Thursday, June 5, 2014

Elena Lavorato Gets to Know Exhibiting Artist Aaron Dysart

In regards to your sculptural practice, why are you interested in nature? 

       I really have problems with the word ‘nature’ as it always feels like a false category, as I do not believe in the supernatural, so nature is all there is, it is the grand system.  However it is often thought of as something other then us, and this manufactures distance and problems.  Knowing this, I still feel the disconnect.  I wish I didn’t, but I do. 
       The sculptures are trying to understand where this disconnect comes from and how I can get rid of it.  I want to be a positive part of the natural system, though I harbor a strong distrust of my thoughts of how this might come to be.  Nature is so much larger then us, I often wonder how much we can know for sure.  I am however not content to fester in skepticism, and try to push forward with the knowledge that I am probably wrong and always wear my earnestness on my sleeve.

What does the fake aspect of plastic or painted trees represent?

I enjoy when something is trying to be something else.  It ceases to be anything stable, as it is both the material it is made out of and the thing it is trying to be.  I love the fact that a discrete object can exist in this ambiguous, and at times, contradictory state.  

Do you have a memorable childhood experience involving art?

My origin myth starts with tee-ball.  My parents signed me up, and for our first game all the kids on my team ran onto the field calling the position they wanted to play.  Since I had no idea how the game was played I ended up in left field, which of course is pointless in a tee-ball game played by 6-year-olds.  I stayed out there making piles of grass for a couple innings as the other kids kept changing sides.  Seeing my complete non-interest my parents signed me up for ceramics classes at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, so technically I was in art school before normal school.

       Where is your favorite place to be outside?     

The Minnehaha dog park is my favorite place in the world.  I could write a whole book on that place, but will just say that I think it's pure magic. 

 Do you have a preference when it comes to displaying art indoors or outdoors? Is one   more effective than the other?

I have been mostly outside for years now, and the work was there for conceptual reasons.  In attempting to understand how I relate and think about wilderness, I need to be physically in that space.  It isn’t always comfortable, and can be a pain in the ass, but it made sense for the work and I let that guide me.  The nice part is I didn’t have to look for shows, or wait for gallery space.  I just found a good spot and put it up.

This show was a conscious return to object making, which I have missed lately.  I love the discrete boundaries of an object and the physical act of making.  The difficulty in having objects seem vital pays off when you make something that holds ambiguity and contradiction yet provides an undeniable permanent physicality.  I don’t think I always achieve it, but it is what I am shooting for.

If you could only use three tools to make work for the rest of your artistic career, what would they be?

This sounds like a nightmare.  I am interested in having material being determined by the content of the work.  Because of this, the tools and techniques are always quite varied and can become tool intensive.  Sculpture can draw from anything, which allows me to continually learn new materials and constantly search out new skills.  If I was stuck with just three tools, the work would narrow and become material dependent, and that doesn’t really interest me. 

Come check out Aaron Dysart's show opening June 7th!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Elena Lavorato Gets to Know Exhibiting Artist Nate Burbeck

 Many of your paintings could be photographs, why does painting these scenes make them better? 
 Firstly, I'm not technically proficient enough to realize these works as photographs, but in truth I actually prefer them as  paintings. Painting allows for a certain amount of flexibility and I think it more easily opens up the possibilities for what can be done. I also enjoy the challenge that painting presents - to be able to depict what I'm trying to create in a convincing fashion. It's not automatic either and it takes time to accomplish that goal but I enjoy the process.

What do the smoke, balls, glowing light, and other surrealistic elements applied to everyday scenes represent?
They don't really have a ton of specific meaning to me in that one thing means this and another thing means something different, these elements are more there to give the paintings a surreal or psychological edge. Overall I'd say there's no one correct way to read each painting, the onus is on the viewer to fill in the gaps of meaning for themselves. And that's really what I'm most interested in for these paintings. Different people have different interpretations depending on how they see the work and what experiences they bring to it.

Do you personally know most of the people in your paintings, especially the ones with close up and detailed views of the faces?
For the most part yes. I prefer to have actual people pose for me (who I will photograph and use as reference for a given painting) and those people tend to be friends or people I know. There are some instances where I've had to use images from various online sources but ideally I try to find friends to pose for me.
 I’m curious to know if you were bored or dissatisfied as a child growing up in the Midwest and the things you saw made you fantasize about a more interesting world? Such as, what if there were reflective metallic balls over this field?
No, I wouldn't say I was bored with my surroundings growing up in the Midwest. Things were pretty normal, for whatever that's worth. My interest in these kinds of typical middle American settings has only really come up more recently, say in the last five years or so, and I think it mostly is just a result of working with what I see around me. There are interesting things to see here in flyover country, you just have to be willing to look.

 How old were you when you began to paint and what were your ideas or themes like then?
I've been doing art related things every since I was little, though that was mostly doodling and drawing. I got into painting somewhat late (I guess) when I was in my junior year at college. When I was first starting out with my own ideas I was more interested in symbolism, everything had a specific meaning. But now things are more generic, in the sense that I don't ascribe those attributes to what I paint, things are more open ended now. 

 I read your CV, can you elaborate on when you say …creating tension between what is familiar and what is distinctly surreal. I’m wondering because for me personally I get a dreamlike or calming feeling from your work and I was hoping you could tell me a bit more about the aspect of tension.

    I'd say there's some tension in the work but not all in equal measure. Mostly what I'm getting at with that is that there's a strange mix in my paintings, where most of the settings are familiar, maybe even uninspiring, everyday landscapes but within these seemingly mundane settings there's something strange going on, those elements that give the paintings a surreal or psychological edge. So there's a tension in having to reconcile with those two things that are existing in the same space. And like I said this isn't all in equal measure, there are some paintings that have more direct tension and even violent aspects - example, Highlands Ranch, Colorado - whereas others might be a little more quietly mysterious and not so jarring - as in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, etc. 
What art do you have hanging on your walls? 
 Umm, well mostly my paintings at the moment. I would have more art from other artist friends of mine but I just don't have a whole lot of space to do that right now. I have a sculptural wall piece from an artist friend that's currently living inside a box in my studio, eventually I'm planning on displaying it. I do however have a small, growing collection of art books that I'm pretty proud of, if that counts.
What are you working on now?
More painting! Currently I'm working on a larger piece that is based off of some photos I took on a weekend trip to Fort Dodge, Iowa. I'm excited to see how it will turn out.
For more information on Nate Burbeck visit HERE.