I’ve been dipping into and out of the book Interviews-Artists for a little while now, without really putting down many thoughts anywhere. This post will attempt to address this shortcoming.
The first artist I read about was James Aldridge, but not because he was the first in the book but rather because he was specifically mentioned in the video lecture VL1. Aldridge isn’t a photographer or one of the stellar names from painting (I’m thinking van Gogh or Turner), so I’d not heard about him. My knowledge of painters is fairly limited, but I’m sure this will be addressed in the coming years. Looking at his work, my first thought was that it was quite colourful, and there’s plenty of nature in it; trees, birds, cats, etc. However, colourful it may be, but it’s also quite dark, and I found it really interesting to read that he is influenced by death metal, and that he feels that comes out in his work. I’m not a death metal fan, but I do have a dark streak than runs through me and this often influences the work I do like. It probably influences some of the way I work too. much of what he says is also mirroring what I think; that what we like outside of art informs the work we make. We are the people we are, so to pretend to be someone or something else when we create whatever it is we are creating can only lead to work that isn’t honest. Unless we can fulfil the role of actor and artist.
Another mentioned in VL1 is Chritiane Baumgartner. I know nothing of the process of woodcut, but do find the Transall image somewhat compelling and appreciate the connection with time in her other work. It’s interesting when she speaks of wanting to get people in close to her work, as this is something I tend to do, especially with larger works so that I am immersed by the image. I saw Thomas Struth’s work at the Whitechapel Gallery - I wasn’t convinced this was meant to be viewed up close. Similarly with my work on Some Unholy War (and Task 1), if you get in close to the images you get the feel of where they came from as the DLP “mesh” becomes visible. Of course, this also resonates with her work in that if you get in close you see how the larger image is made up. I think this is important to me, time will tell on that one.
I started to read about Jim Dine but was very quickly put off with his statement that he was an artist before he had language. The rest might be really inciteful, but I just couldn’t get past that.
Luke Frost... I don’t know that it has any impact on me at all, my response to seeing the Volts No 22 in the book was ambivalence, however it does look different in the book to the linked image on the a-n website and of course it would be very different to see it first hand, although this piece isn’t the large scale of some of the others he mentioned. No, I really don’t believe this is my cup of tea.
There were a few things in what Rachel Goodyear spoke off that mirrored much of my philosophy, on coming back to something in terms of what her practice is (I strayed from photography for many years), of how she will hear or see little things that become ideas, either straight away or after it has been through the mill with the grist of other things and become something later. Also, she can’t explain all of her own work, which is great to know because that’s exactly how I feel about my own work sometimes, especially at the moment. I’m not alone.