Johnathan Reiner | Artist Interview | Hang-Ten
Editorial / Artists

Johnathan Reiner | Artist Interview | Hang-Ten

3 May 2018

Hang-Up Gallery Our first memory of you was meeting you at the old gallery space, all suited and booted, clutching your portfolio filled with beautiful works. That was the beginning of many good things. What's your first memory of Hang-Up?

Johnathan Reiner Shikes! I remember stalking you for months, walking back and forth in front of the glass window of the old gallery space before I gathered the courage to present my work to you. At the time it was Ben, Carla and Mor that eased me into the Hang Up vibe. After an hour’s conversation I remember leaving the gallery like a rooster on the most glorious dawn thinking ‘Damn, that was actually nice!’ Ever since, the tone hasn’t changed - always being a good mix of art, banter and genuine good vibes.

HU Can you remember the first piece of artwork you made that solidified your path as an artist? What was it?

JR Growing up in my mother’s Studio meant I was always exposed to art and always had the immediacy and legitimacy of exploring artistic ways of expression. I have a profile of a unicorn I drew when I was probably 5 or 6 that hangs at my parents house which I still consider a good piece of art ;)
Years have passed and my life has taken me to other adventures in neuroscience and medicine till a growing sense of unfulfilled hunger took over me for something other than what I was doing. At that time I started picking up my pen and reconnecting to my artistic self. And not too long after, I found screen printing which consolidated it all into a voice. Thinking about it all, it was probably ‘Kid Spirit - Maui’ that solidified my style and use of the medium. The mixture of photographic and hand drawn elements, pattern, solids, black overlays, white backgrounds all came together with that edition.

Above: Kid Spirit - Maui

HU You'll be creating some new and unseen works for Hang-Ten to which we're very excited about. Can you give us a sneaky insight into what you're working on for the show?

JR Following up on my original work for 'Femme Fatale' I am continuing my exploration of the representation and objectification of the female form from the classic reclining nudes to the modern day page three raunchy stencils through a slightly skewed anti-homage (if that’s even a word ) of vintage erotica magazine covers.
These new works are also new in terms of their creative process. I started working on canvases combining hand drawn elements with screen print in order to let go of a sense of perfection and see what happens when things get loose. Also been collaborating with the talented printer Diego Mena and my prolific mother, Arona, which has been a new adventure!
Above: Jonathan and his mother Arona
HU You're not only a very talented artist, you are a multi-talented human being! You are hands down one of the most genuine people we’ve met – Which are some of the best things about working with you. What’s the best thing about working with Hang-Up?
JR Now you’ve made me blush. The team. No doubt. Always on board, always open for ideas, always by your side.
Other than that, I am amazed at the creative ways you present and draw attention to the artwork you display and promote through your exhibitions, website and blog and it’s an honour being in such good company.

Rhea Nocturna | Femme Fatale Solo exhibition | Photo by Chick Noble

HU There are ten artists displaying in Hang-Ten - all very different in techniques and concepts. If you could collaborate with one artist in the show, who would it be and why?
JR Tough one as would have loved to collaborate with them all. But if pushed to choose would probably go for the Connor Brothers purely because of their perfect balance between imagery, text and that unique cheeky tone.

Totem's in Tel Aviv

HU The last ten years of Hang-Up have been filled with plenty of peaks (and a few troughs that we can now laugh at...!) What's the last ten years been like for Johnathan Reiner? Can you name a few key moments?

JR Phuuua!
Starting and then Finishing medicine.
Falling in love, proposing, exchanging vows and sticking to them:)
Meeting the Dalai Lama while working in a hospital for the Tibetan community in Dharamsala
Choosing east over south. Moving from Brixton to Dalston.
Discovering Print Club and spending days-on-end exploring screen printing.
Flying to Los Angeles for a group exhibition with mr Brainwash. Hilarious.
Move to Tel Aviv.
Starting my Residency in Neurology.
Daughter, Fatherhood.
Femme Fatale!!!
Starting my MRI research on the neurological basis of artistic creativity.
Art art art.

Above: Fatherhood and solo shows
HU Can you describe a specific work, series, exhibition and/or collaboration you have been most proud of?
JR I think my collaboration with cancer awareness foundation ‘Hello Love’ has been a proud moment. Working with founding members Jane and Kevin on the Eve edition and having them involved in the creative process printing the work has been fun. Seeing them build the Hello Love Centre in Bloomsbury for health and cancer awareness with such creativity and a sense of commitment has been inspiring.

Above: Jane and Kevin from Hello Beautiful with Eve
HU We'd have to say our favourite time with you is, without a doubt, your insane inaugural solo show 'Femme Fatale' in 2015 – We had the pleasure of seeing your new collection fly off the wall, while consuming copious amounts of Prosecco in coffee mugs. Can you name your favourite Hang-Up moment?
JR Popping in to HU every time I fly over to London these days is always something I look forward to :)
But no doubt one best moment must be finishing off opening night of 'Femme Fatale' behind the bar at the Banksy Bunker sipping beer and feeling like my mind has been blown to bits with joy.

Above: Johnathan with Carla and Laura, our gallery manager and business development manager.

HU We know this question can sometimes be a cringe for artists, but we're putting together a Hang-Ten playlist and would like your input. What three songs would you like to add?

JR Difficult one. Going for eclectic ;)

Till my back ain’t got no bones by Esther Phillips, My princess gone by Jah Mason and Dance yourself clean by LCD Soundsystem.

HU We certainly have a few goals for the next few years - one includes world domination. What's the goal for the next 10 years?
JR Work hard, play hard, stay healthy, witness my daughter grow.
Deepen my exploration of creativity.
See art and be artistic.
Explore the world and the human body with the same enthusiasm as day one.

Don't forget to check out Johnathan's full catalogue. What this space for Reiner's instagram take Over this Thurs 10 @Hangupgallery.

Ever wanted to ask Johnathan Reiner a question? We are opening up the florr to a Q+A, so email us your query and if might make it to the next interview.

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