Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kent Williams

Q: Is there a certain artists or art movements that have influence you?

A: I'm an art history fan. I love work from all periods including contemporary. So to narrow my likes down to a handful seems a bit misleading. I do however seem to favor as a whole works created from say late 1800's up to early Modern; Manet, Gauguin, Schiele (of course), Klimt, and an unrelenting passion for Rodin, Balthus, Bacon and De Kooning. That's a short list.

Q: Do you often use photographs or do you prefer working with models?

A: Both really. I move back and forth from drawing from life to shooting and working from photographic reference. And often within the same canvas. A typical scenario would be to have a model come into the studio for a drawing session, and as I make my way through a series of drawings, if I feel I like a particular drawing at the time, will have the model not break the pose at the end to allow time for me to take a quick shot. Therefore, if say, the following day I still like the drawing and feel it will make for a good painting, I'll have both the drawing and the reference to work with.

Q: Do you listen to music while working?

A: I do often when I'm painting, but not when I draw. There's a certain and very particular type of concentration that comes into play when drawing in which I need silence for. I have a very eclectic range of music that I enjoy. It can be Beethoven one day and Johnny Cash, Nine Inch Nails, or Cake the next.

Q: Last question, Whats the best advice would you give an aspiring art student in finding a style in which they can be comfortable with.

A: Well let me just say something about style. Style (I hate the word really, used in the context of art) is not something one chooses and places upon oneself. Style, or one's artistic language is something that comes about as a by product of sincere effort and sweat equity in the pursuit of something better than you are capable of doing. I hear so often from students about wanting to 'find a style'. But in so many cases these students are not willing to put in what it takes for this to happen – to put in and discover the passion for observation, for drawing, for looking outside of their insular world. To feed and nourish the passion that will ultimately lead to a personal language. They think they can kind of just step in and choose a 'style'. The pursuit shouldn't be to find a style, but to look, to discover, to soak in, and then to transcribe as best you can. And through this most simple and complex WORK, one's look, or language, or style will develop on its own.


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artwork © MICA students 2011