Saturday, February 2, 2008

BRUCE EVES Q & A WITH TODD BROOKS / Pendu Magazine & Gallery
Q: When did you first start making artwork? Is there a particular artist or group of artists that really sparked your interest in making art? A: When I was 18 I had to make a choice between art school and going to university to study archeology. I'm a little ashamed to say I took the easy route. Q: Did you go to art school? If so, what effect did art school have on your art? In what ways did they make you better? Do you feel you were taught things that you now have to “unlearn”? A: Unless there's a really solid foundation of art history the idea of art school is pretty pointless. I was luckier than most in that there was an educational upheaval going on when I was at school which stressed conceptual thinking over traditional skills. After all if you can't think clearly and you don't know your history, you know nothing. At the time the thought of talking about money was just too horrifying for words. Now they talk about nothing else – and it shows. Q: Do you feel you had to ''reinvent the wheel'' on your own to get where you are or are there certain people who have helped guide you along the way? A: Learning to connect the dots was the second most important thing I learned. The most important thing I've learned is to ignore the art magazines -- nothing they have to say is relevant to anything beyond the influence of advertising over editorial (which everyone denies). Q: What keeps you inspired to continue making new work? A: Getting pissed off is the best catalyst. Q: What themes do you find yourself most attracted to and returning to in your work? A: How best to put noses out of joint at any given moment. Q: How much of each piece of your artwork would you consider comes from an intuitive or spontaneous sense of creating and how much is analytical and planned out? A: Every idea begins as a spark and I flounder around and procrastinate and hate myself before sitting down and planning something out in detail. Then it all gets tossed out. Things get done and redone a half dozen times before I understand what I'm doing. The theory and analysis comes afterward. Q: How important is music to your art? Do you listen to certain music when working? Any particular musicians? A: I work in silence. Q: Do you have a favorite cultural critic, philosopher, or psychoanalyst that you enjoy reading/learning from? Has their work directly or indirectly influenced you and if so, in what ways? A: I read the way I work, floundering around and following the links. Lytton Strachey is far more interesting than Noam Chomsky, and the Marquis de Sade is far more entertaining than Maureen Dowd. And anyone who quotes the French deconstructionists deserves a bare-bottom spanking, because they don't understand what they've read. Q: Who is your favorite young author right now? A: Right now I'm reading the Grimm brothers and the political satirist Rick Mercer. Q: Is there a young visual artist right now whose work particularly has your attention? A: A young one that's still among the living? No. Q: Do you make a living as an artist? If not, and you don't mind sharing, what is your day/night job? A: It's hand to mouth but I get by. Q: What are your future plans? A: To reach pension age with a set of shoulders wider than my ass. Q: Any cryptic messages that you would like to send out to the readers? A: Aside from Hillary Clinton being a fraud? No. (2/28/08)

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