From a solid foundation in design, John Andrew Dixon creates intricate collage artworks full of color and visual allusions. By repurposing discarded paper and other devalued remnants of everyday culture, he uses his aesthetic sensitivity to produce enduring artworks that exemplify his refined intuitive process and exceptional artisanship. Dense with layers of ingredients, his work captures a visual balance that is rich with spatial harmony (color, shape, texture, rhythm) and emotional impressions (surprise, intrigue, beauty, joy).
The spontaneity seen in his work comes from the depth of his intuition. “Almost anything that has been cast off has the potential to be renewed, infused with symbolic meaning, and connected with our awareness,” Dixon says. “I balance my approach to the medium by considering collage as an artifact as well as a painting. The result is derived more from creative impulse than from conscious decision-making, almost like improvisational music. When the literal characteristics of scrap are successfully transcended, their juxtaposition as ingredient elements offers a distinctive, shared experience to observers. I am gratified when they participate in this sense of pure discovery.
By commission, Dixon also offers what he calls “legacy collage.” Using provided artifacts from travels, career, or a lifetime, he creates archival works of art that provide patrons a way to preserve and display significant elements from their documents and clippings. These works make ideal gifts to esteemed individuals or their heirs. With his illustrative abilities and mixed media skills, Dixon can include creations from his own hand in the commissioned piece. He avoids using ink-jet reproductions in his work.
To understand collage and its history as an art form, Dixon has studied the work of Schwitters, Höch, Hausmann, Cornell, Rauschenberg, Hamilton, Otnes, and Kolář, as well as contemporary practitioners. Dixon earned a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP). After working in Brussels and Chicago, teaching design fundamentals at Wright State University in Ohio, and a 40-year career as an award-winning designer and illustrator, Dixon brings a mature focus to his work in mixed media. As a fine artist and exhibitor, he is a regular blogger on the topic of collage and is active in ongoing joint ventures among regional creatives. Working from a studio and gallery in the heart of downtown Danville, Dixon and his wife and partner, Dana, offer visual communication solutions to institutions and entrepreneurs. His current work is displayed at Dixon Design and available by appointment.