceptual price tags attached to art. Borrowing subject matter from eBay listings of high-fashion knockoffs and lavish settings — including the living room of his patron, Charlotte Olympia — Dixon submits to his role in allowing society to appraise the worth of commodities.


On creating art based on society’s perceived values:

It’s about the psychology of value and how people give monetary worth to things. I try to illustrate that by creating my own valuable objects (my paintings) depicting expensive commodities which can be art, Versace shirts, or Lamborghinis.


On where his creative concept stemmed from:

I grew up as an idealistic teenager in the DIY punk scene in the nineties which had a huge stigma around selling out and the idea that making art for money meant that the work was no longer good. I guess my paintings and everything that I’ve done since is my way of reconciling my problem with that concept. You have to make money to live and in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with creating art that has a monetary value attached to it.

On painting high-fashion knockoffs like Chanel bombers and Versace blouses:

They’re based on eBay listings of fake items being sold for huge amounts of money. The Chanel bomber is particularly interesting because no-one can prove that there was ever a real version of it. So the Chanel bomber that we all know as a cult item never really had anything to do with Chanel; you can’t even call it a knock-off because an original never existed. It’s a very meta concept.


On sampling and authorship in art and fashion:

Gucci is another example of that. That quintessential sweatshirt with the Gucci logo started off as a fake as well. And then Gucci started making the knockoff which is so genius. I’m fascinated with that idea of authorship. A lot of what I listened to after punk was sample-based electronic music, which is an idea not far off from what I do now. My art is visual sampling in a way.

On painting, wearing, and living a specific palette:

I certainly don’t make any sort of conscious effort to dress like my paintings — I guess when you are interested in something it just bleeds into all facets of your life. My living room is furnished in the same palette too. It’s just what I’m drawn to whether I’m shopping for furniture, clothes, or paint. I always know how they’re going to work together. I was talking to another artist about how she only wears black and white so her experimentation has to come from silhouette, whereas I can wear the same suit everyday which affords me to play with color more.

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