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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Interview with Brian Donnelly

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age, some backround info, etc?

A)Brian Donnelly, 27. I was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada in 1979. In 1999 I attended the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, graduated in 2003 and remain here in Toronto to live and work.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)I received a lot of encouragement for my abilities from many sources within my family and thoughout grade school, which led me to believe I should hone my skills and make a career of it. I don't remember how exactly I got started, but nobody ever tried to stop me.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)I would probably first mention size and medium, after that I would logically describe the subject matter, and then depending on the audience to which I am describing, I would mention something of the narratives involved in the piece, the messages they convey, and maybe a small bit about my motivations for creating the work.

Q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

A)Making art is a lot like commiting a crime. I'd say that it's more motive than inspiration. Then we defend ourselves by having exhibitions and writing about what we do, in order to appear not innocent of wasting our lives. Of course if you really need an answer I'll say, "Sex, Violence, and National Geographic".

Q)What are you working on now?

A)A half-man, half-bear and some butterflies.

Q)Are there some web sites that you would like to recomend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?

A) It's a pretty self-explanitory
URL, and it's a pretty funny site. I've come to really
appreciate websites that are purely pointless, proving that the
internet is a forum for any ridiculous subject that any idiot with
a computer can think of. Is a great project that a couple of guys
out in Alberta, Canada cooked up. It's a good "small world"
idea that I was pleased to contibute to.

Q)What programs / materials / tools do you use to create your pieces?

A)I often pass my images through Adobe Photoshop for a trial run
at the composition, before committing them to oil and canvas.

Q)What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?

A)Learn, keep learning, modify, and advance.

Q)What is your personal definition of life and art and everything else in between?

A)If you take it too seriously, you'll never have any fun.

Q)Do you think that art is a univeral language - transcending all the different languages, cultures and religions etc?

A)I think that historically there have been many attempts at being
transcendant, some more successful than others. Dada was
successfull because it levelled the playing field. Realism and Pop
were both successful because they appealed to everyone'
knowledge, not just the select, educated few. But for the most part
I would have to say no. If it were universal, then there wouldn't be
any questions, and nobody would ever have to write a book about

Q)What are your artistic influences?

A)At the moment the works of German painters like Norbert Bisky
and Neo Rauch are pushing me to loosen up my style a bit.

Q)How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)I will say positive. I think people have a natural attachment to
representational paintings, regardless of how much one perverts
and distorts the basis in reality.

Q)Do you have many connections in the underground scene?

A)I ride the subway here in Toronto quite often.

Q)Tell us about a recent dream you had.

A)I haven't been able to remember much of my dreams lately,
only fragments of them. I suppose the most recent that
comes to mind involved me having sex with an attractive, dark-haired woman whose legs were brutally burned an
scarred, while her husband stood there watching.

Q)What is freedom to you as an artist?

A)Not having to supplement my income.

Q)Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A) There was a painting I did in high school of a Mapplethorpe
photograph entitled 'Eva Amurri', juxtapsed in front of a detail of
one of Renoir's 'Circus Girls' paintings. I learned a lot about
paint application, and compostion while working on this piece,
and the successful outcome as well as the reception it
received from my instructor and peers encouraged me to keep
going in this field.

Q) Last Books you read?

A) Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
The Island of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells
Prey - Michael Crichton

Q) Last records you bought?

A)Reason to Believe; The Mercury Studio Recordings - Rod Stewar
A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse - The Faces
Far Beyond Driven - Pantera
Armed Love - The [International] Noise Conspiracy

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?

A)This is the short list: Gustave Courbet, Duane Hanson, Norbert
Bisky, Phil Guston, Attila Richard Lukacs, Neo Rauch, Francesco
de Goya, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacques-Louis David, Theodore
Gericault, Caspar David Freidrich

I don't have any favourite galleries, they pretty much all serve the
same purpose as far as I can tell.

Q)Your contacts….E-mail…Links



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