Monday, May 24, 2010

Artist Interview: SAMO4PREZ (Ty Clark)

What is your name: SAMO4PREZ (Ty Clark)

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self-taught artist: I actually have both. My Uncle was a world-renowned Sculptor and Raku artist in the 60’s and 70’s showing in major galleries all over the world, so I grew up drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting and writing. Since I was little I was always creating, through high school and on to Azusa Pacific University’s School of Fine Arts where I studied under American Sculptor William Catling who was a major driving force in where I am now as an artist.

What is the style of your pieces: Currently I am painting abstract pieces with stencil, so basically my version of pop-art I guess. The majority of influence in my work are childhood memories/photographs, pop-culture influences and images from my work in the humanitarian world.

What is the medium in which you work: I am currently working with Acrylic, Oils, and Spray-paint on canvas and wood, but I am looking to incorporate fabrics pretty soon.

What started you on your path as an artist: Family, the Arts were such a huge part of my mothers family that there was no escaping it for me. I was enamored by the Arts at a very young age, my grandfather used to read Artist books to me and teach me about art history, literature and music. So as well as being born a 99.2% creative thinker, family added to the love of Art.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Solitude. I think that silence is such an important aspect or discipline in life, we all need something that can separate us from this world, technology, business etc. Painting gives me this monastic trait, the disconnection from life for a moment in time.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Sculpture. It was my passion in High School and for a few years in College. I love creating and forming things with my hands, 3 dimensional objects that I can touch, walk around or be a piece of, amazes me. Standing in front of a Giacometti, William Catling, Rodin, Matt Braun or Hobbs Vincent piece brings me to life.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: Yes I do, not as often as I would like but yes. I typically put them together on my own, grassroots or underground style through my Art Fashion Company Veritas. I belong to 2 Artist Groups (The Veritas Artist Collective and 5D Artists) so typically Artists from one or both of those groups are involved as well. I usually borrow a space or we find and empty building, warehouse etc and ask if we can use it. The majority of my shows go to support one of the humanitarian organizations that I support and work with around the world.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: I paint in a pair of ¾ cut off pants that I use as my pallet, my painting suit jacket and a pair of TOMS shoes.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist: The most frustrating part for all artists, finding representation, galleries, and selling work consistently enough to pay bills and live off of.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: It would have to be grilled chicken with pesto and avocado. (SSemone) YUM

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Absolutely, I went big. My average work in the past has been around 30-40 inches in size, but this year my average sized piece has been between 6-8 feet.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: I don’t think I can choose one. Here are a few; Rothko, Degas, Grotz, Basquiat, Schnabel, Pollock, Warhol, Pierson, Catling, Hynum, Ellis, Johnson, Braun and Strickland.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: That is easy. Jean Michel Basquiat “Untitled Skull 1981” while listening to Miles Davis on my headphones, tears.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: No animals. I am waiting for the day that I have time and space for two boxer puppies.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I just moved to Austin so I am currently looking for shows and artists to show with. I am showing at the Mohawk on May 26 Downtown Austin and I recently submitted work for the New Art in Austin showcase for 2011.

If you are an artist or gallery and would like to be interviewed email

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