Interview With Brad Holland (English Version) Röportajları - Interview With Brad Holland (English Version) ...

Interview With Brad Holland (English Version)
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Selim MERCANO(37)

Grafiker / İstanbul


Interview With Brad Holland (English Version)

Alt 11-01-2010 #1
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1-) You draw animals bigger than normal. What is your aim drawing bigger animals?

I trust you’re including humans as animals. Some of them certainly act like it. I tend to draw them bigger than normal too.

2-) Is that a symbol of your surrealism?

That word’s used pretty broadly these days, to mean anything that’s slightly unreal. But in theory, Surrealism was a belief that artists could reveal secrets about the world if they illustrated their dreams. I never bought into that. I always thought Surrealists had been reading too much Freud, and that’s never good for anybody.

3-) So then what is your aim in drawing things bigger than normal?

Putting them under a microscope.

4-) Could you explain us?

Sure. I can trace it to a single picture – the first one I ever did for Playboy, at the very beginning of my career. It was for an article about how rich people can’t get good servants any longer. The editors wanted me to do a realistic illustration of a rich man changing the tire of his limousine while his chauffer relaxed inside the car. Instead, I gave them a picture of a rich man tangled up in the strings of his servants – he was trying to manipulate them like puppets. When I saw what I had done with that picture, I realized that I could use size to show the reality of power.

5-) So you began to use the device in other works?

It was a useful way to show something you can’t actually see.

6-) I think you have been affected from Gustav Klimt, Kokoschka and Egon
Schiele. Have they affected your art ?

I like Klimt. When I was younger I was influenced by his sense of design.
I like Schiele well enough, too, but I haven’t seen many of his pictures. I don’t really like Kokoschka. The people I was really influenced by were Diego Rivera, Gauguin, Kathe Kollwitz, Hokusai and the American artists Ben Shahn and Leonard Baskin. Also cartoonists like Ronald Searle and Robert Osborn.

7-) I think you aren’t a zealot for colors. You use all colors harmoniously and equally.

I have a sculptor’s sensibility. I think of form first. My use of color is determined by form.

8-) So would you explain your thinking about colors?

I draw to express ideas and paint to express feelings. Color just seems to dictate itself.

9-) Please explain.

I learned a long time ago that if a drawing is really complete as a drawing, adding color to it just makes it a colored drawing. A painting can be something more than that. So in doing sketches for paintings, I always try to leave room for my feelings to come out as color.

10-) How much do you make a finished drawing before you begin a painting?

I used to do very finished drawings, but now, I start with a pretty rough sketch – mostly to establish the basic design of the picture. Then I start the painting and work out the details as I go along.

11-) While you have a range of harmony on colors, shadows and saturations are dominated in your Works. Is there any reason for that?

I have a stoic sense of design. I try not to put anything in a picture that doesn’t need to be there. I tend to use color for its emotional effect and that means using it strategically.

12-) What do you mean: “use color strategically”?

A good example would be Vermeer’s blues and yellows. They’re very limited but they’re effective because they’re surrounded by grays. Or sometimes you can take the opposite approach and saturate the picture with one very strong color. That can be more effective than a very colorful picture. It has a psychological impact rather than an aesthetic one.

13-) You have many kinds of drawings and styles dominant in your works. Are these your life’s term or are your different styles attempts in the same term?

When I was young, I tried to put everything I thought into every picture. But you can’t do that. A picture’s not a pizza. Now I let each picture do what it’s supposed to do. In the end, if you live long enough, I suppose all the pictures add up to a mosaic.

14-) We see marks of impressionism in some of your Works. Especially like Lautrec and Monet. Do we misapprehend?

I think it comes from working so much in pen and ink. You can’t blend with a pen, so you crosshatch and shade. When I paint, I do the same thing. I use a brush like a pen.

15-) We would like you to share with us your reasons of using fantastic rapprochement in your works please.

Fantastic is a nice way of putting it. When I started, some people called it grotesque. But that’s because they weren’t used to seeing pictures of sea captains chained to anchors or people with their heads on fire. I was trying to draw ideas, and that’s different from drawing a tree. Ideas are as real as trees, but they’re not visible, so you have to rearrange the visible world to show the invisible.

16-) And what about the puerile rapprochement in some of your other works?

I think you’re talking about those scribbles I do in pastel. That’s what most of my first sketches look like. I sketch out ideas very loosely, then build them into paintings. But sometimes nothing improves on the first sketch. I’ve done whole paintings – sometimes even very big ones – only to decide that it wasn’t as effective as the first sketch. So some years ago, I began doing variations of my sketches in pastel. You get a very direct line in your work that way. It’s kind of like handwriting.

