Title: WELL, AT LEAST WE ARE SAFE…
Dimensions: width: 115cm height: 115cm
Country: United Kingdom
Julian Hanford is a self-taught artist who has been practicing creatively throughout a long and distinguished career as an award-winning Creative Director in British advertising. He left the world of commercial creativity to concentrate, firstly, on conceptual photography 5 years ago, and has since moved into utilising his talent for ideas and visual communications to forge a meaningful body of fine art. His practice involves combinations of different media, with a bias towards photography, but embracing the imaginative contemporary use of image manipulation. His influences include the surrealists, Man Ray and Rene Magritte in particular, Gilbert Garcin, Pop artists such as Jeff Koons & Andy Warhol, and modern ironicists including David Shrigley and Matt Collishaw.
His recent photographic projects include a surreal portrait series exploring the personalities and motivations of notable creative people working at the sharp end of the British Advertising industry for the last 50 years, entitled Assorted Nuts, part of which was exhibited to acclaim at the 50th Anniversary awards show of the Designers & Art Directors Association (D&AD) in September 2012. The finished series is scheduled to be exhibited and published in book form in 2014. His fine art works seek to explore the relationships and mysteries of humankind’s changing relationship with, and understanding of, the universe in which we exist, and the illusions and self-delusions we have so far traditionally held to be true. He has just completed a popular 6 month Solo Show at Apostrophe Soho, in Central London Hanford lives in Wimbledon, London with his family, cats and Leopard Geckos
My work fits somewhere between the infinite vastness of the universe, and the mundane day to day stuff that we love to fill our lives with here on Earth. Only in between these two extremes do I see any fundamental truth. And I have lots and lots of questions. My pieces are usually inspired by things that have seemed absurd to me throughout my brief tenure here as a human being. Sometimes I find them funny. Sometimes terrifying. Often, they are both. The particular medium I use is irrelevant to me. Whichever has a resonance with the idea and underpins what I am trying to convey ends up being that which I use for a particular piece. And if I don’t possess enough craft skills in a particular medium to achieve the result I want, I collaborate with someone who does. The end always justifies the means. And the idea trumps the bravura use of technique every time. Therefore expect painting, sculpture, model-making, found objects and all sorts of other stuff here. However, I have a fondness for photography, because I am comfortable with the craft. It is also the single medium that now dominates visual communications of every kind in our culture, so the twisting and distortion of its perceived parameters is more interesting to me than, say, painting. If I start talking art bollocks, just stop me. I am also not a great believer in categorisation – personally I reckon it is the bane of our civilisation, and certainly of our creativity – so I don’t really know or care what genre or movement I am supposed to be in. That’s for you to decide. What I am interested in is making a connection and instigating a dialogue – if something that I do resonates with you then we are friends – kindred spirits on this chaotic and extraordinary journey.