November 6, 2013

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Hanno van Zyl Interview

For The AssemblyFor The Assembly. Brush and Ink.

Hanno van Zyl is an artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is also one of the artists who did a deck graphic for the new Verb Artists Series 2013 range, which will be here soon. We caught up with him to chat about his graphic and what went into it…

What made you decide to take on this project?

I grew up skateboarding; I have always been surrounded by skateboarders and I have always been influenced by skate culture. I think it has helped me to understand what the value of counter culture is and instilled me with a more questioning nature. It has always been a personal goal to design my own board graphic.

Name 1 thing you’ve lost and 1 thing you’ve found, worth mentioning.

Hope.

Tell us more about your artwork. Why did you decide to do what you did? What is the story behind it?

I wanted to design something that specifically acknowledges the fact that it is on a skateboard. That would mean that it will get completely trashed after about two days of use. I wanted to take this into account and implicate the skater as part of the artwork. ‘Hot chicks’ were a stock-standard graphic option for skateboarding brands (think of the iconic Hook-ups brand) and was hugely popular when I was a teenage skater. I offer a slightly more honest and sinister look at this stylistic trademark and how it interacts with the idea of female objectification and the male gaze.

You do understand that, through the execution of your artwork onto the bottom of a skateboard deck, most of the replicas of your artwork will be thrown around, and get scratched and broken in the street right? How does that make you feel?

I tried to work that fact into the concept and made it an intrinsic part of the piece.

Doing a graphic to be applied onto a skateboard deck is essentially just creating an artwork for a different size and shape canvas than normal. What excites you about the idea that your artwork is going to feature on a deck as opposed to doing a regular print?

I don’t believe that a “normal canvas” exists. The medium is part of the message and I feel that every piece an artist does should be self-aware and critical of the space that it inhabits. The fact that I will essentially collaborate with a whole bunch of skaters to create unexpected new results is what excites me the most about this specific piece.

Name 5 verbs that describe your process when you were creating your graphic.

Search. Select. Interrogate. Adjust. Draw.

Come see Hanno’s deck first hand at the lost/found exhibition on 28 November…

Some more examples of Hanno’s work:

Self InitiatedSelf Initiated. Ink and Digital.

For Van Coke KartelFor Van Coke Kartel. Brush and digital.

For Van Coke KartelFor Van Coke Kartel. Brush and digital.

Self InitiatedSelf Initiated. Ink and Digital.

For LarkFor Lark. Brush and digital.