Originally from NYC, Anne Deon has benefitted from, and added to, the art scenes in Manhattan, Los Angeles, and now Miami. She is known for her vividly colored, large scale oil paintings of iconic and archetypal figures. With her current move into the Miami art market, Deon is introducing her latest series of paintings entitled: BWHAHAHHAH....TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER. These are seminal works that look to the future of Neo Pop Art and Street Art of the past decades. It is a playful series of works with light bulbs and bright, bold new characters, conceptually building on the past while looking into the future. Deon’s paintings have been featured on the network TV shows: ER, The King of Queens, and Veronica’s Closet. Deon is currently preparing for a retrospective exhibition of her work at the Coral Springs Museum of Art on June 9, 2012.
What is your background? Are you trained or self-taught?
I am a trained artist. I attended college in NYC and majored in Fine Art. I hung around Soho in the late 1970s - 1980s and learned more from the artists around me.
When did you first start painting?
I have been an artist from as long as I can remember. My first oil paintings were done when I was about 15 years old. I always loved painting and always lost myself in the process of painting.
Who were your influences?
The works of many artists have stimulated me. Michelangelo’s sculptures, especially the unfinished Slave series, chiseled in white marble and unfinished, had a tremendous effect on me. I also love the work of pop artist, Larry River, for his draftsmanship, his unfinished figures, and the words in his work. Also Basquiat and Warhol. Bob Dylan was also a big influence in my work. Dylan's songwriting offers a door to other mental dimensions. The light sculptures of Alan Vega have also influenced some of my later work.
How has Miami influenced you?
As I have been working on my Ancestor & Ghost series since 2001, while living in Los Angeles, coming here to Miami gave me a glimpse of other artists who are using imagery other than realistic imagery, of humans. Seeing a plethora of this kind of imagery gave me the feeling that here is definitely an international movement afoot, that my work is a part of. It was very inspiring to see this in Miami.
What is your medium?
Primarily I work with oil paint on canvas, but I also work with acrylic paint, florescent paint, black lights, and paint on panels. I also enjoy using enamel paint. Working with any paint, crayon, pencils, etc. fascinates me. Lately, I have been using photography as an additional medium.
What inspires you? When do you paint the best?
Well, that's a tricky question to answer. When I was a young artist, in my twenties, I was very sensitive, suffered from depression and would paint to cheer myself up, because it was the only activity that made me feel good. I also had a career as a musician in Manhattan, simultaneously working with music and with visual art. [Anne toured with the Alan Vega Band]. Strange as it is to admit now, much of my work then was inspired by love, and by wanting someone special to love me. So I would create to be loved. As I matured as an artist, my paintings took on more of a way of life. I created because that's what I do. I believe the best artists are born, not made, and we all do our work because we have to do it. We are driven to create; we have little choice in the matter. The one or two times I went for long periods without creating, I felt like my life was missing something huge. It would get to the point where I didn't care if the world was crashing down around my feet, I'd have to stop everything and get back to my work, come hell or high water. I think “inspiration” is at times the result of a conflict of currents in the artist's thought and feeling processes that needs to be set free by creating. If you happen to be a painter, this results in a painting. I still believe that the creative process is entangled with the need for love.
If you could paint anything for pleasure - what would it be?
I only paint what I want to paint.
Do you do commissions? If so, what have you done for commissions?
I have done a few commissions painting full figures of people who want a painting done of themselves. I do not like painting portraits, but very much enjoy painting realistically, the full figure of a person. I also like painting these commissions very large, almost life sized.
What do you find most challenging in the art world as far as making a living at your art?
Hmmm, where to begin? It's challenging to find an art dealer who can actually sell art, who has patrons who follow the art dealer's taste, as there is a definite need on the part of the art dealer to project a trend-setting persona so the buyer is comfortable with owning and valuing the art. Also it's a big challenge to move into the social circles of the big art collectors and get their notice. Creating art is a very solo activity and most artists are deep into the creative process and it's quite a big adjustment to go from the introversion necessary to create, to the extroversion needed to make the contacts to sell the works. I would say the biggest challenge for me is switching from extreme introversion needed to create to the extreme extroversion necessary for the marketing of the creations.
Where would you like your art to take you?
I would like to be exhibiting worldwide. Would love to have a show in London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, etc. The inner journey of my work has taken me many places. I would now like the outer journey to do the same.
Where can we see your work?
I will be having a mini-retrospective exhibition at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, opening on June 9th 2012, running through August 18, 2010.
For more info: Coral Springs Museum of Art, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065 -(954) 340-5000