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Dion Horstmans. Acrylic on Steel. 120cm x 240cm.

Dion Horstmans is a dynamic sculptor who works in steel, a prolific exhibitor and commercial success. Born in New Zealand and now based in Sydney, he’s been a regular exhibitor at Sculpture by the Sea since 2011. In the same year, he was invited to show his work at The Art of War exhibition at Sydney’s Casual Powerhouse. Indeed, Horstmans’ work in steel has a war-like energy to it. Perhaps not dissimilar to its creator, the work is often imposing; definite in structure; and engages with enigmatic purpose.

For some time, I had been searching for a concept where my painting could inextricably link the medium to the subject. When Dion approached my radar, the imagination began sparking. ‘We met up, and he was instantly interesting to me as a subject. I loved the idea of painting his portrait on his own medium. Plus, his huge personality and impressive physicality were something I was really excited about representing on a big scale’.

I invited Dion to build the canvas, welding the frames on the steel we received from his usual supplier - in turn further adding his DNA deeper into the piece. 

Painting on a steel canvas that measures 240cm tall, was a deliberate choice - I wanted the piece to represent Dion in as many ways as I could. I wanted the composition to be imposing. And I wasn’t about to compromise on size with Dion as a subject.