Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Allan Linder, an award-winning New York artist known for his dynamic range and style across multiple mediums throughout the art world, including comic books, animation, television, and character design.
Hi Allan, Great to have you with us today! Please share with our readers about yourself.
I was born in California, but I have lived in about half of the states in the US. My father was in the service, so we traveled a lot when I was growing up. This nomadic lifestyle inspired my artistic career because of the constant change in culture and scenery every time we moved.
Please tell us more about your journey.
I come from a family of artists, which was very encouraging for me. My journey is long; I started painting at an early age and won my first award when I was fifteen years old. I have been working in traditional painting, sculpting, and digital art for thirty years. I have since had hundreds of exhibitions around the world in different art galleries and museums. I am currently living and working in New York City.
What Does Your Artwork represent?
My work is an exposition of a shared culture that explores a path through real and digital by creating a language between texture and color. I think most of my work directly responds to the surrounding environment, and I use everyday experiences as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context.
How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
The current state of the world is a mess. Maybe it always has been. I just finished a series of paintings titled “Manifest No War,” which deals with the war in Ukraine. It is a series of mixed media collage artwork using woven fabric patterns passed down from the Ukrainian people, national currency, and news clippings along with cast plastic sculptures of average. Being strong in the face of adversity is, to say the least, challenging. Many of the pieces evoke notions of freedom, solidarity, and resilience to help those affected by the war in Ukraine. This series of paintings are on exhibition currently at Rochester Contemporary Art Center.
• One of the paintings is available as a free NFT drop to raise funds that support the Ukrainian people by providing food, medical help, and trauma support to victims of military aggression.
• I have an upcoming series of artwork I just started working on titled “Colors of Freedom” that deals with the American history of voting, civil rights, abortion, and the LGBTQ community.
Who are your biggest influences?
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work opened the door for me to think about poetry, drawing, and painting, mixed with text and image, abstraction, symbolism, and historical ideas blended with a modern eye. He used social criticism in his paintings as a device for self-reflection and for addressing his experiences in the Black community, as well as a weapon against injustice and systems of racism. His visual poetics were keenly political and aggressive in their judgment of imperialism and the foundation for class struggle.
Which current art world trends are you following?
NFTs changed everything in the world of art. Being able to have a permanent record of the provenance of a painting or piece of digital art is an incredible experience. I have launched twenty-four NFT art collections over the past three years, and engaging with fans on social media is very important as artists seek a more direct connection with their communities and challenge social issues. Art becomes the catalyst for change, not an end product to consume.
My focus on digital portraiture is about exploring new ways of painting through digital technology in combination with real-world art tools. I decided to use new fractal design tools to create the essence of the human condition and what that might look like in the future. As we enter the virtual world more and more, we need a representation of who we are as individuals. The idea of the Supreme Mind as a physical avatar called to me. Thus began my pursuit of finding the essence of human portraits as futuristic digital avatars. A new beginning for my work, and a bridge between real and unreal.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
My coffee table art book chronicles my life as an artist. It was originally published in 2007 and sold out. The book 20th Century and Beyond is now back in print and available on Amazon.
You can also check out my website for the latest news about my work, exhibitions, NFT drops, and publications. You can follow me on Instagram @allan_linder.
Thank you so much, Allan, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!
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