Pick Me Up Q&A Series: DXTR

Pick Me Up Q&A Series: DXTR

One tenth of street art collective The Weird DXTR was given his nickname by friends who would describe his kitchen, often littered with paint kettles and and spray cans as Dexter’s Laboratory. His work is most often described as ‘Pop Surrealism’ and he’s painted walls all over Europe as well as creating work for clients ranging from Amnesty International to Nike. We caught up with him to find out more.

How would you describe your style?

It’s a weird and fun mixture of Ren and Stimpy, Fritz the Cat, 90’s Rap and obscure symbolism. Wild yet wickedly clean, bold and bizarre.

Tell us a bit about how you developed your aesthetic

This is something that needed time and a lot of effort. I think it really helped that I started to study graphic design at the University because it gave me several years to focus on style and to see what I want to achieve with my work. Also my roots in graffiti writing helped a lot to develop what I’m doing today, a mixture of pop surrealism, graffiti and classic graphic design.

Screen printed t-shirts designed for us by DXTR.
Screen printed t-shirts designed for us by DXTR.
What’s your first weapon of choice when creating new work?

First of all the almighty brain is the weapon of choice. For creating new work it’s always necessary to have a nice idea/concept that I want to work on. If it’s free/personal work I always try to go a bit out of the comfort zone and test something new and fresh, actually I really like to experiment and change my style from time to time. You’ll always see that I’ve done it somehow, but the technique varies a lot. Regarding client work, it always starts with research. So brain and Google are my weapons of choice. Beside that, pen, paper, acrylics, Photoshop, Illustrator are the tools that I use.

How different was the design process for your Pick Me Up print/t-shirt knowing that the final image would be interpreted as a screen print?

Actually it was no different design process for me, since I have deep roots in screen printing and always use a reduced colour palette. So screen prints are a perfect fit for my work.

DXTR Screen Print 3rd Rail
A close up of Wrong Side of the Tracks – a 6 colour screen print by DXTR.
You’ve had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects, has anything made you consider a complete career change?

Founding The Weird Crew with some of my closest friends and admired artists back in 2011 was definitely a career changer for me. Since that we focus on large scale muralism and I’m working more and more analog again. This got me back to painting canvases and nowadays I try to keep it 50/50 with personal work on canvas and wall and digital client stuff.

DXTR Banafesto Amnesty International
One of the illustrations DXTR created for Banafesto on a digital billboard in Times Square, New York City.
And what’s been a highlight?

Back in 2012 I had the pleasure to work with San Francisco based agency Odysseus Arms on a great project for Amnesty International called Banafesto.

The task was to create the main images for a month-long campaign on Times Square New York City to support a strong global arms treaty right before the trade treaty debate opened at the United Nations.

Beside over 600000 people signing the petition and loads of people taking part in the Rally on Times Square, the event got news coverage worldwide. Amazing to be part of this good cause and finally the arms trade treaty got approved by the U.N.!

DXTR Screen Print

Wrong Side of the Tracks is a limited edition 6 colour screen print by DXTR. It’s available now from www.3rdrailpresents.co.uk/shop
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