.

The Darwinist | new woodcut

Alex Diamond: The Darwinist (2016)
woodcut, acrylic paint, 63 x 36,5 x 5,5 cm (24,8” x 14,4” x 2,2”)

Let me introduce you to ‚The Darwinist‘, a strong-minded, slightly aggressive yet humble and thoughtful Wooden Being ... best spotted in the early mornings. when the air is crisp and clean. Living in the outdoors, far away from civilization but strongly connected to mankind. 

First in a new line of sculptural woodcuts, this work can be mounted on a wall or placed free-standing. It consists of 2 parts that are easy to assemble - just slide the character into the base.

For the exhibition "MENSCHTIERWIR", curated by Elmar Lause at Affenfaust Galerie in Hamburg.
October 7 – November 11, 2016. Vernissage October 7, 8 PM.

Temptation and Sin | new woodcut dyptich

Alex Diamond: Gefaellt 775 Mal (2016)
Acrylfarbe auf Holzschnitt, 32 x 45 x 5 cm | Instagram users @miss_sophie_photography @laurakokinowa

A new pair of woodcuts for „#gefaelltdas“, my ongoing series of small format woodcuts... another framed dyptich. 

It will be shown at an international group exhibition organized by art project Curator19.90 in Beirut this October, curated by Rasmus E. Fischer (Galerie Wolfsen).

The Instagram screenshots I turned into woodcuts are inspired by the users @miss_sophie_photography and @laurakokinowa ... please check out the profiles and follow these great ladies!

The work is available through Galerie Wolfsen, please get in touch with Rasmus if you are interested in these works

Along the banks of Rivers | woodcut

Alex Diamond: ALONG THE BANKS OF RIVERS (2016)
woodcut, acrylic paint, 50 x 70 x 3 cm (19.6” x 27.5” x 1.2”) 

A very simplified, abstract landscape carved into wood earlier this year. "Along The Banks Of Rivers" is the title of a Tortoise song from 1996. One of my all time favorite pieces of music, and the title for me bears also a significant autobiographical reference - all my life everything of real importance happened while living close to a river ... 

New Woodcut for series #gefaelltdas

Alex Diamond: Gefaellt 4.479 Mal (2016)
Acrylfarbe auf Holzschnitt, 32 x 45 x 5 cm | Instagram users @myladalbesio @insaanimal

Oh well. Here's finally another pair of my Instagram woodcuts from the series #gefaelltdas. But they're different from the other ones - on one hand, even though both individually are the standard size and all, they belong together and stand in a contextual relationship to each other (so it's a modern diptych). And on the other hand they are uniquely "framed". These frames though are an integral part of the work. I will explain if you ask, but maybe the work process images below already give you an idea. 

The Instagram screenshots I turned into woodcuts are by the users @myladalbesio @insaanimal

This work was first shown at the Millerntor Gallery #6 from July 14-17 in Hamburg. 

I never promised you a Rose Garden | woodcut

Alex Diamond: I never promised you a Rose Garden (2016)
Multi-layered woodcut, acrylic paint, ca. 80 x 60 x 11 cm (31,5” x 23,5” x 4,5”)

New 5-layered woodcut, created March–April 2016:

Alex Diamond: I never promised you a Rose Garden (2016)
Multi-layered woodcut, acrylic paint, ca. 80 x 60 x 11 cm (31,5” x 23,5” x 4,5”)

Background

When it comes to superheroes, at some point I will always come back to The Incredible Hulk, whom I‘ve used as a reference in my woodcuts for a few times already over the past years. For me personally there are so many angles to the big green fella that I am sure you will see him appear again in my future woodworks.

Alex Diamond: I never promised you a Rose Garden (2016)
Multi-layered woodcut, acrylic paint, ca. 80 x 60 x 11 cm (31,5” x 23,5” x 4,5”)

But as with most of the figurative elements in my work, I am using the Hulk mostly for his symbolic values: he is torn, powerful, unpredictable, unstable, and in constant soul-searching for the reasons for his being - all strong references to life itself and the daily struggles we often deal with. 

However, in this work ... the Hulk is looking down into the golden light that shines from the bluff he is sitting on, and he is ... smiling. Ever so slightly, just a smirk that you only see when standing close to the artwork - but a happy smile it is. It appears that he has made his peace.   

For some background trivia: There are two very popular „quotes“ in this woodcut: the Hulk‘s posture resembles Auguste Rodin‘s „The Thinker“, and the title derives from the famous country song „(I never promised you a) Rose Garden“. 

The reference to the sculpture is mainly about visual familiarity, putting the Hulk into a less violent and non-agressive environment. All despite the fact that „The Thinker“ originally sits at Rodin‘s„Gates of Hell“ and is definitely not smiling. But he is however also more or less just an observer. 

The title from the Joe South country song „(I never promised you a) Rose Garden“ completes my composition and is to be taken pretty literally. Because like most good music, stories and paintings are about the one thing only, this woodcut is also just another love song.

Everything else regarding the stories within this work I am sure you will figure out easily enough ... 

