We continue our tour of the United States for the "Wall Sessions" project we are doing with Boost Mobile with a stop in Salt lake City, Utah and a mural with Chuck Landvatter. Chuck invited a few friends to come down to paint the mural, which led to a playful, character and figurative work on the streets of SLC. We chatted with Chuck about the work and interacting with the neighbors, changing the pace of working in the studio and painting with friends.
Juxtapoz: What's your favorite part about working in public? Do you like the interaction with people as you are painting, do you like driving by when you are done? I feel like all these years artists always give me different answers...
Chuck Landvatter: Yup, I like talking to the neighbors. It’s actually kind of a problem - I talk way too damn much and have a hard time getting my ish done, but I do get stoked on taking the pulse of the people and the area, and feeding off the (mostly) positive energy they give. It also never gets old painting with aerosol in front of cops.
Do you still remember the first mural you did?
The first real mural/public installation I did was a little over ten years ago, at something called 337 here in Salt Lake, and it was a pretty special experience. Won’t go into it, but suffice it to say I got addicted to public art.
How separate is your public work from your studio practice?
I think my mural work and what I make in the studio learn from and play off each other, even if they don’t always really end up anything alike. With public art there are usually considerations I don’t have to worry about in my studio. That work is fully mine, and it doesn’t need to answer to anyone, while the whole function of a mural just feels different to me. Both can be authentic experiences, but my public art is always guided by what I think the audience needs or wants to feel. It then becomes sort of an exhilarating challenge in a way my studio art can’t really be. I absolutely need both in my life: the challenge of working within (usually self-imposed) parameters, and the freedom to do whatever the hell I want.
(Left to right: Dave Doman, Mike Murdock, David Habben, Trent Call, and Chuck Landvatter)
If you are working on a gallery show, or paintings in general, do you like to have a mural project come up to get you outside a bit? Is it a good way to stretch your legs and sort of change the pace up a bit?
Change of pace is a perfect way to put it. I’ve got attention problems, and there’s nothing like disrupting homeostasis to fix that. Murals can be so physically demanding too, it’s like switching back and forth between two completely different professions.
What did you create for this particular mural project?
My part of this Boost mural is kinda like a jigsaw puzzle with four versions of the same woman (and her hand). Mine is the farthest right section of a collaboration with four other homies. All our parts are faces, all looking in the same direction and with the same color pallet.
What do you have coming up next?
I’ve got my biggest mural I’ve done coming up here quick. It’s six stories on one side and three on the adjacent side. Yeah!
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Video by Justin Carlson