ARTISTIC INSIGHT: JORDAN DAWSON
Jordan Dawson’s art practice is characterised by hyperreal portraits that explore many different physical forms and traits that are subject to societal judgement. Tattoos, prosthetic limbs, freckles, scars, anorexia and cancer are some of the subject matters that he examines through meticulously detailed pencil drawings.
‘We live in a deeply superficial world that is fuelled by consumerism, and however hard we try we cannot escape judgement from others. This has been the focus of my work for the last three years since I started my course.’ – says Jordan, who recently graduated from the Fine Art course at Chelsea College of Arts.
‘I use hyperrealism for several reasons: I think striping down art to a simple pencil and paper is visually powerful and I love the detail in my work and how I’m transported to another world while drawing. Hyperrealism is not simply a replication of reality, rather it goes beyond (‘hyper’) what’s real, and allows the viewer to actually see and experience more.’
‘One of my biggest inspirations, artist Kelvin Okafor, was the one who taught me to really ‘draw’. By that I don’t just mean the process of skilfully drawing faces, but deeply connecting with your subject to the point that you feel as if you know them, studying the intricacies of their face (e.g how many hairs they have in their eyebrows), their emotions, their essence, and then being able to convey that. It is this that I’ve taken from him and built into my practice, which has taken me on this journey that ended with my final piece – a 23 by 32 inch hyperrealist drawing of Conor McGregor.’
In the 2017/18 collection of the Clyde & Co Art Award, Jordan is exhibiting a print copy of the original Conor McGregor drawing since the original was bought by the boxer himself.
‘Boxers and UFC fighters are typically seen as tough and fearless, however this drawing attempts to subvert that by stripping McGregor down to the nude and showing him as not only similar to everyone else, but also as vulnerable. His stance in the drawing balances his powerful boxer side and his exposed human side. However cliché, it’s true that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.’
You can follow Jordan’s work on his Instagram feed