Saturday, August 27, 2011


PB: Tell me a little about how you work in the studio, what a typical work session is like.

MD: Though I go to the studio as much as possible I tend to work in spurts of productivity. While I spend long hours in the studio, at least half of the time goes up in smoke, reading, gazing out the window or just looking at the work. I don't know if all this dilly dallying about is actually productive or necessary. I use to think that all the time spent in the studio was useful and spacing out on distant thoughts hovering just outside my grasp was an important aspect of my process, but these days I'm starting to think I may just be prone to being lazy. All this to say that a typical work session is equal parts working and not working. Active and in repose. I almost always go in thinking I'll work on one piece and inevitably get caught up in something much less significant. I may go into the studio with the mind to wrap up a big painting, and a piece of drywall is laying about, and the next thing I know I'm cutting it up into little pieces and tiling them together and scribbling on something. This also reminds me that I usually spend some of my time working on something that is very deliberate and planned out, while also having works in the studio which are filled with accidents and incidentals. And somehow, maybe just through an imagined osmosis these two different methods or processes play off each other and inform each other. Lending their assets and I suppose their liabilities to each other.

PB: What sources (art historical/cultural) are you referencing?

MD: My work currently is indebted to early abstract cinema. The work of Emma Kunz. Building materials. The Los Angeles garment district. Robert Fludd. Robert Irwin. Malevich. Brutalism. And aphasia, a deliberate aphasia: searching through the familiar to reconstruct an unknown. A day dream of modernism. An agnostic modernism.

PB: Have you ever been surprised by some aspect of your work?

MD: I am always surprised by a painting. I can never imagine the thing until its made.

PB: Are there any other media that you are considering as an addition to your work?

MD: I want to make something reproducible, and disposable, maybe a zine. I have an affinity to newspaper. I like the way it feels, and smells. My dad is in the newspaper business back in Indiana. Maybe a newspaper.

PB: How do you consider the current point in time for being an artist?

MD: Here's a poem by one of my favorite writers:


Poets of Troy
Nothing that could have been yours
Exists anymore

Not temples not gardens
Not poetry

You are free
Admirable poets of Troy

-Roberto Bolano

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Milton Avery, Flight, 1950, oil on canvas, 25" x 36"