Is being in a flow or a particular kind of space part of creating or part of working for you? Can you describe anything about it – how you get it, what it feels like?
Being “in the flow” is definitely an important part of working. The difficult part is finding that flow. For me, it’s either there or not. When it’s not there I would rather do something else than to try to squeeze a half drop of creativity our of myself. The hope is that the “something else” will indirectly lead me back to the flow. I think forcing yourself to work when you’re not in the flow can only lead to bad art.
The feeling of being in the flow is a combination of a sense of drive, the realization of ideas, constant inspiration, and unbroken focus. When I’m in this space, time becomes irrelevant as one action melts into the next. Minutes seem like seconds, and at the same time they could be hours.
T.S. Eliot famously said, “There is no method except to be very intelligent.”
Yes, no? Maybe so?
I think “intelligent” is a dangerous word. Intelligence has the connotation of being scientifically quantifiable, and I don’t want to touch that with a ten-foot pole. I would rather believe that one has to be very thoughtful. I feel that artists who approach their artwork with both depth and breadth in meaning and intent create the most compelling work.
Is there some place or attitude you begin from in yourself when you look
at art by other people?
Ideally, one ought to approach artwork with a blank slate and a clear and open mind in order to appreciate the work without any preconceptions of what it should be. Unfortunately, I don’t live in a blank world and my mind is filled with all sorts of junk. I can’t help but connect the dots between what’s in front of me and what’s already familiar to me. Art that appeals to me usually has a strong conceptual underpinning, and the artwork that I appreciate the most are those that puts a new conceptual dot in my head to connect to.
Does anything (consistently/ frequently/ randomly) move you to make art? How did you find yourself making the kind of art or the particular work you are involved in now?
One thing that consistently moves me to make art is seeing art. I think that one of the best qualities of art is that it inspires. Seeing a great piece of art moves me to strive to make my work equally as inspiring.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from science and technology. Like science and technology, art has a never ending appetite for innovation. There is a constant push to put aside what is current for the next thing. Much of my current body of work takes the obsolete bits left behind by technology to make the “next thing” in my artwork.
Favorite overheard remark
Father: “Donny, use a tissue for that.”
3-year-old son: “No, that’s all right. I already got it with my finger.”
I’d rather be…
traveling to far flung places
Half a Dozen of One/ Six of the Other
Six words my gallerist/ artist’s statement/ mother use to describe my work:
memory, identity, anonymity, ghostly, nostalgia, obsolescence
Six words my best friend would use to describe me:
stubborn, goofy, smart(-ass), impatient, cheery, wordy
Six words to repeat:
love, peace, happiness, joy, virtue, pride
Six words to ignore:
hate, selfishness, greed, arrogance, ego, pride
Six artists to look at:
Marcel Duchamp, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dieter Roth, Laurie Anderson, Chuck Close
Six places to find yourself in:
the studio, the gallery, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, flea markets, thrift stores