17-) You have messages in many of your Works and portraits. The given message is coming from your caricaturist side?

Well, I suppose. I see myself as a comedian whose sense of humor doesn’t require me to be jolly.

18-) What is meaning caricature for you?

There are two kinds of caricature, aren’t there? One is like Daumier, where you exaggerate somebody’s features to mock them. I do that from time to time, but it always makes me a little uneasy. It assumes that I’m superior to the people I’m mocking. And being critical of others means you don’t stick your own neck out. That leaves out a lot of experience that you might otherwise turn into art. The other kind of caricature is like Cervantes or Bruegel – snapshots of the human comedy. There you’re creating your own world, so you are sticking your neck out – but it opens up a broader vision for you as an artist.

19-) Absolutely there are many influences as per your generation and your age. We wonder what affected you the most?

What affected me most was my decision not to believe that the future of art had been settled by Modernism. When I was a kid, they said all future art had to be abstract. It seems hard to believe now, but years ago, that was Gospel among progressive thinkers. I decided that if it was true, I’d rather not be an artist, so I just decided to act as if it wasn’t true. That was the biggest influence on me because I knew if I wanted to go my own way, I had to not be influenced by it.

20-) So do you think of yourself now as a Postmodern artist?

I think of myself as a Short Order Artist.

21-) Could you explain us please?

Well, I don’t see any merit in over-thinking what I call myself. I believe an artist will be modern if he lives fully in his own time without being trapped by it.

22-) Why did you choose to work as a graphic artist instead of becoming a fine artist?

Because doing art for publication is a popular art. People who would never go to an art gallery see your work. That’s probably why Shakespeare wrote for the theater too. It was more immediate than writing precious verse for people who hung around the Queen.

23-) On your Works, you have some remarkable exaggerated objects. Is this the reason for making focus on objects or is it only your style?

Sometimes when I’m playing with a cat, I’ll try to see him as if I were the size of a mouse. When you do that, a cat looks very different to you. I think I do the same sort of thing when I make a picture. It rearranges the environment.

24-) Can you elaborate?

I can remember one day when I was little, sitting on the cistern out behind the house, pounding ants with a hammer. Then for some reason, I tried to imagine I was one of the ants. It was just an idle act of imagination, but suddenly I felt like one of those giants in the fairy tales my grandmother used to read me. I was stamping out lives just because I was bored. That changed the way I thought about things. It taught me to think outside myself.

25-) Are you being affected from up-to-date events at your works?

Of course – when you do art for magazines, that’s a given. But I don’t necessarily aspire to be topical. I’ve always thought that an artist who lives by the calendar dies by it.

26-) What do you like to make most concentration on your Works?

One of the things I like most about working for publications is that clients always have different problems for you to solve. I like that. I’m not one of those artists who’s interested in some special subject, like ballet or flying saucers, and uses art as a way of connecting to that interest. I tend to draw people more often than vases and bowls of fruit, of course, but otherwise I try to draw from the sea of experience.

27-) What should an artist educate himself / herself on basically?

Life. Craft. To do anything worthwhile as an artist, you have to know life and have at least a little talent.

28-) We wonder your impressions about our country’s society and art. Could you share your opinions and experiences about our country and works in Turkey?

I’ve been to Turkey twice and spent about a month there altogether, mostly in Istanbul and along the Mediterranean from Antalya to Kas. I first went to Antalya years ago, before the Russians came and started building hotels. I went there with a girlfriend. We traveled around quite a bit. As a result, I love Turkey. Istanbul’s one of my favorite cities. It’s such an overlay of cultures, such a crossroads. I’ve met some wonderful artists there too – Turkish, Iranian, eastern European. Like me, I think they tend to express ideas in their work. I owe my introduction to Turkey to the Aydin Dogun Foundation – or actually, to the Hürriyet newspapers before them. In the early nineties, Hürriyet invited me to Istanbul to judge one of their international cartoon exhibitions. Then the Dogun Foundation took over the competition and asked me back again a couple years ago. I think their exhibitions have done a lot for artists and for art – Modern Turkey is one of the great political success stories of all time and I’d hate to see what the Turkish people have achieved rolled back because some people fear the free expression of ideas.

[COLOR="DarkOrange"]Who is Brad Holland ? - Brad Holland Kimdir ? [/COLOR]

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