Farmer Bob aka Robert Hardgrave

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, 09 May 2006
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At what age would you say you started taking art more seriously?

23. I had just moved to Seattle, had minimal buddies to hang out with so I found some much needed solace in drawing. I did a ton of reading, looking at comic books, but my friend Rick Klu is the biggest reason I am doing what I do today. He convinced me that drawing could be a lifestyle.

I know you had a kid at a younger age, was it difficult making time for art being as busy as you were with a new family?

I was 20 years old, had no focus, I made hardly any art. I played guitar in a couple of bands then, but I sucked at it so I stopped.

Who were some of your biggest influences in the beginning?

Patrick Woodruff, Arthur Rackham, George Grosz, Jim Woodring, Scott Musgrove, R. Crumb, etc.



Name a few newer artists who influence you now.

I'm not really influenced by any current artists as far as style is concerned. I would say I am more inspired by artists with a teriffic work ethic.

If you met some one who didnt know you as an artist, and they found out you did art, and they asked you what type of art you do, what would you tell them?

I usually avoid trying to answer this question by telling them I only draw self portraits. That way I'm not really lying, and it's something they can usually wrap their minds around.

I understand you are pretty much a full-time artist. What kind of places did you work at to support yourself before your current occupation.

Customer service sorts of jobs. Waiting tables mostly. The last legitimate job I had was delivering flowers. I like making paintings so much more.

Do you have any regrets about any of your past art making decisions?

No.

What is your main medium of choice?

Ink on paper, but acrylic on panel is a pretty close second.



What are your influences for some of the newer more decorative detail paintings I've been seeing you do lately?

I'm really into Scandinavian, Russian and Mexican design motifs. Although I am open to all cultural design motifs. Every culture seems to have them. Being in the northwest has been a big influence I imagine. The native American art in this region is gorgeous.

Which do you think make good art good? originality, or style? And, why?

I would have to say honesty. I love seeing work where you can tell the person truly loves what it is they are making. I don't know how to describe it, but I know it when I see it.

There have been a lot of movements in art history... surrealism, pop art, cubism, ect. with all the new street art and pop culture work do you believe this could be the next movement in art history? Do you think we could be in the middle of the next movement as we speak?

I feel art usually reflects what is going on in history. I also think the media plays a significant roll in this. Movements are usually defined by critics and art dealers. I'll let them decide.

What do you think art work will be like 20 years from now? Is it hard to imagine what will be done in 20-30 years? It almost seems as if everything's been done before.

I have no idea. Things change so exponentially.





Other than painting and listening to death metal, what do you do with your time?

I like to eat food, look at the internet, drink coffee.

Have you ever thought about doing a Dunny or making a toy of your work?

No.

What are your opinions of Dunny's and artist toys? Do you feel as if the whole toy thing is getting old?

I like artist toys, but I don't buy them. I would rather purchase an original drawing or painting.

What do you look forward to in the future with your self as a growing artist?

Hopefully travelling a lot more, having the space to work larger, meeting more people, exploring different media...



What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?

Eat your vegetables, brush your teeth and love what you do.

And finally do you have any shout outs or anyone you would like to thank?

I would like to thank my wife Stephanie for all the support she has given me over the years. She is the best wife a guy could ask for. The whole Artdorks crew, Damion Hayes, Greg Lundgren, Andrew Hosner, Buffmonster, Andrew Robbins, Joshua Krause and everyone else who has helped me along the way.

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Robert Hardgrave's work can be seen in Groundswell the inaugural show at BLVD Gallery, in Seattle, Washington opening May 12th, 2006. He will also be exhibiting with Casey O'Connell (www.caseyoconnellart.com) at BLK/MRKT Gallery in Culver City, California in July, 2006. To see more of his work, go to www.farmerbobsfarm.com.


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