Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Interview with Paul Volker

Q.could you describe your work a little bit for the blog,

A. My work focuses on streamlining the mechanical process of painting in order to maximize creative flexibility. The paintings I make have no canvas, no exterior frame, and everything is done with various blends of house paint. 60 years ago the artworld debated whether a painting needed content. I go one step further by basically making fun of whatever content shows up in my paintings. My art is art that ridicules art.

Q.Also, You are known to sell out at comfest, who buys your work?

A. I usually sell out at comfest because I can't seem to get more than about 300 paintings done ahead of time, and because they sell for $20 there. This year my goal is to paint 400. Many people buy more than one. Most of my works are purchased by persons of superior intelligence, sophistication and taste, who have an extra 20 bucks.

Q. Do you have a favorite painting right now?

A. My favorite painting right now is called "Peace Speaks a Universal Tongue". It pictures an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian soldier french kissing.

Q. If you could give one of your pieces to the current President what would you give him?

A. The painting I’d give to President Obama is: "Hard Times With Sparkling Unicorn", the one featured on my website, volkerworld.com. It's about how everybody thinks he's the magical pony who is going to solve all the problems, and what a load of crap that is.

Q.How about that last guy that was in there?

A. Do I have a painting for George W.Bush? I have one ogf a guy pushing a shopping cart. I can't imagine that Bush has ever pushed a shopping cart.

Q.Anything else to add for our audience?
A. You've heard of Impressionism? Expressionism? I refer to my style of work as "Neo-Recessionism". The theory behind this is that art has to respond to the current situation of the world, both economic and ecologic. . Neo-Recessionist art must be cheap to make, inexpensive to buy, easy to produce, and use discarded or recycled materials as much as possible. The theory is that when the process is reduced to bare essentials and production becomes monotonous, the work must then rely completely on creative genius to make up the difference, and it is upon this difference that the artist and the artist's work is thus judged. "Creative genius" here doesn't mean intelligence, creativity, cleverness or technical skill. It means being able to completely let go of all concets of "this is what art is" and "this is what an artist is" and "I define myself as an artist''. and just let the imagination run free. Art isn't art until you take the art out of art. And where does that leave me? I am a painted plywood hustler.



-Paul
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