Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview | Dirty Hans
Hailing from Liverpool, British contemporary artist Dirty Hans is a self-taught painter and illustrator and mixed media expert with a passion for Pop Culture.
His contemporary urban style is inspired by 1950s iconography, classic logos, cult movies, comic books, pulp literature and a host of visual artists, from Toulouse-Lautrec to Roy Lichtenstein.
This week we chat to Dirty Hans about what inspires him and take a look at him at work in the studio.
1. How did you come to be an artist?
I discovered art when I would skip school and hide in my parents garage painting with household paints onto old cardboard boxes to kill time. I never had an art lesson to speak of in my life, it was and still is a journey of discovery.
Things really clicked into place when I discovered Roy Lichtenstein's work, never seen artwork that I could relate to in that way, it propelled me to compose and construct paintings in that medium, with his big bold clean lines, giving me that confidence to explode new mediums.
2. Describe your work in three words
Creative / Fun / Nostalgic
3. What draws you to creating art in your chosen medium?
My creative eye is drawn to many different mediums. I’m a self taught artist and am constantly learning. What sparks my interest is to explore different mediums to allow me to express my creativity, from painting to digital, jumping across to wood cut outs and resin work. But the world of digital art is what I’m best known for, its evolved massively since my early days from my parents garage and excites me the most.
I do have a highly creative mind that is always over-flowing with ideas and I enjoy the way that digital art allows me to rapidly explore these. It may take a few months to complete a fully finessed digital composition, with my prolonged editing process, working on different projects at any one time.
4. Does the area in which you live, influence your work?
I’ve lived in different parts of the world, but I was born in Liverpool and I’m proud of my North West heritage. However, I think the biggest way it influences my work is through my strong sense of nostalgia, tapping into the images of my youth (maybe trying to rediscover it).
5. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration comes to me all the time, from all different sources. My challenge is more trying to process and filter the inspiration, dialling it back and not creating 24/7.
6. Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
What I listen to whilst I work can vary, I have very eclectic cheesy taste in music and I know that my Instagram followers appreciate some of my choices or maybe they are just being nice ha. Humour is also big part of my life and I do enjoy humorous podcasts such as Smartless / Adam Buxton / Marc Maron
7. If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
Roy Lichtenstein, I was lucky enough to meet up with his wife for a chat which was eye opening and give me a peek inside Roy’s process, which i carry into my art process. Damien hirst, for his versatility and personality. Ron English for his visual pop Artistry.
8. What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery – do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
Watergate are the most approachable and friendly gallery I’ve worked with (over 15 years now). I feel I have a strong personal connection with them. I particularly love that they are not afraid to take a chance with new work and artists when they spot talent. Always encouraging without pressuring, they understand the creative process more then most.
9. What are you most excited about artistically in 2022 going into 2023
What excites me for the future is learning and using new techniques and continuing to evolve. We can never know what the future will bring, especially after the last few years but I’m sure it will be exciting if we’re not afraid to try new things and embrace the challenges it brings.