Alex Hamilton Artist Statement

I truly believe that all art is about obsession.
. . .so I found my obsession in popular culture storytelling and the iconography of contemporary history.

Influenced by street art stencil graffiti and classic Warhol Pop art, my art reflects our common interest in the current and historic obsession with celebrity cult. I explore the collective memory of society by representing our aspirations, desires, style, fears, nostalgia and joy through popular culture iconography. In my art I present my audience with an enormous amount of information in an attempt to have the viewer participate and engage with their own obsession and inner dialog of memories and thus creating a universal visual memory bank. The 1900 stencil portraits stylistically combine traditional portraiture with contemporary street art and Pop art. Hand cut stencil portraits, spray painted onto brightly coloured blocks make up the majority of the collection and a series of architectural and urban landscape stencils represent the development and exploration of the style and technique. Relevant to the interaction between art and audience is the debate it provokes and the reflection of life's journeys, moments in time and personal growth and the unifying collective nostalgia of society. The combination of high and low culture, sophistication versus uber kitsch and other comparisons to real life assists the viewer to question their own level of style, knowledge of culture and how they fit in with contemporary society.

This eclectic, magpie attitude in my art is also reflected in my Woodstock studio with a grand sense of discovery and surprise. As a self-confessed compulsive collector I never discriminate against low brow pop culture objects and happily display these in the spirit of history and the belief that every object, book and picture has a story to tell about society, an era in time or a reflection of someone's personal journey. Designed to inspire me every day, it is host to various spaces where "story board" displays can develop, collections can grow and invited guests can explore and enjoy the creative vibes. Contrasting this "museum" quality, is the crisp industrial gallery space where my art is on permanent display and a variety of young invited artist's work can be discovered on my notorious evening events - informal gatherings with a creative crowd and stimulating conversation is hosted every 6 to 8 weeks.

Working in the ever changing and developing industrial side of Woodstock, Cape Town, for the last 18 years has always presented me with a sense of urban creative industry. The combination of cultures, attitudes and historically social and economic differences is often the inspiration for artistic reflection and these "conflicts" stimulates debate and expression. The iconic character of its gangsters, street art and rough edges has ironically also given it its new hipster status and provides for very exiting inspiration as low culture gets transformed into popular culture.

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trans.gif - 43 Bytes South African Artist-Lots of work for sale
Interested in contemporary South African Art? Meet this fine artist, Alex Hamilton. Famous for his colourful canvasses inspired by his exuberant energy and passion for life and all that surrounds him. Go ahead, have a look..
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