Ladon Alex is a fine artist whose artwork often tackle political and social topics. The Texas native, born Landon Shaw, is currently located in Little Rock, Arkansas where he attends college. Despite his birth name, Ladon Alex is the name he goes by when releasing art. He hopes that his art will influence people to think about their beliefs – “hopefully for the betterment of society.” His work often features distorted and colorful images of humans and animals, each with a different message. Check out Ladon’s artwork below and be sure to read our interview that follows.
My style would be best described by anyone who’s not me [laughs]. I just paint how I feel like painting in the moment. If you watched me paint nowadays you’d see how a lot of my process seems careless almost. Laid-back might be a better word actually; I trust myself.
I usually have pieces sketched out in a journal before hand, but if not, I at least have a pretty good idea about what I want to convey. I really only use acrylics and pastels as of now, and the pastels are usually confined to finishing touches and details you can’t really appreciate unless you’re in person. I definitely plan on expanding my mediums (and consequently, my process) in the future, but my process as of now is pretty straight forward. Think, sketch, paint, repeat.
Pretty much everything, but mainly photographs/films and the ideologies of (western) society as a whole. I read often, as well as pay attention to “trends” within American culture; what we deem acceptable and unacceptable and what changes those perspectives. A lot of my work has political undertones to it, such as “Wednesday at the Office” highlighting the normalization of gay narratives in our culture, and “Sunday’s Worst”, emphasizing the contradiction between many Christians and their outlook of those who are “less holy”. I think all art forms bleed into each other quite easily, so finding inspiration doesn’t demand too much work on my part. It hits me whenever it hits me, that just happens to be everyday [laughs].
In some city in New York, in my studio working on some pieces for a solo show. I have a cute dog with a spiked collar and my girlfriend is chilling in the studio with me or whatever [laughs]. I don’t know man. Growing up on Tyler [the Creator] and Kanye and reading about Jean[-Michel Basquiat] and witnessing a litany of artists not too much older than me “making it” already, I’ve learned it’s best to just dream big. I’m in college right now, but I think it’s completely possible for me to graduate and already have a nice foot in the door of this industry. Or even before I graduate. I believe in myself fully and I’m surrounded by people who believe in me the same. Social media has allowed me to talk to even more people who have come to believe in me, and that’s just the best feeling in the world. A guy from England wanted to buy some work last year and it stuck with me, it was an eye-opening moment, like ‘Yo, there are truly no boundaries anymore.’ We’re no longer limited to word-of-mouth and such. All that to say: wherever I am in 5 years, I’ll have 5 more years of growth and wisdom under my belt, so I’m looking forward to getting there, wherever “there” is.
At the end of the day I want people to remember Ladon Alex as an artist who made you truly feel something, who made you question yourself and those around you. Not to change your beliefs, necessarily, but to at least make you think about them. Hopefully for the betterment of society.