Warren Dykeman : all together, all different

Motif inspirations to refresh ethnics and celebrate individuals in all their plurality

Odd characters, bizarro plants, typographical signs, fragments of buildings, the language of the streets and roadsides, everyday objects… Warren Dykeman’s paintings swallow the codes of contemporary society, in a continuity of the history of American art, like a machine that digests them, compiles them, spits them back out, articulates them. A font of creativity to inspire neo-ethnic designs that speak of us, of our surroundings, mingling past, present and future with fantasy and a cool attitude. A topical take on the traditional.

We live in times when people stage themselves, exhibit multiple identities and multiple facets that the individual juggles, to exist loud and clear, beyond defining labels and categories. While the quest for recognition is the underlying leitmotif, it’s also about standing out, surrounding oneself without getting lost in the crowd, playing with one’s image to maintain control, stepping outside the box, making one’s mark on society.

Warren Dykeman - THEGARDEN

In Warren Dykeman’s works, there is a notion of multiplicity where everything is different. It all adds up, but without repetition, without redundancy. Uniqueness is the most important factor within a whole. It is all a matter of combinations, subtle variations, to define a specific context and a new story each time. Simple shapes, flattened block effects, a limited number of bright colours, contrasts, all contribute to a stylisation that lends a primitive tone, a hint of folklore, an almost old-fashioned witchcraft, a shamanism. The components of the scenery are transformed into totems. Fir trees, bushes, flames, serve as occult figures between which people circulate and go about their vague occupations. A spirituality emerges from these coded ensembles, from these quasi-graffiti elaborations that take us back to Picasso, Basquiat, to David Hockney’s early paintings. Geometrization – but without too much rigour – places Dykeman’s imagery squarely in our modern era.

It is easy to see how to bring this work closer to a textile universe, where the various elements would be teeming with varied motifs, arranged without any hierarchical planes and covering the surface like an all-over, potentially infinitely. A strange alphabet, a playful curiosity cabinet with enchanting charms, a free dialogue between narrative and abstraction, the landscape is invented to the tune of a graphic parade that explores simplicity in its singularity, an invitation to happily mix and match. All genres are welcome to create the unusual and provide a colour cure, combined with black and white, so clashes emerge in a positive light.

Discover more on this season’s prints and pattern inspiration at Première Vision Designs.