Artspan sits down with collage artist Gerald Barnes
Your collages are like boxes of memories. How do you choose your images? Are any of them specific to your life? Your own relatives? Or are they historical figures?
The images I use reflect the things that interest me – art, literature, architecture, history, travel, graphic design and the human condition. I have a large library of material that I’ve collected over the years, ephemera, old magazines and newspapers, stamps and notes. I also use my own drawings and photographs. Usually I select one particular image and then build around that. I have in the past used family photos but there are only so many times you can use Grandma and Grandpa! Some images are of historical figures. Mario García Menocal was President of Cuba from 1913 -1921 and looked like a Hollywood movie star.
Numbers Series #79
Artspan sits down with painter Penelope Przekop
You’re a writer as well as a painter, you’ve published quite a few novels and memoirs. Do you approach your art as a storyteller? Do your pictures tell stories? Have you ever illustrated your writing?
“Just relax,” he said.
Artspan sits down with painter Teresa Lawler
The Brothers – Ray and Roger
What types of subject matter do you find most resonant with your creative ideas?
My paintings deal with various subjects but I have always been drawn to people – whether it’s some form of portraiture or featuring the figure in a wider context. Although I trained as a painter ( Newcastle and the post grad school at the Slade) I’ve also worked as a set designer in TV and theatre in the past and elements of the screen often appear in my work in the way a subject is lit or a narrative is implied.
Artspan sits down with Brenna K. Murphy
Silhouettes (Rocking Chair II)
You use human hair as your medium, which seems surprising and unusual, at first, but actually has a place in art history. I’ve seen Victorian art and jewelry made with the artist’s hair, which seems like an incredibly personal way to express oneself. Was this a tradition you were aware of when you started working with hair? Have you discovered other examples of artists working with hair throughout history or in your travels?
I was relatively unaware of how hair has been used in traditional craft-work and contemporary art when I first began using it in my own work, but once hair became a part of my practice, I began learning a lot about its history in art. Victorian hair jewelry and funeral wreaths were some of the first hair art-objects I encountered, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. There is a museum in Missouri, Leila’s Hair Museum, that I am dying to visit – they have a huge collection of Victorian era hair work and they offer workshops on the techniques used to make these incredible objects.