Originally for toomer labzda. ◊◊
What do you use most often in your studio?
Anger! [laughs] No, patience. Definitely patience. unless you want something more literal? patience is definitely a good one.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
The self-exploration. And the time that I have in solitude to think about what my interests are, how I look at the world, how that affects what I do. I think about history. I’m learning about myself, which is narcissistic but necessary.
What is your earliest memory of art?
Well I didn’t really grow up with art, so I don’t have a lot of memories in that way. We had some garage sale paintings in my folks’ house, and I suppose I always had an inclination to draw. So my earliest memories are probably of my friend—who I grew up with—and I drawing pictures with just some paper and pens. Sort of the pastime we had as young as I can go back in my memories, between 5 and 10.
How did you start working in your current medium?
That was a very long process over years that I attempted to develop. I was always interested in alternative media in particular.
Actually, initially I was doing sculpture and performance, but then when I was about 20 I discovered painting and I started pursuing it avidly, but realized quickly that I wasn’t a natural painter. So I fought with the medium, I fought with the idea of representation and idea of making images.
I started experimenting with different materials, and I landed for a number of years on using layers of epoxy resin and collage, and paint on wood panels. I found it really appealing because I could build up the surfaces in layers, which is an approach that’s not unlike what I do today.
Over time the epoxy became extremely toxic, because it’s always curing and if you’re using it often, it’s always lingering in the air. So Plexiglass came out of the epoxy, because I can layer in a similar way. I liked that it was transparent, so I started working behind it and working on top of it. And obviously you can cut it, which opened a whole other avenue. I don’t recommend it. It’s unforgiving.
What was the last exhibition you saw?
Oh! Marianne Boesky Gallery. It was a sculptor, Donald Moffett.
The Pier Paolo Calzolari show looks phenomenal too, that’s on right now. He’s an older guy. It’s Boesky and Pace. They broke the wall between the two galleries.
But yeah, Donald Moffett. His older work I wasn’t so fond of, but his new work is just [trails off]. If you have a chance, you should see it.
Is there an artist you’ve always wanted to grab drinks with?
No, not really. I don’t really associate the looking at the work with the person, or with the individual. I really enjoy when I get to meet the artist and talk to them about their ideas and whatnot. I love visiting other artists’ studios, but I don’t have a fantasy artist I want to meet in person, although there are many that I admire.
I’d go get a drink with a Donald Moffett sculpture.
If money was no object, what artwork would you acquire?
I don’t like objects. I’m a minimalist, I don’t own many things. I do own what’s necessary, or what I feel will help me in some way. But I don’t like having things, so I don’t have art in my house—whether it’s my own or somebody else’s.
When I was younger I started trying to develop an art collection via some of my friends who are artists. Or when I had money, I would try and buy something once in a while. Years later I realized I don’t miss any of it. I left it all—it’s in Canada—and it’s actually a hindrance more than anything. So as a maker of objects it’s a little bit strange. I don’t want to own art. I love to look at it, but the idea of consuming it in a manner of ownership is not appealing. I’m such a boring interviewee.
Is there one thing you wish you could do?
Yes. [pause] That’s it.
But is there one thing I wish I could do in any shape or form? So something superficial like flying or whatever? Yeah I’d like to not be so burdened by my body—I’d like not to have a body. It would be amazing to be this totally bodiless consciousness. The body, you know—there’s a lot of pleasure involved, but it’s also very hindering, which I am just starting to feel at 33. Yeah I think it’d be great not to have a body for a day. And then return to it after a day, odds are. I mean, who the fuck’s going to take me seriously without a body?
Images courtesy of the artist.