THE BIRTH OF DION STYLE – AN INTERVIEW
An interview with DION. The Berlin-based painter gives insight into his practice as an artist and shares some of his values and personal stories that define him.
What is new about DION?
„I radically live on my own terms and I never forget to love, respect and share. I believe that radical self-acceptance will radically change your life and give you the opportunity to experience, live and celebrate the real you. Most people miss out on experiencing the pure pleasure, most people live under their actual potential. I truly feel that I bring my heart and my vision to the canvas. My art is a transport medium to highlight my word „Live YOUR Life“.
I have a street art background that doesn’t define me but it influences my practice. My creative energy and ease have their roots in the graffiti age and today, I describe my style as an unconventional combination of urban street art and figurative painting.“
When was the DION Style born?
„In 2010, I saw a video of a sticker artist who pasted self-painted stickers on the street, which immediately hooked me. I was so taken by it that I bought myself post stickers in large stacks during school breaks. I covered them with spray paint and then used markers to draw simple cartoon characters, which I cut out and stuck on the street. On Flickr I exchanged street stickers with sticker artists from around the world. I spent hours priming, painting and cutting out stickers and got into a real flow moment for the first time in my life. This flow moment was the origin of my passion for art because I could express my energy in the flow. Two years later, I gradually got to know many painters of the local street art scene in my hometown Bremen and became a part of it. This time was very intense, because my circle of friends consisted primarily of artists who, like me, had the intrinsic energy to paint continuously and produce output. This intrinsic energy is what I have been applying to all other areas of my life ever since. In 2013, I started a studio community with artist friends in the industrial harbor of Bremen. We had a 100QM industrial loft with a view of the port. Space and time for celebrating the wildest parties, art all around. The free, unconventional attitude to life has become a mental model for my art, which has been a constant throughout my life ever since. Art is always there. No matter where I move or where I am with my thoughts. After I developed my own style over the first 10 years, the first buyers quickly approached me. Expanding on the life and lifestyle that I had in the industrial loft in my youth, I now go the next step and bring my art more and more in public spaces, especially in metropolitan areas.“
Which sensations do you feel when looking at a plain, empty canvas?
„The feeling can vary greatly depending on my mood and the situation in which I find myself. My best paintings are those when I am on autopilot and intuitively paint the basic sketch on the canvas with ease. These compositions are what make up the real DION style. There are days where I feel overwhelmed. On such days, I continue to paint on compositions that I have already begun, where I am already one step further in the creative process and in fact “only have to finish” the composition. That’s why I also like to paint many paintings at the same time. So I have a canvas for each mood in a multitude of different steps within my creative process.“
Which cultural and/ or societal topics are very important to you and why? How do you process those topic-related thoughts in your work as a painter?
„We are all born into a society that shapes our thinking and value system, the way we judge or what we perceive as realistically feasible. It is essential to detach ourselves from this mental structure programmed by our society to unleash our maximum potential and live according to our own norms and convictions. This decoupling or the realization is what I would like to show to other people and I also would like to address those who are already aware. Once you become aware, you will experience a mental liberation, I want to advocate for that. As the ultimate step, I believe that among the most fulfilling moments in life are one’s own creations resonance with others.“
Which happenings/ events in your life created the desire in you to be a painter?
„The free, unconventional attitude to life has become a mental model for my art, which has been a constant throughout my life ever since. Being a painter is the best way for me to live up to this feeling of life, free from norms and societal bias, and being a painter supports my strong intention and will to inspire people to live up to the versions of themselves that they want to unleash.“
What strikes you about painting?
„I love to play and I love to experiment. Bringing a concept to life, creating something that inherits my energy, creating something from my own hands. I like seeing things and people liberate themselves and transform. Materials, shapes, human evolution. In my view, art shapes the past, present and future. Art is and has always been powerful, it has an immediate impact on our brain and on our life. I want to use that power to fuel self-liberating movements. They are very needed in our current day and age.“
What does DION give to his collectors?
„My collectors tell me that my art reminds them of their childhood and inner child. It strikes me and also it makes sense. Children play and create. They are not anchored in obligations that prevent them mentally. They are in a constant flow. The free flow. Children are in their own cosmos and they have those radiant smiles because of it. No compromise. A DION painting is like a permanent encouragement to live according to one’s own standards, to shape one’s life proactively self-determined and to enjoy every step.“
What would be your personal dream come true in the (international) art world?
„For me it is not about winning a prize, I simply desire unlimited scope for my creative work and space to exchange ideas with interested collectors and friends, to realize creative projects and to just have a great time. I want to focus on the action and keep doing what I love. I want to unite self-determined, unconventional people through my art and I want to use my art as a medium to wake up everyone who is not aware of their socially imposed mental barriers. People shall find their power and make their own personal dream come true.“
What is DION painting for?
„I paint to create an omnipresent feeling of ease and a reminder to live a self-determined and unconventional life. I paint for the romantic but strong-willed side in me who wants to keep dreaming. I strongly believe that dreams may come true and I find it liberating, satisfying and energizing to have a higher goal. I want to share those views through my paintings and I want people not to shy away from freeing themselves and chasing their dreams.“