Sunday, August 27, 2006
I've been reading Artbutcher's artist interviews over at artmemphis.net. I've decided it would be a good exercise to answer his questions---to clarify things for myself and to be better prepared for that inevitable Artforum interview. Here are the results...
*DB: How do you come up with your images? And what does your current work meanto you?
My images begin as quick, small, nearly automatic drawings. Out of a group of 40 or 50, I’m drawn to about ten that I think will make good compositions and I use these as jumping off points for the paintings. I then alternate between spontaneous approaches, intense looking, and more formal, refining periods---often times destroying several serviceable compositions on my way to a final image.
A finished body of work ultimately means communication with your peers—an audience. A way to convince the viewer of your own reality.
Any personal meaning a piece might have is in a constant state of flux.
What exhibit or piece that you have seen has most influenced your workand why?
Still lifes by Giorgio Morandi that I saw in Italy. They taught me a lot about economy and working within a set parameter---that there can be freedom and even endless variation in restraint.
If you could have only one material for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Black ink. The variances are endless. The dark ink against white paper is striking and automatically sets up opposites that are loaded with symbolic and formal qualities.
Explain your work in five words or less.
An aid against bewilderment.
What is your favorite - movie? Book? Color? Smell? Food?
The Petrified Forest with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard. Its themes are romantic and out of fashion. Both are good for art and life.
The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary or Zola's The Masterpiece.
Chromium Oxide Green
The way the air smells before it snows.
What "guilty pleasures" of kitsch, low, or unfashionable art do you enjoy, and has your work been influenced by any of them?
Celebrity culture and religious paintings. These two realms are closer than you might think.
I tried to let the pathos,and somber elements of religious works influence my earlier black and white paintings.
What initially drew you to become an artist?
The way I feel when I look at great art.
*Questions taken from interviews between Dwayne Butcher and various other artists.
Posted by Paul Behnke at 3:19 AM
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
I've got to find an affordable place down here to rent for a studio! I've just moved everything into the largest bedroom of our house. Robin's not too happy about this since our bed barely fits into the new "cubby hole" that we call a second bedroom. There's no room for Joe's bed on the floor but do we make him sleep in another room? Nope. He sleeps on top of us most nights! It's like having a seventy five pound concrete block on your leg all night. A concrete block that snores!
Anyway, the large bedroom makes a fine studio...especially with some of my more recent paintings out of the way up in Nashville. We took a trip up there this weekend to deliver paintings to Zeitgeist for the upcoming show at Vanderbilt University. I packed the paintings up pretty tight but of course it rained like hell for almost the whole ten hour drive. Luckily everything stayed relatively dry---no damage done! We got in too late to deliver the work on friday night so we crashed at a Holiday Inn just outside of Nashville. In the morning we took the work over and had breakfast at a great place Lain recomended called Fido's. I almost want to move to Nashville just for their Bayou Benedict! Then it was back on the road for the ten hours back. We got back home around 0ne a.m. then slept all day sunday!
All that said... I'm excited about the show. It'll be a new venue for me and I'm getting a chance to show with some artists I haven't met yet, from different areas of the country. The exhibit goes up August 15th and will last for the entire semester. I think an opening reception will be held around the 21st of October. Don't know if I'll be able to make it back up for that but I'm gonna try.
Posted by Paul Behnke at 12:37 AM