Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interview with Andrew Perry Davis

q)please tell us a brief info about yourself.
a)I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina.  I have always felt the urge
to express myself through art.  It is a way for me to communicate
ideas that are hard to express in words.  I studied art in South
Carolina and Pennsylvania.  Since then I have taught art in Michigan
and Indiana.  I am currently living in Bloomington Indiana with my
wife and cats.
q)Tell us about your humble beginnings, When did you you first
realized that you wanted to be an artist?
a)I realized early on that I find myself and loose myself with art.
Creating makes me vulnerable.  I share my brokenness in my art and I
think that is what people connect with, since we are all broken in
some way.
q)What are your tools of the trade and why?
a)I usually have a sketchbook with me.  It is an immediate way to record
ideas.  Some ideas would be best suited for a painting; others would
be better to develop as a sculpture or performance.  But there are
themes running through each.  Some ideas can be expressed in multiple
media.  While there are implied narratives in most of my work, I also
draw comics.  In these I explore some narrative with a specific
q)Who or what gives you inspiration on your morbid art?
a)Running through all of my work is an interest in psychology, the
supernatural, loss of identity, and dreams.  I keep a dream journal
and those sometimes show up in my work in one form or another.
q)Is your artistic background self-taught or did you go to college to study?
a)In art school the institution enforces certain criteria.  There is a
separate creative energy within the students. The students must work
toward their own goals within those criteria.  The teacher is in a
position to influence the student toward growth, or to stifle them.
It is a sticky position to be in.  As a teacher, I must be able to
detect the creative potential in the student and lead them toward
better expressing their ideas.
q)How do you keep “fresh” within your industry?
a)I went to the dumpster to throw out some large sculptures that had
been sitting around too long to find four raccoons huddled in the
bottom of the dumpster.  They had jumped in thinking it was full, but
it was empty and the walls were too slick for them to climb out.  I
found some more old sculptures and piled them up.  I waited for the
raccoons and watched them climb the sculptures to get out one by one.
The sculptures had gotten stale but serving this purpose gave them new
life.  Sometimes the little things are the positive affirmation from
the universe I need.
q)What are some of your current projects?
a)I am currently drawing back from the more concept driven work and
concentrating more on throwing pottery on the wheel.  I am energized
by the technical challenges and gratified by the user interaction of
functional ceramics.
q)Which of your works are you the most proud of? And why?
a)I really enjoy collaborating with other artists.  I my work I am
striving for a connection with others, but while creating it I am
usually totally isolated.  In collaboration there is a definite felt
connection.  This is the work I find most creatively gratifying.
q)Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field
that you have yet to try?
a)I would like to have my own gallery or art space.
q)What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
a)Life is not linear.  It is loopy, like a settler blazing a trail
through a dense forest, displaced and wandering.  There is no sense of
direction, no real way home.  I try to avoid sticky webs that will
bind me.  I develop some kind of pattern to my behavior.  In
repetition of habit we forget the random nature of our existence.
q)how do you spend most of your free time?
a)I enjoy reading, writing, going for walks, watching movies and hanging
out with my wife and cats.
q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a)My paintings are influenced by the work of self-taught artist Henry
Darger.  A ceramic artist whose work I admire is Kim Simonsson.  I am
also always deeply affected by the works of Paul McCarthy, writer
Thomas Pynchon, and director David Lynch.
q)We really like some of your pictures, how can we get our hands
on them? Do you sell them? How?
a)Thank you for your interest in my work.  If you would like to contact
me about availability feel free to email me.

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