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Thursday, 18 October 2007

Interview with Daniel C.Boyer

q)Something on you ...

a)I'm Daniel C. Boyer; I was born in 1971 in Hancock, in Michigan's frigid Keweenaw Peninsula (USA). I first started making automatic drawings and paintings in1987 after reading "Manifestos of Surrealism" by André Breton and joined the Surrealist Movement in the United States in 1992. I have a degree in Politics and History from Curry College.

q) When did you start to make art?

a)As soon as I was able to walk my art was constructing towers with kindergarten blocks but it wasn't very long after that my mother got me "the little table"and I (accompanied, not long afterwards, by my sister)used to go down in the mornings, every morning, to draw.

q)Explain your inspiration?

a)Most of the work I do is either automatic or from various methods of "forcing inspiration," such as fumage -- I usually use pens or markers to flesh out forms suggested (really almost demanded) by the smoke and flame the candle I earlier moved across the paper. I almost always work automatically even in computer graphics; in bitmap editing programs I automatically run filters.(Of course the point is that it really isn't art, but for many years (1998-2005) the main drawings I made were entoptic graphomanias, "surautomatic" drawings done using a process developed by Romanian surrealist Dolfi Trost, in which dots are made at the site of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots.) That work of mine that is not automatic usually comes from dreams: for example, I had a nightmare in which I painted a painting called "The Rapist" and then, upon waking, I painted the painting I'd done in the dream.Sometimes I'm influenced by politics (cf. my portrait of Emiliano Zapata) but this is a very minor influence.

q) In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?

a)In addition to the methods of working I stated above,certain tools have really lightened my work load. For example, it occurred to me I could use an electric toothbrush for painting in gouache, and now I can tell the toothbrush "Do this painting while I'm gone; I'm going to the coffeehouse!" Seriously, unusual and even common place tools in themselves can suggest, even demand a whole chain of consequences that is the painting working _itself_ out.

q) Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?

a)Not really; my paintings and drawings are (with a veryfew exceptions) impersonal. When I was in high-school and freshman year of college I was the singer and guitarist in a band, and the music was intensely personal, but my drawings and paintings could have been done by anyone.
q) What does being an artist mean to you?

a)Being an artist, _stricta sensu_, doesn't mean that much to me, but I cherish the ability that painting and drawing has to open up the unexpected, its exploration and discovery. I'm very sympathetic to the argument that if you know everything about a painting before you begin, the (existence of the)painting tends to become redundant.

q) When does your art become successful?

a)If it expands the realm (or, really, the _expression_of the realm, as the realm is really limitless) of imagination.

q) Who prices your work? And how is the price decided upon?

a)I price my work (with the exception of some auctions),and, as you can't really say that a painting has instrinsic value, it's just (perhaps unfortunately)decided by what comparable artists (in terms of their exhibition record, not the quality of their work) are charging, the medium, to some degree the size, and a certain degree of whimsy.

q) What is your next; move,project,show etc?

a)I have a number of groups shows in which I'm going to have work coming up in Canada, France, Brazil,Argentina, Honduras and Ouisconsin. I'm working on some blacklite pen drawings. (I've already painted some with blacklite paint, including"The Trophy Wife.") I've long had an interest in extremely low-contrast work; not only my invisible ink drawings, but back in my student films("The Erotic Life of the Eskimo").

q) What are the pros and cons of the art market?

a)The only pro of the art market is the extent to which(and it certainly could be argued, and perhaps with a greater or lesser degree of success, that other alterative methods would be or are more helpful -- I remember in 1980s New-York how I saw the stunningly graffiti-covered subway station at Bedford Avenue and the cars were colourful riots, the streets are full of posters, lacerated and intact, stencils, drawing spinned to the chain-link fences that characterise South Colorado Springs and its cracked concrete and no-tell motels, and down those streets mailmen carry the mail-art, franked with artistamps, in which I've also been heavily involved) it provides spaces for people to see creative expression(s) (and, true, these spaces might have some significance to the overall feeling of an exhibition's installation, and this could particularly be true with respect to"installation art"). The con is that it tends to restrain artists' creativity -- the gallerist telling you, for example, to have "consistency" in your work! I like inconsistent work, fuelled by exploration,inquiry, adventure.

q) Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?

a)My gouache "The Rapist," my entoptic graphomanias, and my invisible ink drawings.

q) Who has been the biggest influence on you?

a)André Breton.

q)Other visual artists that you like.

a)Allison Boyer, Joan Miró, Trish Youens, Wolfgang Paalen, George Booth, Crockett Johnson (in his Barnaby cartoons), Eric W. Bragg (I'm not simply a pseudonym for him, despite the rumours), Fernand Brose, Ithelli Colouhoun, Salvador Dalí (but not so much the Marquisde Púbol), and whoever did the cave-paintings discovered by Robot.

q) How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?

a)There's a great deal of influence, with the limitation that some artists are the "next big thing" in the "artworld" without really being known by the "man on the street." (There is even a slight reservoir of public skeptism about some of this hype.)

q) Last CD you downloaded ?

a)I don't download music and I'm not that keen on CDs(the last records I bought, though, were by 7 Seconds).

q) What makes you happy?

a)Vienetta, deep-dish pizza, the annoying habit dogs have of wagging their tails, Wellesley's hills, the smell of autumn, ice hockey, watching elephant football.

q) What makes you sad?

a)The belief that tragedy is "inevitable," and thus, in some sense, justifiable, and the use of this to perpetuate tragedy. The loss of love (but what is really lost?). The receding time, bound inexorably to the myth that time is unidirectional.

q) Last book you read?
a)_Marley and Me_.

q) What else do like other than art?

a)Visual art doesn't hold a candle to music -- visual art tends to be rather flat (in comparison); you never have that feeling of your hair catching on fire, your voice catching, of almost being in tears... My favourite records are by The Cure, The PsychedelicFurs, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The Glove (I adore _Blue Sunshine_ on blue vinyl) and I'm becoming more interested in Love and Rockets, New Order and Siouxsie and the Banshees now. I'm also listening quite a bit to Old Skull (despite the reviews, they are not "unlistenable"!).

q) Final thoughts...

a)Don't be afraid of the legend on the map "Here Be Dragons." Keep pushing ahead. The horizon is and maybe golden but the next horizon is more golden than that.

q)Your contacts.

a)c/o
Van Weyenbergh Fine Arts
468 N. Camden Drive #220
Beverley Hills CA 90210 USA
(1) 310-933 5573
(1) 760-200 9724

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