The Union Hall Times (Interview)

Added on by giuseppe ragozzino.

AW: Is there a main theme/concept to this exhibition?
GR: Reduction: discarding the unnecessary egoistic elements of my natural system.

AW: What is the significance of the exhibition's title Black & White Rebellion
GR: The paintings are obviously black and white, but the word rebellion is more caustic. It represents a rebellion against what people conceive a painting to be: a narrative, an allegory, a pretty thing that matches a couch, an intellectual thing that implies class, an object that is made for you. I am choosing not to oblige any other external expectations but to, instead, value only the action of applying material to surface. I remove the perceived external value, observing only its internal value: the process.

AW: Is there a signature piece in the collection? 
GR: I have my favorites, but no, every piece is part of the practice. To me the practice is the collection.

AW: What techniques are you utilizing in these pieces? 
GR: Pouring, brushwork, canvas orientation, and the manipulation of time.

AW: Where/when do you paint? 
GR: In my studio.

AW: Describe your creative process. 
GR: The majority of my process is cognitive - finding meaning and rationale. The rest is execution, both planned and unplanned.

AW: How does your creative work at Mullen compare/contrast/relate to your work on canvas and in this collection? 
GR: Advertising is selling red meat to hungry, yet committed, vegetarians. Painting is eating the red meat.

AW: Reflections on commercialism and art you'd care to share? 
GR: I have learned to create non-reality in advertising and reality in painting.

AW: Best solution to 'creative/artist's block'? 
GR: Keep working as if it were a job and you’ll begin to notice that it is more of a tidal process and not just a freak storm.

AW: Inspirations for the exhibition? 
GR: Self-awareness is my primary inspiration, but I also love playing with ideas and material.

AW: Name a few of your creative influences and why. 
GR: Mark Rothko, Joseph Campbell, Terrence McKenna, and thousands of other’s paintings. For a variety of reasons, but universally they all teach me about the malleability of reality.

AW: Tell me what your average work day looks like. 
GR: Music and coffee to get me moving, then news and ad work, followed by reflection and solitude, and finally, I’ll paint (or stand in my studio and stare at a canvas).

AW: Best exhibit/piece you've seen recently? 
GR: Gregory Barsamian at Wood Street Galleries. His sculpture is kinetic, cinematic and magical.