Dan Withey

Represented Artist

Dan Withey

Represented Artist

Born in Birmingham England in 1986, Dan Withey immigrated to Australia with his parents in 2004. Withey studied a Bachelor of Visual Communication (specialising in illustration) at the University of South Australia. Withey became a professional visual artist in 2007 soon after he graduated as the Student of the Year from the Design Institute of Australia.

His work draws from his background in illustration and design. Humour and ungraded emotion pop out of his works. His works often depict a clear lightness.However, this lightness does not mean that each of his works is themed around light emotions – other darker emotions are often present, creating a complexity that carries through to the viewer.

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REVIEW

Imbued with a playful humour and ungraded emotion, Dan Withey paintings are accessible and completely unpretentious. As decorative objects they look great on the wall but within each image there is a layer of emotion that lies beneath the surface. As a whole, Withey’s style draws upon a tradition of graphic imagery in the sphere of fine art that perhaps began with Reg Mombassa.
Withey explains, in his Birmingham accent, how Mombassa introduced him to art and Australia when he was just 8 years old. “I thought art was for a small group of people that I wasn’t a part of. But when I saw his [Mombassa’s] work I can remember thinking ‘oh, art’s for everybody.’ There was something about his images that just stuck in my brain as a kid. Also, my family had just moved here so I guess his art taught me about this place in a weird kind of way.”

Withey is inspired by the swirling mass of popular culture. In this sense Dan likens his brain to some kind of ‘weird filter’ that sucks in all that interests him and translates it into his own visual language. Having witnessed that language develop over the years we can now enjoy a richness to Withey’s compositions that wasn’t there in the beginning. But throughout his growth as an artist Withey’s style has remained constant.

Clean lines, vivid colours and solid shapes are the mainstays that make up Withey’s characters. Their simplicity combines human and animal forms into creatures that are neither one nor the other. It’s also worth noticing that his characters are almost exclusively masculine suggesting their role as the artist’s alter egos. Together with their tribal elements, his characters hold a totemic quality, each with its own subtle emotion used to capture Withey’s feelings at the it was created.

Paintings of this kind, which reinvent tribal imagery, will always have an appeal because they work on universal visual mechanisms. We respond intuitively to basic colour combinations and simple shapes because they remind us of the inescapable truth that we are all still animals. The use of these mechanisms becomes all the more endearing when used so openly. They politely ask us to let our guard down and remember the simple things we all have in common. Of course, when we do, we discover that it feels good words.

– Peter Drew

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Birmingham England in 1986, Dan Withey immigrated to Australia with his parents in 2004. Withey studied a Bachelor of Visual Communication (specialising in illustration) at the University of South Australia. Withey became a professional visual artist in 2007 soon after he graduated as the Student of the Year from the Design Institute of Australia and has since created a plethora of works. With over 17 successful solo shows behind him, Withey is one serious individual and a unique artist to watch!

His work draws from his background in illustration and design. Humour and ungraded emotion pop out of his works which cannot help but affect the viewer’s mood. His works often depict a clear lightness which is translated through his creation of amiable characters. However, this lightness does not mean that each of his works is themed around light emotions – other darker emotions are often present, creating a complexity that carries through to the viewer.

EDUCATION

BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design 2002 – 2004
Bachelor of Visual Communication (Illustration Design) 2004 – 2007
Certificate IV in Business (Small Business Management) 2008

EXHIBITIONS

Solo Exhibitions

2017 The day the world was ok, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD
2017 External Drivers, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide, SA
2016 Back to Abnormal, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide SA
2016 An Encounter With Dan Withey, Scott Livesey Gallery, Armadale VIC
2015 The Collections Project, City Library, Adelaide SA
2014 Influx, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD
2014 Humans, Penny Contemporary, Hobart TAS
2014 Three’s a Company, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide SA
2013 Happiness INC, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD
2013 Visable Ink – Dragonfly Bar / Gallery , Adelaide SA
2012 Withey or Withoutey, Magazine Gallery, Adelaide SA
2012 Dan Withey Solo show, Jackman Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2012 Dan Withey Solo show , Tin Cat Cafe, Adelaide SA
2012 The Melbourne Affordable Art Fair, Melbourne VIC
2012 That Stencil Solo Show, Sugar Night, Adelaide SA
2011 Quantum, Magazine Gallery, Adelaide SA
2011 The House Of Dan, AP Bond Gallery, Adelaide SA
2011 Milk and Honey, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD
2011 Dan Withey Solo Show, Jackman Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2010 Surplus, Carclew, Adelaide SA
2010 Dan Withey Solo Show, Sugar Nite Club, Adelaide SA
2010 String’s, No Vacancy, Melbourne VIC
2010 Dan Withey Solo Show, Fad Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2009 Dan Withey Solo Show, Urban Cow Studio, Adelaide SA
2009 Dan Withey Solo Show, Tape Deck Razorblade Gallery, Adelaide SA
2009 Die-O-Rama, Dragonfly Bar & Gallery, Adelaide SA
2007 First Solo Show, Worlds End Hotel, Adelaide SA

