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Artist Feature ://
Alexander Owen
Posted April 2019

Owen’s work continues to develop on previous ideas of connection and interaction. Through the exploration of colour, shape and imagery, the artist abstracts these ideas and concepts in his works. Bringing in new techniques, such as printing and 3D modelling, Owen explores the connection between traditional painting and its relationship to contemporary image making practices.

Q. Tell us about your time at London College of Communication, did you enjoy the course? And on a broader note, how did you find being a creative and studying in London?

I really enjoyed being in the environment of London College of Communications, they have great facilities and inspiring space to work in. Most of all I am grateful for the people I met; fellow students and tutors alike. Charley Peters in particular has been an amazing friend and mentor since I left, having someone like-minded to bounce ideas off of and to work with is such a pleasure.

London is the only place I considered to study in, it feels like the best place to do what I do. It has everything I could possibly need and offers more potential possibilities than other places. You definitely have to find a balance working and living in London, but that’s all part of what makes it so great.

'Almost' Alexander Owen. Acrylic, Spray Paint and Gloss on Canvas, 2019.

Q. What and who inspires you?

My work draws inspiration from all kinds of things. Certain colours and patterns in the real world, especially industrial environments, they have always spoken to me visually.

I really enjoy work made by current contemporary artists, especially those who work in completely different forms to myself. It is refreshing to see other’s work and how their own pieces develop.

Most of all I think my main inspiration is a development of my own works. So new works are inspired by something I may have worked out from doing the last piece, and i can take that aspect moving forward. This could be a certain technique or idea.

Q. What is the typical process behind one of your paintings?

My paintings usually start from a small sketch where I work out how to break up the space, especially on larger paintings. From there, I explore colour to see how each colour is affected by and changes the colours around it.

Some elements such as the paintings are fairly unplanned, coming about from spur of the moment decisions. Other elements like printed additions have to be thought through more carefully as I only really have one chance to do them.

'Wrap', Alexander Owen. Acrylic and Spray Paint on Paper, 2019

Q. I really enjoy your looping short videos. Explain your transition between physical art making to digital. How do these working relationships meet? What benefit does a finished digital file have?

Digital work has always been a part of my direction, even if it is something that’s never seen by viewers as a final product and simply a tool I use for planning. It is something I have been using since I began making work. 3D digital works on the other hand were something I had only picked up in the last year as a means to create work that wasn’t feasible in reality.

When I began I was focused on how I could take the renders and incorporate them into physical works such as ACTION // REACTION (2018). Following on from that, I began to incorporate them in to paintings and trying to tie this idea of digital and traditional together; I’ve always loved playing around with the themes of connection so this was an obvious path for my work to go in.

Moving on from that, I can appreciate that my digital work can also work as a stand alone practice alongside other factors of my work. When it is on it’s own I can play around with certain elements that I can’t when incorporating it with painting, such as motion and lighting.

'Untitled' Alexander Owen. Acrylic and Spray Paint on Paper, 2019.

Untitled’, Alexander Owen. Acrylic and Spray Paint on Paper, 2019.

Q. What is your ideal space to work in?

Somewhere with a lot of light is always great. The ability to just have a space to work on paintings that is solely for that is an amazing thing, it allows me to go to the studio and just concentrate on my work and nothing else.

Q. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

I’m excited to continue making work and to see how it develops and what it leads to. This year has already been great starting off with shows in Berlin and Seattle - I’d love to continue and hopefully do some more shows especially at home in London. I want to develop my 3D work and carry on using that on exciting briefs as I have been doing in the past year.

︎ www.alexanderjamesowen.com

︎ @alexanderjamesowen

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