A Q&A with Jon Burgerman - our newest Artist

by Chris Lorimer

British-born, Brooklyn-based artist Jon Burgerman makes instantly recognisable work in various media, from paintings and drawings to animations and collectables. 

His creations often combine his signature elements of exaggerated expression, vivid colour, gestural mark-making and cartoony googly eyes. 

Jon is exhibited worldwide from art fairs, galleries to museums, to even the White House, with works in permanent collections of institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Meet the newest artist to join the Third Drawer Down fold, with the Hot Diggity Dog pool float as his first collaboration with us.

Hi Jon, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and concept behind the float? 

For years, I've dreamt about one day having a balloon float of my work in the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.  I've been drawing, painting and creating colourful characters professionally for over 20 years, and I think having a character as part of the parade is one of the greatest achievements. That and designing an Olympic mascot (I came close to doing that once!). The thing is, I'm kinda chronically lazy; designing characters in 3d requires a modicum of concentration, so I thought it would be funny if the balloon float in the parade was pretty much just a big balloon. Like a sausage-shaped balloon with some eyes on and a wiggle of yellow, boom, a hot dog! Easy, fun, silly (all the things I'm into). Of course, getting one's work into the parade isn't so easy, so I figured a pool float was the next best thing. Have you seen the size of these things?! Slowly I'm gonna make bigger and bigger hot dog inflatables until I get that coveted spot in the parade!

How did this hot dog character come about in the context of your work? Why did it "stick", and what made it so compelling to keep drawing?

Hot dogs have populated my work for many years, and I think it's because they are so quick and easy to draw. I've made hot dog vinyl toys, prints, plush, papier-maché sculptures and even had them in a video game. When Instagram first copied Snapchat and introduced a simple drawing tool for Stories, I went nuts taking videos and drawing hot dogs on everything. A simple line with the pink pen tool, a couple of dots for eyes and a yellow swiggle for some mustard, and you have a funny little hot dog. It's fun; give it a try!

What excited you about this collaboration and working with Third Drawer Down?

My art practice has a strong sense of play as part of its process, and I love sharing that with the audience. This collaboration is a physical manifestation of that, and it's pretty hard not to smile when presented with a humungous hot dog balloon pool float! It's just so fun. It also lets me live out my Claus Oldenburg fantasies and perhaps will get me a little closer to my Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade dream. I hope everyone enjoys splashing around with it.

Lastly, now we are travelling again; where would you go with your Hot Diggity Dog? Anywhere in the world!

I'd like to go to Hawaii, Busan, Muscle Beach in California and the cinema; it would be funny to have Hot Dog sat next to me in the theatre.

Take a look at the Hot Diggity Dog Pool Floats HERE