Interview with Shawn Huckins
q)Introduce yourself, name,age, location.
a)Shawn Huckins, current age 27, located in
q)Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?
a)Since I can remember, I’ve always drawn in my little sketchbooks, drawing my favourite things, and as a kid, those favourite things were Disney characters, video game characters, and my favourite sports players. My grandmother passed away in 1993 and I was given her oil painting set and I decided to try painting for the first time. I remember how good the paint smelled, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no idea of how the medium worked and I became extremely frustrated and put painting aside and went back to drawing. I wasn’t reintroduce to painting until high school and wasn’t professionally trained until college. From the support and lessons from my professors in college, I feel in love with painting and for now, I’m exclusively a painter.
q)Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.
a)I guess I would describe myself as a traditional kind of guy, wishing for a more simpler way of life that was lived by the founding people of
q)Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?
a)It’s on constantly. I usually get sick of my own music, so I tend to turn on the iTunes radio and stream all types of music, from classical to bluegrass, new age alternative rock to 80’s and 90’s pop.
q)How would you describe your work to someone?
a)My current series explores 18th century American portraiture juxtaposed with the superimposition of large white letters over top symbolising current day digital speak, such as text acronyms, Facebook status updates, and tweets.
a)It’s pretty evident Edward Ruscha is a huge influence on my work. Ever since I saw his work in college, I just feel in love with and I had to channel it somehow. Other influences are Wayne Thiebaud for his use of colour, John Singleton Copley for his brilliant skills to paint people that could come alive, and Robert Bechtle for his compositions.
q) Describe your process for creating new work.
a)It all starts with finding the right tweet, text, or status update to superimpose over the image. I never use my texts as I feel the work would be feel too contrived, so I use third party texts of people of whom I never met and it seems to flow more naturally. Then I find the perfect painting to replicate to contrast the text and begins with a drawing on trace and on Photoshop.
q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?
a)I’ve gained a lot of exposure through e-zines and art blogs. Once someone sees the work and likes it, they will post to their own blogs and the web continues, so I would recommend submitting work to all the blogs where your work would fit best. Also, try to visit your local galleries and get any opportunities to show with them to get some local exposure.
q)What are you really excited about right now?
a)The release of New American Paintings Issue 98 which was just released and also, my upcoming shows. I also have some ideas cooking for future series which I’m excited about, but still need to be more thought out.
q)What do you love most about where you live?
a)The mountains, the food, and the microbrews.
q)Best way to spend a day off?
a)I really enjoy doing new things, seeing new sites, or going to new restaurants or bars. When I take a day off, I try to make the most of it and try new activities. But if it’s a typical stay at home kind of day, I enjoy reading, going for a run, and cooking.
q)Upcoming shows/ projects?
a)Inaugural Group Exhibition, Vol. 2 held at Gildar Gallery, Denver, CO. Opening March 2nd.
Two Person Exhibition Featuring Shawn Huckins and Billy Reynolds held at L2Kontemporary Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Opening June 23rd.
Two Person Exhibition held at Cain Schulte Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA. Opening June 28th.
q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?