Back Talk: A Conversation with Brett Amory
Thinkspace is pleased to present Dirty Laundry, an exhibition of new work by painters Brett Amory and Adam Caldwell. Amory and Caldwell each mobilize their unique representational strategies to invoke the modern day disconnect between time and space, self and other, and present and past. Their shows open at Thinkspace this Saturday, August 4. Today, we speak with Brett Amory...
Thinkspace is pleased to present Dirty Laundry, an exhibition of new work by painters Brett Amory and Adam Caldwell (read our interview with Adam Caldwell). Amory and Caldwell each mobilize their unique representational strategies to invoke the modern day disconnect between time and space, self and other, and present and past. Amory’s atmospheric preoccupation with memory, the moment, and nostalgia, is dynamically in contrast to Caldwell’s abrupt composites and recombinations of imagery, from sources spanning mass media to antiquity. Both artists approach their medium as a means of problematizing temporal identity, and the social experience, by exposing the nitty gritty polarities and paradigm shifts of an increasingly fractured reality of the self.
Brett Amory’s new body of work is a continuation of the artist’s acclaimed series Waiting, a series in which the artist captured his subjects in varying states of suspension and anticipation: waiting for the completion of an unseen event and caught in the standstill of a moment. Amory’s work relies on photographic media as a means of capturing and documenting the every day subject matter with which he is concerned. He translates these photographic observations into paintings which seek to capture the immediacy of the moment.
The artist uses photography as the primary point of departure in his process, and uses it as a social tool of observation to capture the world around him. He reduces these images to their most striking and elemental parts compositionally, and attempts to convey the fleeting quality of these moments through a painterly and impressionistic treatment of the photograph. This new body of work, however, conveys a sense of spontaneity and immediacy new to the artist’s practice. In Amory’s earlier work, the preparatory process was deliberately staged and set in order to conform to the artist’s predetermined narrative and aesthetic vision for the painting. Now that the photograph has become an increasingly mobile and socially voyeuristic tool, with new applications such as instagram on the mobile phone, the moment seems less mediated by the staging of process. Amory is free to capture actual moments in the lives of others in passing with this technology, spontaneously, and organically. This technological filter functions as a conduit for the experiences the artist invokes in paint.
The end result is a body of imagery that authentically captures the artist’s real time observation of his subjects, and their daily experiences and encounters. Brett Amory strives to convey his observation of the world around him through work that invokes its passing and transience. The daily routine of the artist’s life, and his observation of the life of others, is central to his process. The work captures a human point of exchange in the creation and inception of the image.
Photography by Shaun Roberts
1. Where are you living and working right now?
I live in and work in East Oakland.
2. Least favorite part of making art? And your favorite part…
I really don't like starting paintings.. I look forward to the second pass of paint. My favorite part is that final layer of paint when everything is in place and all is flowing.
3. Favorite medium to work with?
4. Last art show / exhibition you saw:
Jeremy Mann at John Pence Gallery
5. If you could collaborate with one artist, living or dead, who would it be?
6. Artist(s) that inspire you?
Im always looking for new inspiration and it changes often. Right now Im really into Adrian Ghenie, Justin Mortimer and Adam Caldwell…
7. What time of day are you most productive?
I can paint all day but I usually don't start flowing till 8pm or so.
8. Currently listening to?
Like artistic inspiration the music I listen to is always changing.. Been into 1-speed bike, onehtrix Point Never, and Sandoz lately.
9. How do you take your coffee?
For the last three years I have been having a hard time sleeping and I thought it was because I always so wound up. I went to a doctor last week and she recommended I cut down on coffee. I use to have three big cups a day now I only have one in the morning and I sleep great... Amazing huh.
10. Last meal?
Just had a fruit and yogurt breakfast. Trying to take better care of myself.
11. Last three places you have lived?
Temescal in Oakland, West Oakland, San Francisco
12. Last time you traveled? To where?
I just had a show at the Outsiders (Lazarides) in Newcastle in April and while I was in Europe I went to London, Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence.
13. What website(s) do you visit most often?
14. Website you're most ashamed that you visit daily?
15. A quote that has stuck with you?
Talent-Dont bother about wether or not you have it. Just assume that you do, and forget about it. Talent is a word we use after someone has become accomplished.-Richard Schmid
16. The most trivial thing you know?
I know a lot about Kirby vacuums..
17. High school GPA?
Dont remember but it wasn't good.
18. Least artistic award you've received?
Can't think of one but my first art award was a plaque with my name spelled wrong.
19. Oddest job you've done to make rent?
I use to sell Kirby vacuums door to door.
20. Favorite superhero and why?
The Hulk is awesome!! We all get pissed off but Hulk gets to act on his anger.. He's lucky...
Brett Amory & Adam Caldwell
Reception with the artists:
Sat., August 4th 5-9PM
Exhibitions on view: August 4th – August 25th