Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Interview with Joseph Daniel Fiedler

q)Let's start with the basics; what's your full name, where do you live, and how old are you?

a)Joseph Daniel Fiedler, Berkeley, CA, USA 54

q) Do you have any formal training?

a)I went to a 2 year Associates Degree program directly from High School [the Ivy School of Professional Art –now defunct]. I went to College when I was 24 and graduated with a BFA [Painting] from Carnegie Mellon University when I was 26.

q) Did the place you grew up in influence your image making?

a)Of course, it always does in some way or another, doesn’t it? Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was still a tough mill town in the nineteen fifties. It was gray and sober. That’s just one small example.

q) How do you come up with your concepts?

a)Well I read the text [if there is one] and deduce the most appealing images to me. Then I make them by sketching, tracing and photocopying until I get some sense of what kind of a painting it will be. I often second-guess the
client here depending on the job. I usually send too many ideas. We pick one and that’s it. Sometimes there will be some modification necessary, but generally that’s all. I like to have time to think about my ideas to really develop them. That’s not always possible, but I try to build it into the process.

q) Describe your creations in a clear, concise and understandable sentence. What do you call them?

a)I’m adopting the Syntax of Tradition, creating a carefully articulated scrim of combinatory ruminations and superimpositions with pensive, lyrical vignettes evocative, on the one hand, of spontaneous visual sleight of hand and on the other, a compelling chyme of ideas. Ideologically eliciting the esthetics of impoverishment, what Jan Anvikos has called "the collective revenge of the marginalized", retrograde, antiesthetic meta-narratives repudiate sanctimonious identity politics [along with conservative attitudes prevalent in the contemporary flirtation with "Pop Art" viz. a vis wacko internet junkiedom, MTV, YouTube and the Fox Network et al] by conflating irreverent, socio-cultural symbologies, historicisms and fortuitous disassociations in a multi-meme constellation of Institutional Critique; a physical and psychical convergence of dubiously aligned frameworks.

q) What other mediums would you like to explore in your image making?

a)I’m doing OK with what I’ve got. In my mind, I haven’t yet made that picture that I’m looking for so I feel no pressure to switch mediums. I have been learning more and more Photoshop recently and I’m happy about that. I’m exhibiting some giclee prints this summer that have been created digitally. That’s a lot for me.

q) What is the best time in the day for you to work on a project? Is there one, or is it more about the environment -- maybe the right mood?

a)I’m an afternoon person [that dawdles into night]. I try not to drive myself nuts and make myself a physical wreck. Pacing!

q) What are your artistic influences?...and …generally who or what influences you the most?

a)Pablo Picasso, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Sam Philips, Cosimo Matassa, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner, Ping-ting, Tom Waits, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Kick it around.

q) Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/photographers?

a)David Hockney, Odd Nerdrum, Neo Rauch, Raymond Pettibon, The Harold M. Lambert Studios Catalog No. 4, Ping-ting, Wilson Pickett. It’s a long list.

q) What is your next project?Exhibition?Collaboration?

a)Well, I’m working on a small book cover and a very interesting editorial for New Orleans Magazine about a secret cover-up that might have evolved into the AIDS epidemic. I’m in three group shows right now [Los Angeles, Brooklyn and San Francisco] and have others in August in Sacramento and December in Hamburg, Germany.

q) What are your plans for the future?

a)I have absolutely no idea whatsoever about the future. I need to concentrate and stay focused and do the very best that I can.

q) Are there some web sites that you would like to recommend? Artists, art communities,

a)See my links page @

q)What sort of music do you listen to?

a)I like more genres of things than most people I've ever met Recently I'm on a Duende/Sentimental jag; lot's of really emotional Mexican or Bolero stuff like Chavella Vargas, Lila Downs, and Martirio. I love Teresa Salgueiro! Keep it Rootsy! Marc Ribot! Tom Waits! Also saw U2's "Vertigo" Tour and Sinead's Sly & Robbie "Throw Down Your Arms" Tour. Awesome!

q)Do you collect anything?If so what?

a)I have a very small crucifix collection and although I never intended it, I seem to collect old girlfriends.

q)What do you do for fun?

a)The most fun thing for me is to be busy with work. After that I like to experience what Harry Smith called “old, weird America” in all it’s manifestations. I also enjoy big nature.

q)Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a)Not at the moment.

q)Your contacts…

a)Joseph Daniel Fiedler2730 8th StreetBerkeley, CA 94710313-804-7047


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