Group Exhibitions

2017 The Art of Christmas, Adelaide Riverbank SA
2016 Adelaide Parklands Art Prize, Adelaide SA
2015 PAIN/TING, Group Exhibition, The Walls Gallery, Berlin, GERMANY
2013 Starting Small, Porter Contemporary, New York USA
2012 The Game Part 2, These Walls Don’t Lie Gallery, Adelaide SA
2012 Print Exhibition, These Walls Don’t Lie Gallery, Adelaide SA
2012 SA Illustrated, The Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
2012 This Is It, These Walls Don’t Lie Gallery Grand Opening, Adelaide SA
2012 The Game, Tooth and Nail Studio Gallery, Adelaide SA
2011 Tooth and Nail Studio Gallery Grand Opening, Adelaide SA
2011 We Started Something We Couldn’t Finish, Paper String Plastic, Adelaide SA
2011 Street Sample, AP Bond Gallery, Adelaide SA
2011 Grand Opening, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide SA
2011 Uchiwa Fan, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide SA
2011 Homage to Frida, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD
2011 Goons & Hoons, Waymouth Gallery, Adelaide SA
2010 It Came From Outer Space – Dan Withey, Joshua Smith, Simone Clare, Nexus Gallery (part of Adelaide Fringe), Adelaide SA
2010 Peter Walker Fine Art SALA (South Australia Living Artists) Festival Show, Adelaide SA
2010 Wild Things, Urban Cow Studios, Adelaide SA
2009 STK5 Format Festival (part of the Adelaide Fringe), Adelaide SA
2009 Paper Horse Studios 1 year Anniversary Show, Paper Horse Studios, Adelaide SA
2009 100 Bucks and Runin (3rd show), 5000 Gallery, Adelaide SA
2009 Big 2% Format Show, Queens Theater, Adelaide SA
2009 Portraits of the Forest Show, Paper Horse Studios, Adelaide SA
2009 Dan Withey, Luku & Stacie Wilson Show, Tape Deck Razorblade Gallery, Adelaide SA
2009 Our Days are Numbered – Dan Withey, Fruzie Kenez, The Electric Light Hotel, Adelaide SA
2009 Eat the Dead, Sugar Gallery, Adelaide SA
2009 Fundraislinn, Helen Gory Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2009 Mexican Film Festival Poster Exhibition, Mercury Cinema, Adelaide SA
2008 Black & White Show, Paper Horse Studios, Adelaide SA
2008 I Am Art Show, Irving Baby! Store, Adelaide SA
2008 Object Exhibition, Paper Horse Studios, Adelaide SA
2007 Graduate Show, Uni SA , Adelaide SA

ACHIVEMENTS/PUBLIC ART

2016 Wall Mural (interior and exterior), Fish Head Restaurant, Adelaide SA
2009 Dan’s work was published in Monster Children Magazine as part of the Mooks Art Space competition
2007 Dan was awarded First Prize in the Design Institute of Australia, Student of the Year Awards, in the Graphic Design Category

Previous Clients

Business SA
Uni Life Magazine
Aquent Illustration and Graphic Design Agency
Entropy Magazine
Merge Magazine
The Tour Down Under 2010
Clemenger BBDO

PUBLICATIONS

The Adelaide Eastern Courier
The Adelaide City Messenger
Onion Magazine (interview)
The Independent Weekly (Online Video In The Gallery (Featured)
www.fivethousandcom (featured)
Adelaide Matters Magazine (cover image & interview)
The Adelaide Review
Rip it up
Uni Life Magazine (cover image)
Entropy Magazine (cover image)
Merge Magazine (interview)
Monster Children
Home Slice
Pen & Paper online magazine issue 4 (cover image & interview)
www.designmontage.com.au  (interview)
artbuds.com  (interview)

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