Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Artist Interview: Andrew Birk Andrew Birk Andrew Birk

What is your name: Andrew Birk Andrew Birk Andrew Birk

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I went for art school long enough to know to drop out. I have never looked back. I have no interest in supporting my career through teaching. I also don’t want anything to fall back on. When I play poker I go all in.

What is the style of your pieces: Right now I am making super raw super paired-down paintings on paper.

What is the medium in which you work: Spray paint. I love the lack of control, the allusion to global urbanization, and the toxicity.

What started you on your path as an artist: It has always been the only language that I truly understand.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Faith.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Site-specific Sculpture. Monuments.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: Yes, I make an extremely high volume of work and like the shows to be overloaded so as to produce a very loud cloud of visual noise. It forces people to either find peace in the middle of chaos or leave. It is important for people to have a reaction. My last show was of other 1,000 pieces and the walls were covered from top to bottom. Hot.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: I refuse to wear a shirt when I make work. And I refuse not to wear Prada shoes. For real.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Finding a community of people that essentially, deeply care about art has been difficult. Artists with courage are hard-sought. I have had a hard time finding big picture thinkers.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Tillamook cheddar cheese and wheat bread.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: I have been watching everyone around me polishing (commodifying) their work. I have had a very strong reaction to that and have thus been seeking to make my work more raw and more jagged. I want to go the opposite direction. A show in Chelsea is the antithesis of my goal. I want my work to be manifested physically in as close a form as the idea from whence it sprung. I don’t care whatsoever for wrapping art objects with ribbons to make them more easily consumed. That’s not what art is.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Alive- Gerhard Richter. Dead- Khufu, the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid of Giza.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: The Pacific Ocean. Nothing else.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: No. And animals are too real to care about art. Art is human, animals have no capacity for it. Haha. 

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: July 11th in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I’ll be having a fundraising show to finance moving to Mexico City. The info can be found on my facebook page. Facebook.com/Andrew.birk



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