Art Lies, Volume 47, Summer 2005 Page: 43
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TDH For me, painting is just one part of the mix.
AF For me, there could be more powerful ways to say what I want
to say. For example, I think I'm serving a very small audience by
being here. There aren't that many people who care about what I do
or care about the art world. I should just be an activist or something.
I always have something inside me that says, what the hell are you
doing? You're not going to change the world doing this. But I have
something else inside me saying painting is really powerful, and the
people who see it could have a powerful moment that could change
FF I don't think painting was ever a force for change. I think paint-
ing is a force for reflecting-a reflection rather than an active social
force. It gives society a way to look at itself. Has there ever been an
art piece that has revolutionized culture or politics?
PM During Fascism, painting was very important--
FF But do you really think Guernica changed people? It's more a
reflection of how people were feeling.
MS What about Diego Rivera's murals? I think those had a massive
effect on people.
TDH I think when people go to see paintings, it's a certain group of
people. You have a shield up-you're in a different mode. It's not like
going to see a Michael Moore film or something.
PM My next question is, what is the ideal way for your work to be
exhibited, not in terms of career but where will your work work
RO I think about having a small piece in a dark library (laughter)...
It's based on what two-dimensional work provides as opposed to film
or video-that contemplative notion. Seeing something that commu-
nicates about how we live in this world and how we relate to each
other in this format is what a library provides but in a much bigger,
better way. It's just a fancy of mine.
MS I just had this terrible image of that televangelist who always
says, "Let's have a quiet conversation." That's exactly where I'd want
my work to sit-in a very quiet space that goes back to what fueled
the work. That's the impetus for me. I just want to have a conversa-
tion with someone. I don't want to be yelling at them.
FF I like the white box-the neutral setting-but I'd like a more neu-
tral setting than a museum, if there is such a thing. Museums have a
sort of imposed neutrality. I'm always terrible in group shows because
I'm always concerned with context, with how things work together.
Having said that, I have a painting in a hair salon, and you can see it
as you drive by. They've done their whole dcor around the painting.
I like the idea that it's in the waiting room. I like semi-public spaces
where people are waiting for something to happen and have time to
contemplate. Those are great spaces for art. It's like you are seeing it
in a casual moment rather than in a museum where you're looking at
art. I've always been interested in the de-sanctifying of art.
TDH Right now, all I think about is how there are all these circles that
tangentially influence and overlap art. I exist in the art world; there
is all that. Then there is the toy world, and I know all the toy web-
sites, toy geeks. I collect. Then there are the film geeks-there's that
version of me. Then there is the comic book version-all these worlds
that overlap. I'm interested in my world infecting, like a disease,
these other realms. Or, if you will, giving them back what they've
given to me in a strange way. I guess I exist between the classical
and the romantic because I do want people to experience the paint-
ings, get close up to them and see that there are a hundred marks
here and just a splatter of paint there. I want you to feel that and be in
it. At the same time, since I'm speaking to these other circles, I have
to figure out how to translate that to other audiences. I'm working on
a comic book format at the moment. That's a whole other audience,
with different expectations, different ways of reading imagery, so I
have to format what I do for them. I'm concerned with how my work
reads in all these different spaces.
PM So you're saying that you're interested in pushing your work fur-
ther and further away from the museum. You're happy when you find
TDH Yeah. I'm also working with a toy designer, having some of my
work turned into action figures. I'm working with a ballet company to
have work turned into a ballet, and I know nothing about ballet.
Coming from art school to where I am now, it took jumping over
some idealistic hurdles. I had to break down some walls in my head
about what my work is and about what kind of artist I am. If you had
asked me this stuff back them, I'd have said, hell no, I'd never con-
tribute work toward certain circles.
PM I think a lot about how painting is changing, and where the work
is placed is symptomatic of this. For example, painting tied in to
architecture becomes just a design on the wall. Where your work is
displayed is a very important question nowadays. That doesn't mean
it eliminates museums, but museums are just one experience and
art-even painting-requires many more ways to experience it.
FF It's really about the studio. When it goes out of your studio, there
is a process of letting go because you don't have control of the cir-
cumstances in which the work will be viewed. It changes. Sometimes
it changes for the better and sometimes you're horrified. It's as if it
isn't even the same piece as it was in the studio. I'm sure that has
happened to all of us, right?
MS It is conceived in the studio, but it takes its own path once it
leaves. That can be a nice element of seeing your work in the gallery;
you get a different take on it. In a controlled environment, you can
only see it in one way.
PM For me, one question still lingers. Which new horizons-subject
matter, ideas, expressions-have you seen introduced into practice
by younger generations such as your own?
TDH You see more art these days that may seem old fashioned.
I think that is because this generation of artists has learned how to
ignore ideas about the "avant-garde." We are looking at the very far
reaches of art history for tutelage. Also we're not as concerned with
our work aligning with certain theories or isms.
AF I think when you have a sense of where you are--when you're
more comfortable in your own skin-you start to look at things not in
terms of yourself against "them." You are no longer concerned with
where you stand in relationship to others or their work.
ARTL!ES Summer 2005 43
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