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Henry Dante’s Pointillism

Henry Dante is a 21 year old self-taught artist from St Paul, Minnesota who has been drawing for literally as long as he can remember (oh, and he still has remnants of the first steps he took, so that should tell you something). He has been using pointillism for just over a year and a half and is continually evolving as a person and artist. He is hopes to become a tattoo artist in the future. Check out Henry’s work below and be sure to read our interview with him that follows.

Click on any of the above images to open a gallery of Henry’s artwork.
Describe your style of work.
Although my style has been constantly evolving over the past couple years, I would describe it currently as micro-surrealism with a touch of contemporary and abstract flair.
When did you find your style?
My artform has been revolving around pointillism, which I have been practicing for a bit over a year and a half at this point. I’ve currently started working more with lines, geometry, and abstract shapes in order to contrast the subtle details that dotwork entails. When I first realized that stippling fit my art style very well, I began drawing simple classic designs such as flowers, skulls, and animals. Those elements are still very prevelant in my current pieces, although they are much more unique at this point.
How do you start a new piece? What’s the first step?
I first begin a new piece by brainstorming certain components that I want included in the final product according to how I feel, and what is interesting to me at the time. I have a pocket-size notebook that I use to draw an extremely rough draft of the piece in, just to get the composition down. Once I’m happy with overall structure, I’ll either sketch the components straight onto the page, or make stencils of certain parts such as statues, architecture, or faces in order to get the basic shape down. Once all the major parts are onto the page, I’ll usually just let my mind flow and see how different components interact with each other, while adding lines and geometry to compliment different parts. Almost all of my drawings now are completely dotted, including the lines, as I like the subtlety it provides, rather than a hard black outline. After that, it’s a matter of patience and time with stippling, layering dots, and erasing pencil marks to embolden certain areas with ink instead of graphite.
What is it that inspires you the most?

My biggest inspiration, by far, is Mother Nature and what exists naturally out in the world and universe. Ever since I was a kid, I was always interested in insects, animals, planets, and science. Virtually all of those components, and more, are quite common in all of my pieces on both a small and large scale. Along with that, the numerous artists (mostly tattoo artists), that I follow have been a huge motivating factor for me, as that’s the path I hope to pursue. Lately I’ve been taking a lot of influence from Ancient Greek and Roman architecture, as the craftsmanship that goes into making hyper-realistic statues of their gods has always been incredibly perplexing.  Other than that, I’ve been a huge fan of surrealist artists such as Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali for quite some time now, and some of their direct influences are also visible in some of my pieces.

What does art mean to you?
Art, to me, is a means for me to spit my thoughts and feelings out into the world without the use of words. I’ve never been a very social person, or much of a talker in general, so I often use my artwork to convey my emotions and interests to those who I’ve known, and also to those I will never meet. It is also a means for me to cope with numerous mental health issues, but that’s a conversation for another time.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you want to create art as a profession?

In five years, I hope to be permanently setting my art onto skin. Tattooing has been my interest for a few years now, and I am hoping to get an apprenticeship within a short time that I can hopefully evolve into a much more prolific career. I have been interested in tattooing out of either New York or Portland for quite some time, but only time will tell where it takes me and where my interests will lie.

Follow Henry on Instagram.

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