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Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary Art Auction: Todd Schorr

Juxtapoz // Friday, 18 Sep 2009

A modern iconoclast of anthropological visuals, master painter Todd Schorr continues his delivery of mind-expanding fare. Bursting into attention as a cover artist for Time Magazine, and continuing with multiple museums exhibitions and retrospectives, Schorr’s career as a fine artist includes some of the more astounding canvases in the modern sphere. --Greg Escalante and Nathan Spoor


Greg Escalante: What is it that predominantly fuels you to create? That is, where do you find your most fertile inspirations?


As I’ve said many times before, any true artist of worth has something inside them that will eventually find its way out and into their chosen medium. It goes beyond passion; it’s a compulsion. Every idea I bring to my artwork is the result of thoughts or experiences either real or imagined that I’ve had beginning as far back as my memory can recall. When I was a child my mind was so preoccupied with what seemed a constant stream of imagery in jumbled up juxtapositions that it became a point of serious concern for my parents. Honestly, in my lifetime I could never hope to get down on canvas all the ideas swirling around in my head. I blame this mainly on all the cartoon, monster, war, cowboy and Indian, sci-fi, and puppet shows I watched as a kid on TV in post-war 1950s suburban New Jersey with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation hanging overhead.


What areas do you think are still ripe for exploring within the arts? Is there any new territory?


Painting isn’t dead, and I do feel figurative painting especially has plenty of unexplored territory to cover and much ground to make up for all the years squandered on abstract expressionism and conceptual art. It’s always been my opinion that is the royal art academies had not grown so constipated by the late 1800s and had allowed more freedom of expression using academic technique we would have had more acceptance of figurative painting in the subsequent early part of the twentieth century. Instead, mediocre talents like Manet and Cezanne who felt alienated by academy dogma planted the seeds for the fall of figurative realism, which we’re finally starting to recover from.


Aside from painting, I do love many of the things being done with computer-generated imagery in film and I’m sure the next step will be total immersion environments in 3D. But regardless of any new technology that may come along, I feel strongly that humans will always have a fascination with artwork that was created by hand by another human as with painting. It’s the human touch that connects us with all those who came before.


-Excerpt from Juxtapoz # 104, September 2009

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