A QUICK CHAT WITH: DEAN DE LANDRE
He’d been on the radar of a few members from the SBC since the Fun Apparel days, but it was a recent series of works that had the worlds of art and professional cycling colliding with one another. For this first instalment of what will be a continuing series, we have a quick chat with Dean De Landre.
A 24 year old painter currently living in Torquay on Victoria’s stunning surf coast, Dean works at Geelong Gallery and does a bit of website usability testing from home. His work looks at landscapes and how we relate to them through popular culture (movies, video games, cultural ephemera etc) and seeing how that changes over time. Beyond art, he splits his time between surfing, collecting old things, and teaching himself how to garden and cook. Ahhhhhh what a life.
Was there a particular moment that inspired you to begin a series on the Tour de France?
To be honest this year was the first time I’ve ever watched the Tour and I was really enjoying it.
After a few nights of watching there was some of the drone footage that I really liked and thought the perspective could make decent paintings. So since then I’ve just been going back through the replays and seeing what I can find.
You live along Victoria’s surf coast – what drew you to the area, and what kind of role has the coastal setting played in your journey as an artist?
I moved to Torquay just over a year ago now. My family had a caravan here when I was a kid, and my cousins always lived here so I’ve spent a lot of time here over the years. Both my girlfriend and I grew up in coastal towns so after uni we knew we wanted to move out of the city and here suited us perfectly.
I’m not sure what role living here has played but I enjoy the change of pace/environment, I find it much easier to live here than the inner-city so that can’t be a bad thing art-wise.
Tell us a bit about your workspace…
I’ve just moved so my workspace isn’t really set up yet, but I work from home across two spaces. I normally draw/do any computer work inside and then have a studio in the backyard for all my painting and messier work.
Through the work seen on your Instagram feed, you work with a few different tools and mediums. This year have you had a particular affinity towards one? (Why?)
I think it’s just an extension of my general nature, I seem to get bored and bounced on from one idea to the next quickly so I think that filters into my approach to art.
As for if there’s a favourite; not particularly. I was hoping to fire up the airbrush more but I can find it tedious to use at times which puts me off. I also really wanted to commit to doing more connector pen work which I’ve done so I’m pleased with that.
Are there some specific pop culture references/themes that you keep coming back to in your work? Or as you’ve mentioned with your use of tools and mediums, do you find that you bounce around quite often?
Yes and no. I tend to bounce between the sources of my material, they might be video games, old books, newspapers, advertisements, anything really; so that can be quite diverse.
Within those sources however I’m generally looking for depictions of the landscape/natural world or examples of how we interact with it. For instance at the moment I’ve been collecting old fishing booklets, I’m not sure what I’ll do with them but for the moment they’ve got my attention.
Describe your perfect day off:
Just whenever I get to explore the coast or countryside with my partner Solveig and our friends or spending time with my Nannu and Nanna; as I get older those are the times I really cherish.
What are you focusing on for the remainder of 2018?
I’ve got a few things on the go that I’m trying to finish before the year is out.
One of them being a series of connector pen drawings appropriated from an old comic book. Like the Tour de France paintings, I focused on the backdrops of the comic strips and have used them to create new landscapes that will form my own book. Beyond that, I want to extend the Tour de France series and maybe show them somewhere or also turn them into a book of some sort, but we’ll see haha.
Dean’s Instagram is a perfect blend of his work mixed with surf coast life. Check it out here.
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