What is your earliest memory of art making?
I think that daycares and the first years of grade school do a great job of encouraging youngsters to develop their creativity. It is a straightforward way to keep a cluster of uncontrollable energy in order. I also think that this is a perk for teachers because it is comparable to seeing a group of inebriated comedians all expressing their individual interpretations of a particular object or situation. Very rarely do you see a young child’s artwork that doesn’t make you laugh out loud, smile, or in some cases wonder what this child is going to be like in the years to come. This image is the earliest artwork that I could dig up:
For those of you unable to pick apart this fine rendering; it is crayon on a fine woven paper depicting a man “driving” a car in the direction of a man hiding behind a tree. The driver has no free hands to place on the wheel because they are both restricted by bottles of booze, one of which he is somehow spilling in front of his car almost hitting the terrified hiding man. The piece is titled Don’t Drink and Drive and signed Rudi Broschofsky, Age 6.
How did growing up in a gallery influence the way you see and make art?
Growing up and continuing to work in a gallery and the surrounding atmospheres that come along with the trade have had a huge influence on my entire outlook on art for the better and the worse. Throughout my life I’ve seen and been involved with the good, the bad, and the ugly and they all helped to shape my personal taste and style. This seems pretty simple; steer away from the ugly and stay closer to the good. That is a good start, but it’s not quite that simple. I think my personal artistic style has developed over the past 15 years and predominantly in the last 4. It has occurred largely by viewing so many different works on a regular basis. A lot of me has come from combining others works together and adding my own personality and vision into the mix.
As for the way I see art. Like many artists, that’s all I see. Not only in galleries, museums and personal collections, but also to each and every object I pass by. If something is not already aesthetically attractive to me I try to create something in my mind that would make it interesting. (This makes me sound like a total weirdo, but I said it, so I’ll wear it.) I think this is common among artists, but also was largely produced by my surroundings growing up. Being encircled by loads of art on a regular basis it just feels wrong and uncomfortable when there is none around, but you just have to look harder and it’s always around. Now I sound like a total weirdo, that’s enough of that question
Describe your process:
My process begins in a little tiny, hardly working (but functional) bit on the right side of my brain – Boom idea! That is the easy part because this is something I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. However, (as too many people already know) very few of my ideas are good ideas. All ideas need work, and more often than not these ideas don’t pan out. Though, on rare occasion an idea seems good enough to pursue and makes its way to The Book (also known as a sketch book). At this point tantrums are had, hair is pulled out, The Book takes more of a punishment than I’d like to discuss and after pages and pages of shit-storm sketches one finally starts to make sense (sometimes). Once the final sketch is produced I generally redraft the same image much larger no matter the medium being used: acrylic, ink, stencil, or all of the above. More often than not the final production, once again, involves much larger scale tantrums and freak outs. Following these freak outs habitually has 1 of 3 outcomes: 1. “Oh that’s not so bad, I can live with that.” 2. “Wow, that’s actually pretty cool I’ve discovered a new technique!” 3. “Fuck, fuck, fuck (crash, boom, tear) where’s my goddamn cocktail?” (I’ll leave it to the reader which outcome they think is most typical.)
I think this goes hand in hand with question I answered 45 minutes ago before I attempted to give a description of my process. Growing up in a gallery atmosphere and working in a gallery my entire life has given me access to more art and art-related information than anybody on earth would care to receive. Much of this art is immaculate, respectable fine art and some of it is insane and terribly thought up, even more terribly put down…artwork?. Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate both of these spectrums and everything in between (well almost everything). Upon close examination (or sometimes far) I can find even a small square inch of a piece that I find truly terrible and repulsive that I think is really beautiful, unique, or fascinating. So I guess I dodged that question pretty well huh? A favorite artist list could go on and on for pages and range in styles so drastic that you would think I was bi, tri, or octi-polar. First to come to mind in no particular order and a brief explanation why:
- Andy Warhol: “King of pop” Although I like his exploitation of popular culture, I am more drawn to his use of vibrant color and the places throughout an image that he chose to use the color.
- Banksy: Banksy is essentially synonymous with street art. His name has become the biggest in this production. Street art has become a massive craze the last couple of years and has by far had the most impact on taste and style. Although I don’t believe Banksy to have the best artistic abilities of the well known street artists, it is almost impossible not to enjoy any of his works and his matchless sense of humor.
- Russell Chatham: As mentioned before, if you compared Russ to either Warhol or Banksy you would think someone else sat down at this computer and started answering this question. Chatham is far and above the best tonalist landscape artist around. His work has this calm dreamlike tranquility to it that is inimitable.
Favorite artist quote:
You know how earlier I mentioned that over my life I’ve had access to more art and art related info than anyone would ever care to receive? Well I’ll be damned if I could give you more than three artist quotes, none of which would be deep or sentimental, but rather just funny or bizarre. Nevertheless, this is by far the easiest question for me to answer. Also, for those who are unfamiliar with above listed artist Banksy this image should help:
Poster designed by Chatham Baker
hand silkscreen on heavy weight vellum
Edition of 100
12″ x 18″
order it at www.ochishop.com, or pick one up at the opening, Friday, June 22nd 7-9 PM