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Takeover #166 Henry Byrne

Henry Byrne: Instagram / Website

#166 (07/06 - 11/06, 2021): written by Robin Speijer and Joris Broekhoven

Let’s meet this week’s takeover artist!
Henry Byrne first completed two arts studies in London before coming to the Frank Mohr institute in Groningen to do a Masters in Painting. At the moment he would describe his work as appropriation art, or post production.

“It’s the idea of taking something that already exists, and amending it or adding a layer to it.”

Henry works with a variety of media and objects to create his work. Often, he feels affected by certain things, and is then very keen to put himself in different situations to see where that might come from. He may for example (with permission) take discarded artworks from artists and use those as a base for his work, literally adding a layer on top of them to place himself within their context.

“I take something away or add something to it, and then I place myself within that journey. I’m like an editor, I take a readymade and fiddle around with it. I recontextualize the work. It’s not their work anymore, but it’s not entirely mine either.”

He researches value systems and tries to make connections between different values. He is interested in what makes something valuable. How can he make something his own, what kinds of layers can he add or remove to the work?

“There has to be a message. There has to be something you’re adding. I’m very interested in how to do that in a newer way.”

During Henry’s takeover, he would like to explore the concept of appropriation. We aren’t entirely sure as to what may happen, but we are looking forward to seeing what kind of experimentation this may result in.

“I see it as appropriation. I think art is like that: You are always subjected to your surroundings. All of art is taking from the world and its ideas. It is so pervasive that people don’t see it.”

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