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artist to artist: david linneweh (questions by lillianna pereira)

September 28, 2011



This is the first “Artist to Artist” Q&A where the Paper House Press artists interview each other!  Thanks to Lillianna Pereira for her insightful Q’s and David Linneweh for his honest A’s 🙂  Enjoy!


David Linneweh


Lillianna Pereira (LP):  Describe your work in 10 words or less.

David Linneweh (DL):  My work’s about our fragmented experience in Contemporary America.

LP:  What does your work tell people about you?

DL:  Interesting question, I think it tells people that there’s an aspect of me that really seeks to create order, especially with the current state of our country.  I hope that people would also gather that my impressions of landscapes that I’ve visited in the US that many are similar, that a feeling of a place appearing new inevitably is lost.

LP:  What made you start painting?

DL:  To be quite honest it was the first time in college that I really felt like there was something that was that important to me.  I wasn’t an especially great student at the beginning of my studies but when I took painting it just clicked in me, especially remember really falling in love with color and what it could do and how it makes one feel.

LP:  Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?

DL:  Like any aspiring artist I’d love to say that I make a living off of work but I teach as an adjunct professor at a couple colleges.  I’ve learned also that despite it’s frustrations it’s a really rewarding experience to see students recognize their own progression.

LP:  Describe your favorite piece of art either created by you or created by someone else (or both!).

DL:  I love this question, there’s so much good stuff out there but in a contemporary light I’d say William Kentridge.  Way back in 2001 I think I saw a huge exhibition at the MCA in Chicago, I wound up spending hours watching and re-watching his works.  I love the idea that his material is so ancient, that his methods of creation are very strait forward yet difficult, but perhaps simply I love the fact that he’s created things which are so beautiful that talk speak very much about the challenges of South Africa.
I think mostly my favorite pieces of mine are whatever I’m working on or just finishing!

LP:  How much does living where you do inspire your work?

DL:  I think it means most everything, my first impression is to say it’s not very exciting, that visiting new places is much more exciting but they are just different, ultimately a Wendy’s is a Wendy’s, a home is just a home; but I’m very interested in how where we live and how we live speaks to who we are and what we value.

LP:  Do you work from photographs?

DL:  Yes… I take many photograps, I’ve felt it’s such a strange thing at times, to be either snapping pictures while driving or walking though a community, I wonder what some people must think!

LP:  Is there a lot of preparation before you start a piece (i.e. scoping out a specific area, gathering materials)? How long does it take from start to finish (usually)?

DL:  Typically my process is that I go through pictures I’ve taken and select ones that have really wonderful formal qualities, interesting compositions, interesting colors, etc…  In photoshop I drop these pictures in and try and have some fun, I try and break apart the image in some strange way, trying to find some aspect that would create a much different composition, something that will be challenging.  This really is the most important part of the process for me as my paintings are largely based on them… I cut areas I like, I copy certain areas, flip their orientation, they really become my creation hence why I feel a viewer would get the idea that I like ordering them.  When I have a composition I like I print out the pictures to scale on a panel that I’ve built and which seems almost like an old billboard in appearance… transfer the image as a drawing, and than carefully work through a painting, slowly adding more and more fragments till the image seems balanced.

LP:  You do a lot of your paintings on wood. How much do you think this adds to the meaning in your work? Ever consider painting on any other materials?

DL:  I like the surface of wood the best because it reinforces this idea that not only are our spaces constructions but so is my painting… I think it’s a way to really show the surface as something that relates to the idea of construction as does the graphite and paint.  In the past I’ve painted on primed surfaces like canvas but I feel this works the best for me in that it adds a feeling of nostalgia in the work, like they could be read in a way to imply aspects of them being old and worn yet newly reconfigured.  In a way I think my work really is about challenging some of the idealistic notions we have about our society.

Thanks Lillianna and David!  We’ll have another Artist to Artist Q&A posted soon, so please check back!

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