Art Interview #001 - Richard Colman
Art Interview #001 - Richard Colman
One of my favorites, Richard Colman, was in town recently and I had the pleasure of meeting him. I talked too much. We agreed on some things. The result of all of it is this interview. Mr. Colman has a show up at Phaiz here in Chicago until the end of March. Read the interview and then peep the show. It is worth it.
Chad Kouri: Why don't you give us some background... Who the hell are you? Where the hell did you come from? Do you have any pet snakes?
Richard Colman: I was born in 1976 in Maryland and I now live and work in San Francisco
CK: How was your trip to Chicago? Did you go anywhere fun while you were here or were you locked in the gallery all week installing?
RC: I was mostly in the gallery. There was a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. But I got to get out a little went to some thrift stores, ate some good food and caught up with some old friends from Chicago. the MoCA was pretty good but most of it was closed. They had a couple nice Golubs out though.
CK: I have always had a hard time developing characters in my work. My mind just doesn't work that way. How did the idea of having a somewhat reoccurring set of characters and colors evolve? Was it conscious?
RC: The characters just always seemed to be a natural thing to include. For some reason the paintings tend not to feel finished if there isn't some one living in there. I have more trouble leaving people out of my paintings but that is a fun thing for me to do from time to time... try to make paintings that don't include characters. I think they loose their meaning if I use them as just a crutch.
I guess all that stuff just sort of happens naturally. You do one thing or try a certain color or combination of colors which leads to something else which leads to something else and so on. For me that's one of the great things about making art. After a while it all starts to take on a life of its own and you never know exactly where it will end up.
CK: I saw that you bounced around on the East Coast for a little while before going out West. What made you leave? Do you think your art changed drastically when you changed locales?
RC: At the time most of the shows I was doing were on the west coast and I was feeling like I wanted a change of environment so it seemed the natural thing to do, to move out here. I don't think it changed anything that drastically but who can tell.
CK: Got a favorite dance move?
RC: I am a big Busby Berkeley fan.
CK: I noticed that you have a huge range in sizes of your work. Do you prefer working small or large? Was it difficult to move on to making larger pieces? Was it a natural progression? Did you start big and get smaller?
RC: Working on the large ones and the small ones both come pretty naturally to me. It's the medium sized ones that give me the most trouble.
CK: Most of us here at The Post Family live in this strange gray area between art and design. Was there a time when you thought you would work primarily in the commercial world rather than fine art or were you always convinced that you wanted to strive for the galleries?
RC: When I first started in art school I went to become a better draftsman so that I could do something more commercial. I didn't really think about being any kind of fine artist until I started doing shows.
CK: What kind of stuff do you have going on right now/coming up? Shows? Vacations? Any new work you are particularly excited about?
RC: Art Brussels in April, a show with my friends Josh Slater and Alex Barry at Cinders in Brooklyn April 26th and Volta Art Fair in Bassel Switzerland in June. I'm always pretty excited about the new work. I think I even get bored of stuff before things are totally finished. I tend to get exited about the next few paintings I'm going to do while still working on the previous.
CK: How many hours a day would you say you work? How many of those hours are actual painting time?
RC: Eight to around fifteen. It depends on what's going on, deadlines, what have you. Most of it is spent drawing and painting. The rough ideas tend to happen out side the studio so when I'm in there I'm physically working.
CK: I am a huuuuuuge magazine junkie. You got any favorite magazines / zines / publishers?
RC: World of Interiors, Make, Harper's, Swindle, Ready Made and all the tabloids.
CK: Got anyone you think we should keep our eyes on? Rising stars? Plug some friends? Here's your opportunity! Do it up.