Thursday, July 29, 2010

Artist Interview: April A Taylor

What is your name: April A Taylor

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:  Aside from a couple of short courses I've taken I'm self taught.

What is the style of your pieces: The majority of my work is dark/gritty/urban, with lots of social commentary.  Some of my pieces are considered to be horror photography.  I use props such as gas masks and fake blood to explore corruption and the current state of the world around me, often utilizing illustrative photography to tell a story. 

What is the medium in which you work: Photography

What started you on your path as an artist: I've been taking pictures for as long as I can remember but I started to develop my own style when I began combining my interest with writing with my photography, thereby utilizing illustrative photography to make a statement and/or tell a story.  I'm very fortunate in that I have an extremely over active imagination; I can quite literally close my eyes and entire stories and other worlds unfold for me.  My first illustrative photoshoot, The Post-Apocalyptic Princess, was the catalyst for my entire career (big thanks to model/costume designer Raechael Hardin) as it was the first time that I told one of the stories floating around in my head through photographs first (I did eventually write a novel to tie the story together).  Now I love the challenge of telling an entire story solely through photographs.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Creative & intellectual freedom.  It is very fulfilling to be able to create images that show the world through my perspective.  I also greatly enjoy collaborating with other creative individuals and my art has allowed me to work with some extremely talented models, for which I'm quite grateful.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Abstract Expressionist paintings.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: Yes, I've been featured in a variety of different exhibits, including a small solo show and several group shows.  My work has been shown (and published) in multiple states in the US and also Internationally. 

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: There are three different steps to my creative process; the conceptual design, the shoot itself and the post-processing stage.  For the first and the last of these, I wear whatever I happen to have on (usually shorts or jeans and a t-shirt).  During the shoots I have a tendency to get on the ground, climb things, etc. and so I wear Dickies work pants, as they don't ever seem to stain or rip, combined with an old t-shirt.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? The only truly frustrating part is having lean times when not much sells and not many photoshoots are booked.  There are times when people flake, too, and of course that's frustrating but it's also part of the territory. 

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Grilled cheese

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Yes, I feel that I've become more concise in my storytelling and I've also started to take on bigger/more challenging photoshoots, both of my own design and for paying clients.  I enjoy pushing myself, and any and all boundaries, so I anticipate that my work will continue to evolve to include more grandiose, and perhaps more controversial, themes.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Jackson Pollock

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: There are several, but one that comes immediately to mind is After the Battle by Salvadore Dali.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have two cats and unfortunately I think that they view my camera equipment as their mortal enemy -- they do enjoy playing with all of my props, though.  

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I will be part of a 6 week group exhibit entitled Black & White at the K.A.S. Gallery in Louisville, KY, beginning October 29th.                     

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