How did you get the ideas for creating your artwork?
My ideas generally come from over-arching themes that I am currently thinking about for painting. As for the last show with Thomas Erben Gallery, “Harold Camping-False Prophet,” I was traveling the San Francisco Bay area last summer and was approached by one of his [Harold Camping’s] followers, whose track explained the end of the world would occur on May 21, 2011. I then did more research on Harold Camping and became interested in how he came about this conclusion.
Then, while painting “Harold Camping-False Prophet” on the East Coast, I visited the Pennsylvania Museum of Art and found myself correlating Titan’s Half Veiled Pope with Harold Camping. While painting “Harold Camping-False Prophe,” I found even more inspiration in Francis Bacon’s Study After Velazquez Portrait of Pope and the striated veiled strokes, and I decided to unveil – or pull up the curtain – that [hides] the projection of Harold Camping. Just as many other artists throughout history have referenced past artists, I wanted to reference Bacon’s Study After Velazquez Portrait of Pope in my own way, to show the true character of Camping.
Do you have a favorite artist yourself?
Oh, that is so hard to answer. I am attracted to various artists for different reasons: Gerhard Richter for his multiplicity of open-running approaches to painting genres; Francis Bacon for his remaking of the image as a state of the hand being correlated to his mind’s eye; and Thek’s work as it admits to raw, rough, compulsive gestures.
Are you ever afraid you will run out of inspiration and creativity in your job?
Absolutely not! Just take one subject like history, physics, or art. There is so much rooted in one subject or word. When you start to uncover or scratch its surface, it opens a world of possibilities.
What is the most difficult thing in your job?
Well, at this point, it’s hard for me to see painting as a job. I spend more money than I get back from painting, where as in most jobs, you gain in income. Although, I am starting to see some income roll in.
What is the most fun part of your job?
As a painter, you make your own hours and interact with a community of artists that you can bounce ideas off of. Going to shows and seeing how artist are commenting on the contemporary dialogue is always changing and exciting.
Do you expect your way of creating artwork to change in the future?
Most definitely. If your art isn’t evolving in some way, it becomes sterile and uninteresting, but when you change things up, you set up new challenges. I see my work as a running of multiple series, a collection of different limbs that grow into branches, and I never want to park it too long in one series. Also, I tend to bounce around anything from figuration to complete abstraction.
Could we feature your favorite artist, author, designer, architect, filmmaker, etc. in our magazine and/or online?
Sure. My favorites are: current artist – Lucas Samaras and his boxes; author – Marco Colbert, an unpublished novelist/ poet; and filmmaker – Brakhage.
Do you aspire to collaborate in your creations with an artist from another artistic discipline?
Lucas Samaras makes beautiful boxes and sculptures. As for collaborating with him, I would be happy being a fly in his room, spying in on him.
Do you have a favorite company or exciting other creator with whom you would like to work?
There are so many artists that it’s hard to choose. My current obsession is Charles Garabedian for his monumental canvas sizes, painterly play with the figure, and mythical literary references. I would like to work with him to find out how he manages such huge canvases and how he gets them in and out of his studio to the museums.
What is your favorite building in the world? Teepees and tree houses are favorites.
What is your favorite hotel? Camping in tents or teepees is ideal.
What would be your ideal home?
A teepee off the coast of Northern California would be perfect.
Do you have any dreams for the future? I dream of Old Holland and Williamsburg sending me free samples of oil paint in the mail.