I really enjoy the beautiful artwork of Atlanta native, HENSE (Also known as, Alex Brewer). The organic shapes and lines that can be found in his body of work. I appreciate the scale and color palette of his recent work, and the originality, composition and grit of his early work.
HENSE launched his career in the ’90s painting walls and writing graffiti in and around Atlanta. By 1999, he had achieved “all city status,” meaning his work could be found in almost every neighborhood in Atlanta. In addition, HENSE has produced exterior works across the U.S, and abroad in Spain, France, Japan, Taiwan and Mexico.
As part of his continuing efforts to work amidst the urban landscape, HENSE has adopted a variety of innovative techniques, realizing art in public spaces by means of print-making, painting, and art installations.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A fireman or train engineer.
What do you LOVE? Why?
Travel, film, food, my two chihuahuas, painting, drawing, architecture, color, my wife to be. These things make me happy.
Who are some of your influences?
I’m currently really into Christopher Wool, Sol LeWitt and Katerina Grosse to name a few.
How would you describe your art work to a blind person?
Good question. I would explain that it is a non-literal form of pure abstraction, with focus placed on line, color and process.
Private Commission – Washington DC
House paint and spray enamel on church
Dimensions vary -2012
What is your process like?
My process really depends on the project or what I’m working on. I generally need coffee and music regardless. When I’m working in the studio, sometimes I’ll work on several paintings at once so I don’t have to wait for things to dry. I like having lots of surfaces going to throw marks on. That way I’m not stuck on one piece trying to force it. When I’m working outdoors on exterior projects it’s a little different because I’m usually focused on one project at a time. The large exterior scale and process is much more physical. I’m up and down on a lift and carrying 5 gallon buckets around, so it can get exhausting but I love that part of it. Scale has always been an important component in my work and I’ve continued to try to push that with my newer projects. Almost everything I work on is completely spontaneous and I rarely use a preconceived sketch or concept. I’ve been recently experimenting in treating my exterior works similarly to my paintings.
South Broad Street – Atlanta, Ga
House paint and spray enamel on building
Dimensions vary – 2012
Photo courtesy of Rob Dunalewicz
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
Eating anything with mayonnaise on it.
What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I love long-haired chihuahuas.
What is your favorite tool?
Right now I enjoy using household mops.
Acrylic, house paint and spray enamel on wood
72×72 inches – 2012
If you had to pick another career, what would it be?
That’s a hard question. Maybe a writer?
How do you define success?
I think success is when you love what you do for a living.
Photos via instagram @hensethename
How do you think we can make the world a better place?
Treating other people well.