Alex Echo should change his name by deed poll to Alex Eco, or just simply drop the letter ‘H’ that comprises his existing surname, on account of his environmental concerns and his impressive considerations toward global warming. And then there’s his sterling efforts in the field of charitable work, more of which after a few drops. Although it’s the drops that contribute to his eco-efficient tag. Confused? Don’t be, as all shall be explained. Oh, and he’s American too, didn’t we mention?
Born and raised in sight of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, America, Alex Echo is a much acclaimed contemporary artist who relocated to England with his young daughter, and settled into an alternative rural way of life on a farm located in West Sussex. Subsequently Echo has, as readily admitted at every juncture himself, fallen in love with England and all it has to offer from an artistically inspirational perspective. Citing just about every natural geographical feature which pulls together to make England the sea faring island community which it is, Echo simply can’t get enough of this green and pleasant land when it comes to his creative inspirations. Save drawing on his influences straight from the seminal works of noted and key, historically significant art movements of yore, including Pre-Raphaelites, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop Art and Impressionism (which admittedly pretty much covers every angle in our book).
Echo goes to pains to divulge that his entire artwork is dedicated to his daughter and to her generation at large and those which will follow, and makes much of a green, sustainable and healthy earth to leave to said future generations. Which is why Echo does his bit on a regular basis by only ever using non-toxic resins to create his famed ‘liquid effects’ and high quality water-based paints in which to cement his particular brand of art to the canvas receptacles. What’s more, a lot more in essence, is any paint overspill remaining at the peripheries of finished compositions will be recycled once they’re dry by being reintroduced to future art works, in Echo’s very much waste not, want not theory and practice.
Fusing Echo’s broad and far-ranging understanding and knowledge of art history with perpetual visually suggestive winks and nods to popular culture and iconography, the artist’s original pictorial presentations are nothing if not informative, innovative and wholly accessible to the viewer. His palette of colour is seemingly limitless, his illustrative approximations, perceivably complex yet pleasingly simplistic at the very same time, somewhat contradictory as that may sound. What you’re buying into with a typical Echo piece is a festival of colour, light, movement and emotion, all coming together and happening in the one, explosive outburst of forged creativity. A cacophony of colour and deliverance of bold, emotive graphical statement and intent which ultimately blow your socks off. This collision of elaborate brushstrokes hint at a new design language, where the vibrancy and softness of Turner and the considered structure of Rothko are more acknowledged, making for a truly remarkable visual narrative from the outset which connects with anyone and everyone who look out on his art.
And when it comes to admiring Echo’s art, the queue is not so much around the corner, as across the street, four blocks, five postcodes and two time-zones in length, as the list of Hollywood Who’s Who and European Royalty attest to. Hollywood star, Robert Downey Jnr, former US President, Jimmy Carter, supermodel, Cindy Crawford, chat show queen, Oprah Winfrey and real-life crown-wearer, Prince Rainer of Monaco being just some who have snapped up Echo’s signature creative reveals in recent times. Of late Echo has been commissioned by Britain’s very own fashion royalty, Sir Paul of Smith (protector of colourful stripes and smart suits) to work on the principal pattern for his women’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection. The artist’s, ‘Classic With a Twist’ art installation was the model for what was termed a playful yet elegant fabric used in Smith’s collection and appearing on models sashaying down runways during London Fashion Week that year, of which Echo was invited as guest of honour.
And then there’s the charitable donations which Echo regularly hands out, via the sale of an enviable selection of his paintings. Proceeds raised from Echo’s art sold for charitable causes is estimated to be in the region of some £300,000 plus, and in 2008/9 ten examples of Echo originals were sold at auction at the Wallace Collection in London, whereby all the proceeds were used to build an entire children’s dormitory in China after a region was destroyed by an earthquake. Suffice to say charity remains very close to Echo’s heart and in recent years he’s raised funds for the Princess Grace Foundation, The Prince’s Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, Nordoff Robbins and The Elton John Aids Foundation, whilst he’s currently planning up-coming projects with the United Nations, the World Food Program and UNICEF amongst other organisations and bodies.
Speaking of his new work, Echo says; “It’s dedicated to my daughter, her generation and generations to come – and to the new paradigm of green, sustainable healthy earth, life and hope. Emanating from the spirit of impressionism, these paintings are new and alive with energy and movement”. He goes on to add; “My new body of work is the culmination of more than forty years of practice, trial and error, love, accident, joy, study, concentration and movement. The trajectory of my work has led me here, back to the original source of all art - my environment, Earth”.