Ahead of his brand new upcoming screen print release, ‘Indian Summer’ – leading UK street artist Xenz sat down with Nelly Duff to natter about his favourite parts of this new edition, the printing process and Brexit (…?)
ND: Can you tell us a bit about what you like about ‘Indian Summer’ and how you this edition came to be?
X:I have been making a series of paintings over gold circles which to me seem to symbolise the sun. The sun is what gives everything life and energy, that’s what I want to get across in these paintings. Life. Love. Energy. I love how the circular motif focuses the mind. All my work is about finding the sweet spot and this is a really good example of that.
ND: This is the first screen print we’ve released with you in 2019 (exciting!) and is made up of 15 layers, do you prefer working with screen print as a medium?
X: I really like traditional printing techniques, it’s a craft. It involves a lot of skill and experimentation to achieve results. It’s that hand made element that we should all value more in today’s technology driven society. Taking a painting and making an edition from that with a printer who knows his stuff is a real journey of discovery, the whole process fills me with excitement. It’s about capturing the details in the original painting which was made with spray paint – so lots of little dots! A printer’s nightmare, but Alasdair at Manson Press is a proper printer he really works hard to get the right results.
ND: You’ve worked very closely in the production of this print, particularly the gold-leafing and finishing of the hand-embellished edition, have you enjoyed that? What is it that hand-finishing adds to this edition?
X: This edition comes in two variants. There’s the luxurious small edition of hand finished gold leafed ones that have extra painted drip details, these are very special and it’s a very small edition, more like artist proofs really. The gold is real 23ct gold and like the sun it really does shine, and it will keep shining and shining long after we fade. Then there’s the main edition which I actually love even more for many reasons. The birds and branch detail have a gloss varnish over them which deepens the colours and makes the whole thing feel really lush. The purpose of making an edition is to offer the chance for people to have a beautiful affordable and collectible piece on their wall they they feel proud of. Hopefully it holds its value and becomes a wise investment, but most of all looks really beautiful in the room where it’s on display.
ND: You’ve released some amazing large scale editions in the past, this one is a little smaller and a little sweeter. Which do you prefer, big or small works?
X: I love everything I release – I really do. If I wouldn’t have it on my own wall why would anyone else? I have prints hanging on my wall that are nearly 15 years old and still look amazing. All my releases go through a process of delivery to meet high standards that stand the test of time. I know this from years of experience that they don’t fade, they don’t date, and this particular print is right up there with some of my all time favourite releases to date. I don’t think about scale in the same way others do. Most people think BIG is great, today it seems to be a measure of achievement to do it as big as possible to get as much attention as possible. But I love coming out with miniature stuff and persuading the viewers to look closer, and pay attention to the details.
ND: And finally, what’s the reaction you would love people to have when they see ‘Indian Summer
X: That’s a xenz print. I want it!! Eternal warmth. Fooook Brexit. Etc. Etc etc.
52cm x 54cm
15 layer silk-screen print
Edition of 75
‘Indian Summer – Hand Embellished’
52cm x 54cm
15 layer silk-screen print with 23ct gold leaf and aerosol can acrylic finishing
Edition of 25
Releasing exclusively at Nelly Duff, online and in store Saturday 28th September, 11am BST