Saturday, July 30, 2011

ART TALK with Artist Avery McCarthy

ART TALK with Avery McCarthy

Avery McCarthy, There Are No Stars Here XX. 40" x 40", photography.
What is the last exhibition you attended?
The last exhibition I attended was the Alexander McQueen show at the Met. It's already had praise heaped on it from every direction, but nonetheless I think it is one of the best shows in the last several years and its very exciting to see a museum like the Met highlighting fashion that is approached from such a fantastically artistic standpoint.

Do you collect anything? What are some of your collections?
I collect star charts, subway maps from cities that I visit, emerging art, and recently I've been collecting images of "you are here" signs. I love maps and diagrams; anything visual that represents something physical. I also trade for and buy art whenever I can, I collect work I wish I had made. I have a philosophy that once someones done something, there's no sense in doing it again unless you can do it significantly better. My art collection reminds me of all the things that people have done better and more beautifully than I ever could.

What was the first work of art you purchased?
It depends, I rarely actually buy art, usually I trade. The first work I officially collected was a piece by a glass artist named Josh Simpson, a small circular red planet. It's still on my mantle at home.

What artists most inspire or influence you? Why?
I would say Yves Klein and Anish Kapoor are my biggest influences, because I love the direct way that they deal with scale and metaphysical ideas. But I also like some of the more cynical things that Damien Hirst has explored recently, treating high valuations as a sort of per formative element to his work. I love anything that gets a strong reaction--I can't stand Jeff Wall's work, but I like it because I have such a negative reaction to it. Indifference is the worst thing an artwork can provoke.

What work from your Kiptonart portfolio is your favorite? why? What does it mean to you?
The piece titled "Light Field (with ring)" is my favorite. It's a large canvas, filled with LEDs, with a ring, also made of LEDs hung about two feet in front of it. When the room is dim, it produces this amazing optical effect as you walk around. I think it is probably the most successful work I've ever produced, part of me hopes that no one ever buys it so that I can keep it on my wall forever.

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