This past weekend was a BLAST. I got to host the Outsider Art Fair via the special title of Social Media Ambassador. At the fair I met some of the artists exhibiting and posted simple Q & A's on Instagram (hugscotty). This interview was recorded just before the closing of the fair last night. Brent Green represented by the NYC gallery, Andrew Edlin, like all the other artists that I saw at the fair and some whom I actually got to meet in person were all very inspiring. I've always admired Brent's artwork and it was a real treat to get to meet him in person. Brent lives and works in a cabin somewhere in the middle of PA. I bet he has a cheap rent!
Scott: Being self-taught, where did you find inspiration?
Brent: I think basically it’s the same. You’re looking at the world and you’re trying to say something that you want to hear said and that’s I think the way basically everyone approaches it.
S: Whether you’re self-taught or not, like it doesn’t really matter..
B: Right, it doesn’t make a difference.
S: Or, maybe the academic education can actually hinder your creativity or make it feel forced or something?
B: I don’t know, I didn’t come from that so, I can’t speak to it. I think it does probably categorize your thinking in a way that if you don’t go through academia your thinking isn’t so categorized. You don’t put on your painter’s cap when you sit down to paint, you’re still just a fucking dude you know and, if you think you can paint this better with a fucking muffler, that’s what you pick up (referring to the artwork next to him by the artist Thornton Dial) other than that I don’t think it makes a difference. I think that you know, you probably went to art school because art is what moved you and I didn’t go to college because literature really moved me and a library card is free. Which is way less expensive than going to school. So I looked at school and I looked at a library card – the library card was FREE. ☺ (laughs)
S: In the beginning when you started making art, what was the most influential thing?
B: I had a really naive notion that I would be able to make something so wonderful that I wouldn’t have to go to work the next day. I didn’t have any idea beyond that; I didn’t have any kind of plan or business plan or schedule or mode of getting to there, it was just this vague idea that I could make something so wonderful that I wouldn’t have to go dig holes to put up fences for Lockhart the next day. I got really lucky I got a creative capital grant when I was 26 and then from that I had gallery representation and museum shows and all of that kind of crap and art wasn’t a part of my life before that at all. I got the grant just because of my age and because I didn’t go to college so I qualified for it when I applied for it. But it’s exactly the same as if you go to school and you get out of it, you still need this kind of one big hand up, this big bit of luck. So, I don’t think it’s that much different. Do you?
B: You do because you feel burnt out by it.
S: I don’t really feel burnt-out.. maybe a little ;-)
B: Dude, I just bought that Hemingway drawing (pointing to a colored pencil drawing framed on the wall by John Byam).
S: OMG, Dude that’s awesome!!
B: Thanks (high-five). It’s the first piece of art that I’ve ever bought.
S: Did you see that I posted it?
B: No!! You did! I bought it. ☺
S: Man, that’s so awesome.. I wish I could buy something. That’s really really cool.
B: Pre-suicide too, otherwise, it would be..
S: (confused) Oh wow.
B: I just mean that otherwise, it would be really gross (laughs)..