I find it pretty interesting that a lot of the artists' I have interviewed thus far listen to audiobooks while they work. John Casey does and I was really intrigued by both his interview and especially his work.
What is your background in art/ design?
I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston with a BFA in painting in 1988. Since then I have veered into drawing and sculpture. Most of my materials knowledge and processes I've practiced outside of painting have been self taught.
What is the next step for your career?
I have some shows coming up in the Bay Area but ideally I'm looking to show more in other cities with compatible galleries. I like traveling to places where I am showing.
What is your inspiration for your art?
All kinds of things inspire me, science fiction, animals, plants and nature in general, politics, the human body, and architecture. Arty, weird movies like Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch," Julie Taymor's "Titus," Tom Tykwer's "Run Lola Run," Aranofsky's "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream," and Svankmeyer or Brothers Quay animation. Looking at other artist's art is usually pretty inspiring. I spend a lot of time at galleries and museums.
Whose opinion do you value the most?
Of course, my opinion about my own work is pretty important, if I do say so myself, but in regard to my art, I don't think I have one person whose opinion stands above all others. I think I'm more likely to respond to a collective set of opinions.
What are your favorite blogs/ publications?
"Fecal Face" is probably my number one reference for local art.
There are lots of good ones out there. I have subscriptions to Cabinet, Art in America, The New Yorker, and The Believer.
What is your artistic Process?
For drawing, I begin by simply imagining characters in situations. Sometimes I focus on gestures and poses. I'm not working with specific narratives per se, I'm looking for a feeling, tapping into a place normally hidden inside myself. As I begin laying out the drawing in pencil, I make choices about body mutations that might push the feeling of a particular piece forward. Although I am making decisive choices along the way, the work's narrative remains open. I finish up with pen work, inking in the pencil and adding volume and texture.Sculpture requires a bit more planning but the process is similar in that it emerges from an intuitive place.
Currently reading/ watching anything?
I usually read fiction but I'm currently reading Jared Diamond's historical "Guns, Germs, and Steel." I will often listen to audiobooks while I'm working in my studio. A good narrator is very important to a good audiobook. One of the best books I have listened to recently is "The Terror" by Dan Simmons. It's a great story about British arctic exploration in the mid 19th century. The narrator, Simon Vance, does an awesome job of differentiating between upper and lower society English, Scottish, and Irish accents.
Anyone you are dying to work with?
I'm not a big collaborator. I'm not sure why that is but I've shown with some really good artists whom I admire. I'd rather talk about art over beers or gallery hop and share opinions and ideas than work on a specific project with someone else.
Do you dream and if so do you have recurring themes?
I do dream a lot. I have dreams where I am being chased by an unseen entity, Those dreams are pretty dramatic and action-packed. I also have dreams that I am navigating a city, often within tall buildings, running up and down stairwells trying to avoid a giant creature that keeps peering into windows looking for me. Who knows what that all means?