Issue #2: Andy Dixon x Versace Home x Sasha Bikoff
Andy Dixon is a Canadian fine-artist based in sunny Los Angeles, whose works question the inherent value in coveted luxury. He is particularly fond of Flemish still-life, Versace silk shirts, and vintage Playboy magazine spreads, resulting in a perfect storm of culture, chaos, and appropriation. In his youth, Dixon was an experimental electronic musician who turned to painting—taking his inspiration from the eclectic and desirable.
American Sasha Bikoff is an interior designer whose aesthetic inspirations range from New York City and Miami where she grew up; to 18th century French Rococo mixed with 1960s Space Age Modern, 1970s French Modernism, and 1980s Italian Memphis Milano. Bikoff has “always felt a deep connection to Versace as it embodies everything I believe in, a sense of fun and freedom to be daring.”
The legendary Gianni Versace created the Versace Home Collection in 1992 with a collection of textiles, which was expanded to include tableware through porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal. In 2019, Versace Home is creating furniture, textiles, porcelain tableware, wallpapers, wall coverings, ceramic tiles, bath accessories, and more.
Dixon’s inaugural solo exhibition, held in New York called Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat, is the source of the artwork displayed at the Versace palazzo on Via Gesù. In addition to three of Dixon’s opulent over-scaled shirts (108”x84”) many of his paintings were also translated into wallpaper and provide a dizzying backdrop in many of the rooms.
The palazzo is a compilation of neoclassical buildings which were constructed in 1782. In 1982, Gianni Versace began to purchase structures on the site—ultimately creating a complex that is not generally open to the public but during Milan Design Week, a limited number of tickets were available each day for entry.
The night before the event launch, an exclusive dinner and sneak peek was hosted by the dynamic trio and ELLE Décor Editor-in-Chief Whitney Robinson. Guests included design guests Matteo Cibic, Laura Sartori Rimini, Roberto Peregalli, Julian Bedel, and Alan Richard. Dixon wore a one-of-a-kind robe created by the Versace team exclusively for him based a collaborative design of nine Christie’s Auction House items.
It was a heady experience as guests stepped into the interior rooms of the palazzo. An abundance of Versace motifs in candy swirl-like carpets caressed neon clouds, plexiglass islands topped with delicious furnishings, and rotating Pop Medusa chairs enhanced the fantastical setting. The effect was luminescent, gorgeous, and unlike anything ever experienced before. The combination of styles was playfully described as “Versasha” and incredibly also included metallic leathers, mirror, and glass.
While there were many people to engage with during his short stay in Milan—designers, architects, artists—Dixon says the “absolute pinnacle was meeting Donatella.”
Initially contacted regarding the collaboration via his Instagram account, Dixon thought he was set-up to be catfished. Ready to leave for his studio and optimistically paused to perform a few Google searches (just in case) and found the sender was part of the Versace team.
The staff at the Joshua Liner Gallery coordinated the safe transport of the pieces to Milan, and now that the exhibition has concluded, the pieces are being returned to New York and their new owners. The ‘Look at This Stuff Isn’t It Neat’ exhibit sold-out on opening day at the end of February, so there are many collectors patiently waiting for their Andy Dixon originals!
Collaborating with Versace Home was “overwhelming, positive, exhausting, invigorating,” says Dixon as he tries to explain the emotions surrounding the life-changing opportunity, and “the journalists were so warm and filled with wonderfully thought-provoking questions, I had a great time.”
Andy Dixon will be showing at the Over The Influence gallery in Hong Kong in September 2019.