It has been a busy time for Alex Dikowski, going from one side of the country to the other showing work for his exhibition “Attention Economy”. He now he has new work and a new show at Basile IE opening this Saturday, February 11th. Alex took a few moments from his busy last minute preparations to answer few questions.
Alex Dikowski: Art San Diego, for many reasons, was a fantastic experience. I got to meet a lot of really great people and had some interesting and thought provoking conversations with them. It was also where I debuted my series “Attention Economy”, which took me just about two years to create. Getting those pieces out of the studio and exhibited was the highlight of 2016. I was able to sell a good amount of artwork as well which, as an emerging artist, is a great feeling. So yeah, overall, Art San Diego was awesome!
AGSD: And then it was on to Art Basel in Florida…
A.D.: Yes! I’d been to Art Basel Miami for the past four years just as a collector. It was always a dream of mine to one day exhibit my own artwork, so it was cool to make that a reality. It was an intense experience; long days, lots of talking, but I enjoyed every second of it. I sold work to collectors all over the country and a couple pieces even went to Paris, France (my favorite city in the world). I can’t wait to do it again, I’m already planning my booth space for 2017.
AGSD: In “Attention Economy” you explore ideas of economics in modern society and social media , things many of us have a love/hate relationship with. What prompted you to explore these ideas?
A.D.: I used to be a technology entrepreneur and spent a lot of my life building software companies. I was fascinated by internet companies who had zero profit, yet had valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars (sometimes billions) – how was that possible? One of my mentors explained to me the concept of “attention economy”, which is the idea that “eyeballs are the new currency”. There is an extremely high value placed on capturing people’s attention. When I dug deeper into the concept, I came across articles and research papers about the dangers of paying too much attention to social media. My series “Attention Economy” is a reaction to that reality, it’s a response to the way humans consume social media.
AGSD: When did you realize that art was a way of life for you? Have you always explored creativity?
A.D.: I’ve been making art my entire life. Growing up, my two younger brothers played sports, but I was much happier with a paintbrush in my hand. I was never excited about school, except for art class. As time went on, my love for art never diminished. However, my business obligations left very little time to make art. I finally had enough of running my tech company and about two years ago I left that world to pursue art full-time. Best decision I’ve ever made. I get to create artwork every single day and I’ve never been happier.
AGSD: You are working on a new project. What ideas are you exploring now?
A.D.: The new series is called “In God We Trust” and it’s a sort of natural progression from my last body of work. Most of the “Attention Economy” pieces had real dollar bills that I cut and collaged onto canvas. It was interesting to see how people reacted to that. Some were amazed, others were offended. Sometimes it felt like the concepts I was trying to convey were being overshadowed by people’s reaction to the cut bills. It made me realize how so many people are obsessed by and have such an emotional connection to money. “In God We Trust” is an exploration of the complex relationships that human beings have with money and finance.
AGSD: Will you be showing new works at your show at Basile IE?
A.D.: Yes! I’ll be exhibiting six new pieces from the “In God We Trust” series. I can’t wait for people to see them in person.
Alex’s exhibition, “Mechanics of Desire“, at Baslie IE, 2070 Logan Avenue, San Diego, opens on February 11, 2017, and runs until April 1, 2017 . The opening reception on February 11, 2017, runs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
February 8, 2017
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