Evan Hecox

Photographs by andrewpaynter.com

Evan Hecox is a Colorado-based artist whose work captures the essence of urban environments through a unique process that involves careful, first-hand observations of his surroundings and then progresses into drawings and paintings that are striking in their graphic simplicity. His work recognizes and evokes the transitory nature of cities and of the lives that exist within them.

His work has been exhibited all over the world. And it has appeared many times in our scrapbooks.

Do you have a guiding principle towards doing your work?

I’ve always followed the idea that everything in the world is potentially worth considering for it’s aesthetic and emotional value. More than any specific subject matter this is what has steered my work in the direction it has gone. My interest in cities has mostly to do with how they appear to me through a filter in my own mind where everything becomes like a big, living, abstract painting. It’s the idea of seeing things as beautiful regardless of what their actual function in the real world is. This is why I have done drawings of things like crumpled cigarette cartons lying on the ground, to me it’s just form and shape and color, nothing to do with actual cigarettes.

Has that evolved over time?

My work has become more abstracted over time. I’ve tried harder to make people see it how I see it. I’m not really trying to illustrate, or make a postcard-like image of something, or tell a specific story; I’m just trying to make other people see a world that exists all around them but they have become immune to. I’ve had to try to push my work farther and unhinge it from realism more to get my point across.

Who has been your biggest influence in terms of your work?

I’m influenced by many artists and many things, so it’s hard to narrow it down that much. I’ve always been attracted to very graphic work, like Japanese woodcuts, Illustration from the 50’s and 60’s, Little Nemo comic strips, Chris Ware, Ellsworth Kelly, early Andy Warhol illustration, architectural drawing, graffiti, European poster art, children’s art, folk art, and one million other things I have stashed away somewhere in my brain.

Do you have any advice for other artists?

Well, it would only be advice that I should do better to follow myself, but I suppose I would say that good work comes from working a lot. I get the most inspired and I do the best work when I stay busy. Practice and application refines the work and makes ideas clearer. Just sitting around trying to think of something rarely works, you just have to work hard and get your hands dirty.