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Q&A with andy denzler
Vhcle Magazine Issue 14, Art
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Tell us a little bit about yourself
In art school I spent a lot of time playing with audio-visual gear – mostly photography and film. One day when I was experimenting with abstract composition, I saw colour fields appear on the canvas, like you get with long exposure times in photography. The effect was as if something was hovering beneath the surface of the paint.
It’s as if I’ve pressed the fast-forward on a video machine then hit the pause button, so reality comes to a stand-still. I speed up and slow down the colours. What remains is a distorted moment – classically painted, oil on canvas – that upon closer inspection is very abstract, but from a distance looks real.
What's the inspiration behind your paintings, and can you tell us a bit about your style/technique?
Inspiration comes from many places, but mostly observation of everyday people. I always have a camera close by. I also enjoy portraying people, but not in a staged way. Film has a strong influence too. In fact, I’m something of a film addict. The rawness of Andy Warhol’s screen tests has influenced me. Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Short Cuts by Robert Altman, Songs from the Second Floor by Roy Andersson, and the Coen Brothers are all on my current shortlist.
I seem to have an obsession with time; I want to capture a moment in time that begets a narrative that the viewer can complete. I like to raise questions about issues of modern society that nag away at me. By asking questions, my perception of the world finds its way into my paintings. Applying distortion to parts or across a composition, one not only feels time or the stoppage of time through the movement, but is invited to project one's own narrative or emotions. Time also plays a role in how a piece takes shape – in my technique and process. Because I’m painting wet-on-wet with thick layers of pastos, the process is very time-sensitive.
Dennis Hopper
This might be a difficult question as you have so much amazing work, but do you have a favorite piece?
At the moment a small portrait which I made last year, with the title “Decision”.
What advice would you give to other artists?
To be honest and faithful with yourself I think is the biggest challenge for an artist. Try to be passionate, disciplined and unique in what you do!
Favorite drink?
No turps, just coffee and water.
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