Q&A with New York Artist Kadar Brock
1: Can you tell me about your background? And what was the first artwork you made?
Well, it’s nothing too too exciting. I’m a semi-native New Yorker. I grew up in the suburbs, and then attended Cooper Union (R.I.P.) in the city. My folks split when I was pretty young, but both of them were very ‘new age,’ so that stuck and their respective involvements with holistic healing, new age religion, and other esoterica definitely had an enormous impact on me.
When I was getting some art history in HS I started seeing some of these new agey ideas translated by abstract artists and that’s what really got me going on abstraction.
As far as a first art work, got me. I was always drawing when I was little, and was deep into comics and fantasy art for a long time – I’ve got piles of drawings of wizards and dragons and warriors from elementary school.
2: What is more important to you regarding your work: The Process. The final visual outcome. The material? Or something else?
I don’t think I can separate those. They all beget one another and are interwoven; they’re almost the same thing, or are, at the least, simultaneous. Though if pressed I’d say the making is primary.
3: The process of sanding down the Paintings, how did that happen? And what is originally on the painting to begin with?
The ‘original’ painting is always something I made, usually some sort of gestural abstraction. It’s a direct and very free painting, and something that assumes a certain relationship about mark making and gesture, and embodies a certain kind of belief about art and art making. The original painting is taken and objectified, and acted upon and treated as a symbolic token in a larger ritual. This all evolved very slowly and methodically, albeit intuitively, out of a desire to challenge the way I made art, and to put pressure on my assumptions and beliefs about painting.
The specific act of sanding itself came about in a large part because I’ve done a fair bit of gallery prep work, and at the time that that action worked its way into the painting, I was actually ‘prepping’ my new studio. One of the more annoying art handling tasks to do is to cover up spray paint on gallery walls – you have to sand it, cover it, sand it again, cover it again, and always be crossing your fingers… so it just translated right in, from my physical studio space to the painting space, since I wanted to talk about these marks and gestures that may or may not be able to be erased or covered
4: What influences you?
Friends, games, art, shit I read or watch. The usual stuff.
5: Some people have the opinion that all contemporary art looks the same these days… Care to comment ?
There’s two sides to this for me, and honestly it depends on my mood. On one hand there can be a great sense of community or comradery, and that there’s a larger gestalt. On the other hand, it can be frustrating for so much to get aesthetically lumped together, and for meanings and readings to start to get drowned out in a blur of formal similarity.
I think in regards to this it’s important to get into why things are being made and for them to have a resonant and multilayered set of relationships for the viewer. Shit has to be meaningful.
6: Can you let us in on some of the future projects, works?
I recently expanded my studio space, so I’m going through some minor growing pains as i learn to really take full advantage of the extra space. That’s super enjoyable problem solving. And it’s leading me to make some new things in addition to more more familiar things.
Actual projects coming up though… I’m really stoked for this year. I’m doing two things very soon with my
London gallery, VIGO; a two person booth at Untitled in Miami this December, and a solo exhibition at the gallery in January that will be called ‘unburial rites’. After that settles, I’ll begin preparation for a solo exhibition in Brussels with Almine Rech. She’ll also have a work or two at some art fairs, starting with FIAC. So yeah, a lot to look forward too, and a lot of work to do!
link to www.Vigogallery.com
Link to Feature on Sunday S