#gefaelltdas | New series of 'Instagram' woodcuts

With my latest series of woodcuts, a new project I call '#gefaelltdas', I am exploring modern-day habits of interaction, (self-)reflection, perception and deception, borrowing the imagery as well as the values that we all have become so accustomed to through using Instagram. I am not criticizing social media, being a heavy user of mainly Instagram and Facebook myself. As an artist, curator, collector and gallery owner it has become a part of my daily routine to promote my work and even my lifestyle online.

continue reading below ...

For me creating art is also a very personal way to research and discover, to experiment and proof. It helps me to study and investigate life and the issues we interact with as humans, trying to satisfy my curiosity and to built (or develop) my ‚visual stories‘ upon my findings. I am mostly interested in the social and cultural aspects of the human habitat, and while some things may look supersimple and obvious to others, I have to dig in deep if something excites my ‚artistic instincts‘ until I am personally satisfied. 

With ‚#gefaelltdas‘ I am going down the path of interaction, perception and deception, borrowing the imagery that we all have become so accustomed to from Instagram. As with most of my work, during research I am setting some ground rules through iteration to achieve my results. These rules or guidelines are a way of outlining the work I will create in the studio afterwards, which it is a vital part of my sketching process.

For example in the first work of the series (see below) I was narrowing down the principles after which a certain kind of selfie is being composed: shot into a mirror with the smartphone covering the face. The awkward angle of the camera leads to an interesting perspective of the overall picture, with abstract-looking lines in the background. For the following pieces I use these findings and continue to search for something „iconic“ in the imagery in the sense that this is conditioning our behaviour and our viewing patterns. It will always be related to how we compose and consume photography on Instagram, but also, like in the animal images, to the kind of content we devour.  

To drive the recognition value of the imagery to the max, I am using the frame of the Instagram posts from the username/handle down to the interactive part and the number of likes, which seem to have turned into a hyper-valued currency these days.

That is why I am naming the artworks after the amount of likes of the source image. And because in the german version of Instagram on my smartphone a „like“ becomes a „gefällt“, the whole series is named ‚#gefaelltdas‘. I actually registered @gefaelltdas , a new Instagram account next to my regular one (@alexxxdiamond), where I will also document the project.

In regards to my distinctive woodcutting technique applied here: because of the smaller size of the woodblocks (18x 24 x 3 cm / 7” x 9.5” x 1.2”), the text becomes a bit choppy and almost unreadable, but everything is actually carved into the wood, while the color is mostly rubbed into the cuts. The pigmenting and painting of these works resembles old russian icon paintings, and while I am not pursuing any religious ideas here, the golden, vintage look and the choice of a „new iconic imagery“ supports the theme.

For updates:

Please check this online-portfolio below. I will update this document when I add new work.

You can inquire about the availability of the individual pieces by clicking the links inside the portfolio. And of course you can check directly here.   

And of course please follow my own Instagram at @alexxxdiamond for my latest artworks, photography and nonsense. 

Wohnidee Suite: My drawings for the Bohemian Loft at the Radisson

© Alex Diamond

Here's something different: My drawings on bathroom furniture in a Hotel Suite for a nice project with GeberitKeramagWohnidee Magazine & JOI-Design at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Cologne.

Read more about this in the Wohnidee Magazine (sorry, german only).


The icons | more superheroes

Alex Diamond: Cash Only Motherfucker (2016) acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: Cash Only Motherfucker (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: A Is For Anarchy (2016) acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: A Is For Anarchy (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: The Knight And The Demons (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 20 x 20 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Click this link to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.

Alex Diamond: Long Beard, Hairy Ass (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 20 x 20 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

The Icons | #girlswithtattoos

Alex Diamond: #girlswithtattoos (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 18x24 cm (7” x 9.5” x 1.2”)

Love the structure of the wood on this one...
Click the image below or this link to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.

Alex Diamond: #girlswithtattoos (2016), acrylic paint, woodcut, 18x24 cm (7” x 9.5” x 1.2”) Click image to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.

Alex Diamond: #girlswithtattoos (2016), acrylic paint, woodcut, 18x24 cm (7” x 9.5” x 1.2”)
Click image to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.


Now on youtube: clubkinder artist talk at heliumcowboy

Im ersten Teil unserer neuen Reihe spricht der Hamburger Künstler Jörg Heikhaus aka Alex Diamond über sich und seine Arbeit. Als Urgestein der Hamburger Kunstszene teilt er seine Beobachtungen und Einschätzungen zur aktuellen Situation der Kunst und des Kunstmarktes in Hamburg mit uns. Durch den Abend führen der Clubkinder e.V.


In case you missed it live at the heliumcowboy gallery or on TV last Sunday - here's the full video from the clubkinder artist talk with me, which was held on January 22 at our gallery. I was interviewed by Jannes Vahl, founder of the social organization clubkinder e.V., which supports social projects in Hamburg. Jörg donated one of his trademark Alex Diamond-photodrawings (see here), which was auctioned for the benefit of Sport ohne Grenzen e.V., a youth basketball project in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg.

Here is part 2 with the Q&A by the auditorium: 

The artist talk is a new program at heliumcowboy. Together with clubkinder e.V. and TIDE TV, we will hold regular artist talks at our space that are beeing screened on TV and streamed online.