Andy Holden (b. 1982) lives and works in Bedfordshire, UK. He graduated from Goldsmiths (London) in 2005. He first came to the attention of a large public in 2010 for his ‘Pyramid Piece’ and ‘Return of the Pyramid Piece’, exhibited in the Art Now series at Tate Britain. In 2011, he was mentioned by Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey as his own inspirational artist.
Holden is both a multi-media artist and a musician whose body of work is varied and spans across different techniques. Indeed, his artistic output is influenced by the dialogue and synergy between the different facets of his practice: he works with plaster, bronze, ceramics, found objects and images, household paint and printmaking, video, sound and performance.
Some of the recurring themes in his work are history, memory, nostalgia and philosophical enquiry. In apparent disaccord with the universality and urgency of these issues, Holden’s explorations often take the form of repurposed everyday techniques – such as knitting – or ‘entities’ – such as the beloved cartoon characters of our childhood. One of the most challenging traits of Holden’s practice is the dichotomy between the childlike gaze with which the world is examined and the simultaneous awareness of life’s periodic bleakness. Andy Holden’s interest in childhood and notions of play in relation to art stems from his investigation on how we experience objects in the world: this also leads him to probe the relationship between artifact and artifice, authentic and fake, as well as to experiments with scale. Indeed, the action of casting a fresh gaze on an object is central to Holden’s practice: be it that of a child, of a tourist or that triggered by a change of proportions. This is also related to the artist’s interest in cartoons, which derives from his conviction that by studying them, one might be able to extrapolate a methodology to help understanding our world after the end of history.