Can you give us some more insight into what the “still life” genre means to you? Why are you particularly drawn to these subjects?
Still life, as a genre, has always seemed to me one that never fully made the jump into the contemporary art world. With so many contemporary items to choose from, it’s just always struck me that classical arrangements of flowers, fruit, books, and skulls continue to make up most of the paintings in this space. I guess I’ve also been compelled to make seemingly incompatible things fit together in a way that feels natural but leaves the viewer questioning whether or not they really belong together. I started painting elements of pop culture into much simpler thrifted still life backgrounds years ago, and it’s something that’s recently re-captured my attention as I’ve started to use contemporary items as symbolism for (among other things) the distractions that prevent us from truly being present.
Have you found your practice changing being in quarantine? (Whether it be routine, subject matter, experimentation etc.)
A lot of my work deals in observing and interpreting our shared experience so covid and the effects of quarantine have certainly played their part in a number of my recent paintings. I’m incredibly fortunate to have my studio in a private residential space where I’ve been able to continue working, and sheltering in has actually given me time and focus to balance projects with deadlines, create some topical pieces, and experiment with new styles and processes. I think uncertainty in general creates a sort of nervous energy that creatives seem to thrive on, and perhaps you can feel that in my work…
Your last solo show had to be moved online – yet works completely sold out rather quickly. Do you think art is more important to the general public now that we are all getting windows into each other’s lives? (zoom meetings, facetime, etc.)
That’s an interesting question. If you mean that someone seeing our walls (or seeing the art on another’s wall) might provoke a purchase that would have otherwise not been made: Perhaps, but I think it has more to do with newfound time, retail therapy, and turning to something tangible that captures a sense of the current world (or perhaps nostalgia from worlds past).
Can you give us some insight into your upcoming solo show? (Subject matter, ideas, etc.)
I’m incredibly excited about this one! The show will be called “Imposter” and will focus on creating contemporary still lifes out of found/thrifted art. There’s a plot twist though: One of the paintings will be created from scratch and it’ll be up to the viewer to try to figure out which one. The show builds on themes I’ve been exploring over the past year (using contemporary objects in classical/vintage backgrounds to represent the balance between being present and indulging in mental and physical distraction), and also deals with my personal experiences with imposter syndrome and artistic growth as I navigate the contemporary art landscape.
Any upcoming plans we should know about?
There are some really fun projects/collaborations I’ve recently finished up that I can’t talk about yet, but I’m really just focused on work for the upcoming show in NY for now.
Guy Hepner and The TAX Collection are pleased to present the second exclusive print release with artist Dave Pollot featuring a set of two paintings and a series of limited edition prints from his his new series, Shelf Life. The prints will be available world wide online on the Guy Hepner Shop from Thursday May 21st at 2pm EST.