British artist Andy Dennett, otherwise known as Add Subtract, takes his inspiration from a career in music. With a background as a DJ working in clubs, at festivals, corporate events, as well as artist liaison and promoting his record label, Andy has witnessed the fast paced, high-energy lifestyle and the challenges individuals can endure through their musical success. With the highs come the lows, no matter the genre, scale or industry, the fame can chew up and spit out the best of the best, and truly push people to the precipice.
Executing a mixed media style with the use of graffiti, collage, paint and a principal portrait image, Add Subtract has created the “twisted icons” series – work featuring a hero shot of an iconic artist, paired with a collage journey of their lives.
Starting with a trigger moment in time during the icon’s life, a ‘hero’ image is carefully selected and often manipulated to emphasise the root of inspiration for the piece. Andy will immerse himself in the icons history and craft to absorb every detail, fusing together torn press clippings and album artwork with spray paint, acrylic, pen, stickers and even gold leaf.
Each piece of work is often fuelled by a troubled soul at war with inner demons. Addiction, money, power, fame, and the impact they have form part of the inspiration for each piece Andy creates. It’s not uncommon to see his work feature a yellow halo and this symbolises that despite everything endured there is a soul at the core of us all. Often there is a “hello my name is sticker” places carefully in the composition, which reminds us that we are all just people, just a face with a name.