Jón Sæmundur Auðarson a.k.a. Nonni Dead, the creator of the Dead concept, lives and works in Reykjavík, Iceland. Born in 1968, Jón studied at the Icelandic Collage of Arts & Crafts and later at the Glasgow School of Art where he graduated in 2001 with a Masters in Fine Arts. Many of his installations make use of mixed media format, by combining painting, sculpture, video, and music in a formal and conceptual pastiche of sorts. Life and death has been an important theme in Jón’s work since he was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1994. He was forced to confront and conquer his fear of death. The exploration of this theme has given rise to his most well-known and accessible artistic creation: the many levelled concept of Dead which he started in 2003.
Jon is the frontman and founder of the rock'n'roll art-band, Dead Skeletons.The band has performed at many international festivals including Roskilde Festival, ATP festival in Iceland and Prima Vera sound in Spain. The band has traveled the United States, Russia, the Nordic countries and across the whole of Europe, including Berlin, where the band last album “Live in Berlin” where recorded. Jon has always managed to combine his art with the band as a painting performance and visuals on stage.
Jon contributes his daily work to running his Dead Gallery/Studio in Reykjavik where he curates art exhibitions and sells his own art to the native and international community.
Dead is a brand focused on life, a paradox intended to awaken the sleeper. Even the domain name – www.dead.is - reflects this central contradiction. It is benign virus, intended to infect the subconscious mind and stir deep existential thoughts. The concept is Dead and Alive all at once.