Inside the Artist's Studio
What was your first artwork to receive recognition? What materials do you use, and how did they come into your practice? What advice would you give a young artist just starting out?
Joe Fig asked a wide range of celebrated artists these and many other questions during the illuminating studio visits documented in Inside the Artist's Studio--the follow-up to his acclaimed 2009 book, Inside the Painter's Studio. In this remarkable collection, twenty-four painters, video and mixed-media artists, sculptors, and photographers reveal highly idiosyncratic production tools and techniques, as well as quotidian habits and strategies for getting work done: the music they listen to; the hours they keep; and the relationships with gallerists and curators, friends, family, and fellow artists that sustain them outside the studio.
1955), American. Artist known for his paintings and sculptures of banal subjects. He employs numerous people to assist with the fabrication of his work. Tara Donovan: November 21, 2013 2014, Mixed media, 16 x 171/4 x 223/4 inches Tara Donovan Long Island City, New York / November 21, 2013 To start off, can you please tell me a bit about your background? I grew up in Rockland County, New York, and I went to an all-girl, Catholic, college-preparatory high school in Bergen County, New Jersey.
small, but there was something about the feng shui of the space. I didn’t know the people, but I liked the space. Then, doing my homework, I found out Kara Walker2 shows there, and I know Kara. When Brent [Sikkema] and Michael [Jenkins] came out to the studio, they were fantastic. Brent is a special kind of man; I think most of the artists stay there because of him. He came up with the idea for my last exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins: living in the gallery space for a month and making work in the
cinema in terms of theme and how you build a composition. I’ll say, “OK, I love how John Ford5 did this or Terrence Malick6 did that. How do I address that in my work?” A lot of Stanley Kubrick7 is in my work in terms of my philosophy and how I build the compositions. His films are based on a triangular composition; he composes three strong segments and brings them together to create the overall film. I understand this way of making things. As a matter of fact, I was working on a piece with
would deal with painting: What will pop, and what will move forward, and what will move back? The video is very much a conversation of painting, especially now, when people are showing them on flat screens. You’re dealing with a rectangle. You’re dealing with what it means for things to move in and out of a frame. Are there items that you keep in the studio that have significant meaning to you? Everything has a lot of meaning. But this floor from the platform of the Bryant Park performance is
like a certain degree of chaos—a creative chaos, an organized chaos. I’ll have a morning session, where I’ll do screening or painting or printing. It’s hours of intensive activity. Then I’ll break for lunch, and in the afternoon I’ll have another intensive session. Then at the end of the day I get to look at what I’ve made. I tend to stay late unless I have somewhere to go. I’ll stay until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. It’s very nice here in the early evening. It’s very quiet; I can do a lot of thinking and