Interviewing Taylor Baldwin: An Appendix

For the ongoing artist interview series with toomer labzda, I had a cross-state Skype interview with the artist Taylor Baldwin (I was in New York, he was in Virginia where he currently teaches). He was generous with his patience and his thinking in speaking to me, and I deeply enjoyed witnessing thoughts collide and cohere as the conversation went on. Taylor works mostly with found materials to make sculpture and installation with an acute sensitivity to the material memory of his medium. Below is a nice moment in the conversation that didn’t completely make the final cut:

I remember making an oath that the next year I was going to try to limit my palette to things that I could find or only to things that I could gather without engaging the new market. It was not necessarily about spending money. It was about bartering, finding things through craigslist, going through dumpsters, or stealing things.

There are a lot of artists who work that way, but I don’t think there’s any consensus on their reasoning whether it’s necessity or making their finances work. Or the environmental reasons. For me [environment] is definitely important–it’s what instigated the practice. But it’s in the types of materials and the history and age and things they accumulate by not being new–[that] ended up becoming my main drive.

Read the complete interview. Images courtesy of the artist.

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