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Artist Feature: Devin Agar

Artist Feature: Devin Agar

When Devin submitted his portfolio of work for our open call for artists, we knew he was a match for our Hexagon ceramic bong. As an experienced painter, designer, and ceramicist, he was able to tackle painting a finished hexagon using enamel paints. 

painting a ceramic bong with enamel paint, it is a geometric white bong with black enamel paint

Since he was a child Devin recalls dreaming of being an artist, collecting objects to paint on trips with his grandmother to the thrift store, painting his skateboards, and taking any opportunity to practice. The grit and determination he learned from skating permeated his work. Whenever he has a moment he is working to expand his body of work, building and defining his series called SHAPED.  

 Left Image: Downward viewpoint of someone standing on a skateboard wearing custom van shoes that are painted with geometric lines, the skateboard is also custom with matching geometric lines. On the right: A canvas with bold black geometric lines pained on it, the canvas is leaning against a wall.

“The idea of putting pen to paper, or paint to canvas, I will be doing as long as I am eating or breathing. It is a part of my existence, I can’t imagine not creating. If you really feel it is your natural born gift, and your true calling, then you have to go for it. A lot of people are sold on someone else’s dream, and living that. When you should really just live yours if you know what the answer is.”

Devin’s work is rooted in geometry, which he sees as a way to “create a universal conversation”. Evolving to this structured work took years of extermination and growth, working through different styles over the course of his life, leading to SHAPED. Everything in the series is custom, and hand done. It started from painting on flat wood boards, the first piece a human broken into a puzzle of geometric shapes. An arrangement of shapes, reminding the viewer of a jigsaw puzzle, arranged to exist together yet separate. 

 Left Image: Human form painted by using black geometric shapes on top of raw would, it resembles a jigsaw puzzle. Right Image: Logo of Shaped Art by Devin Agar

If you step back and view his work you will notice that there are a series of primary shapes he repeats. A spiral, triangle, and a square. The spiral, an Archimedean spiral, was studied by Archimedes in 225 BC  and now is applied in engineering, biology and even psychology. But if you have ever studies a fern, or a millipede, or a fingerprint,  you have observed Archimedean spiral.  

 A black triangle, square, and spiral in a row

Devin has developed a technique to create them by starting from the centre, slowly progressing outwards. Maintaining an equal distance between the lines.

Left Image: Artist leaning over a skateboard, his face close to the deck as he slowly draws a spiral in black using a paint marker, the rest of the board is covered with geometric patterns. Right Image: A black spiral to show the artist's Archimedean spiral

Yet each piece he creates, is different, using this base list of key ingredients. More recently Devin has begun to add lettering, expanding the complexity of the visible silhouettes. 

 Left Image: Man standing on bridge, the photo is from behind him, so in the distance palm trees and a sunset are visible, the man is wearing a leather jacket that is custom painted with bold white geometric lines and patterns. Right Image: The leather jacket on a worktable with the outline of the pattern drawn on before it is painted white.

But in the end, his method feels meditative, allowing him to derive pleasure from the process. We asked why he considered taking on ceramics, as his past was well rooting in in two dimensional work. The ability to create ceramics by hand, itself a timeless art, linked well with his own experience of making art. It requires “focus and precision”, becoming meditative much like his structured line work. The final application of his geometry to pottery adding a level of depth, drawing together his history and future as an artist. 

  Triptych of Images. Left Image: A first person perspective view of a bowl being made on a pottery wheel. Middle Image: A close up of a ceramic bowl that is unglazed, but has an outline sketch of a geometric pattern on it. Right Image: A ceramic vase bathed in sunshine, the art piece is unglazed but has a strong black geometric painted on it. Art work by Devin Agar.

When we reached out to Devin, he knew it would be a challenge to apply his geometric work to an already angular ceramic piece. As a long-time cannabis enthusiast, the Hexagon caught Devin's eye, as it “[felt] more like a sculpture or vase than a bong”. Most of his ceramic work is round, which juxtaposes his SHAPED series. We were excited to see how Devin would approach creating the ultimate aesthetic bong to showcase as a unique artist-made bong. 

 Left Image: Round ceramic bowl with bold black geometric patterning painted on. Right Image: BRNT Designs Ceramic White Hexagon being painted, the photo is a first person perspective view onto a desk. Art work by Devin Agar.

The final art piece Devin created took his years of work with SHAPED, and was skillfully adapted to work with the angular and multi-faceted form of the Hexagon ceramic bong. He used enamel paints with tape to carefully apply the medium.

Process photos of painting BRNT Designs ceramic bong. Left Image: White aesthetic bong with drawn on lines to guide the artist's painting, Middle Image: Ceramic geometric bong with tape applied to lines to guide artist Devin Agar when painting the ceramic bong. Right Image: Paint applied to ceramic geometric hexagon bong.

 

The Final Art Pieces

Gif of BRNT Designs ceramic bong rotating so you can see all the geometric painting on bong done by artist Devin Agar.

Photo of two custom painted bongs by artist Devin Agar. Both are the BRNT Designs ceramic hexagon bong in white. They have bold black patterns painted on.

Aesthetic white ceramic bong painted by artist Devin Agar. The bong is sitting in the bottom half of the package that also has been customized by the artist. All added custom artwork are geometric lines.

More about Devin: 

Currently taking on work for murals, canvas, panels, skate decks, ceramics, hand painted jackets & custom sneakers made to order. He is open to exploring new ideas and mediums that align with his style.

You can find him being active on instagram @devin_agar , and his soon to launch website shaped.studio

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