Feeling, Rather Than Thinking
Finding artistic inspiration in the strangest of places, artist Ron Ulicny creates works that defy explanation, yet in practise, make complete sense. fluoro talked to Ulicny about his sideways, lateral conceptualisation of art.
(fluoro) You say that you do not believe in curriculum vitaes or artist statements, and that we should feel and think for ourselves. What difference does an open mind make in viewing, appreciating and critiquing your art?
(Ron Ulicny) Well…honestly, there are two reasons. First, I really feel like “most” artists take themselves and their work way too seriously. It seems like every time I go to an artist’s website (even the ones I really respect) the first thing I see is a list of all their education and all their “artistic accomplishments” followed by these long-winded explanations about their work and why they do the things they do they way they do them. Second, I just think society or “people” in general have a profound need for “answers”. We spend so much of our time alive searching for the explanations to the Whats, Whens, Wheres, Hows, and Whys of life, that sometimes we forget to just sit back and use our guts and hearts. If one looks at a piece of artwork, regardless of medium, and they don’t get a feeling from it or a reaction to it, I don’t see how the artist explaining his or her rationale changes that.
(f) Viscurrealistic fabrications – a mix of ‘visceral’, ‘surrealism’, and ‘fabricate’. How are these three concepts represented in your works?
(RU) Initially I came up with the term to try and separate myself from being labeled as an “assemblage” or “found object” artist. Neither is close to describing my work and make it sound so normal and haphazard. So, the “visceral” part sort of lends its way back to the first question. I usually tend to create something based off an interaction or encounter I have with a particular idea, subject, or object depending. I have always “felt” more than “thought” when it came to making art in general. Thus leading to the “surrealism” part, which is the idea of using esoteric juxtapostion to release the potential of the “unconscious mind” which, to me, just means “feeling”. As for the “fabricate” part, I’m making and creating, not just putting things together. People would be surprised what it takes to make some things look the way they do and all the attention to little details that go into some of the pieces.
(f) What is your creative process?
(RU) I don’t really have a particular process per se. Sometimes I get a specific idea in my mind and just go with it. Other times I’m influenced by a certain object or objects that I may already own or come across. I do use a sketchbook a lot, but also just start putting things together and see what happens. I don’t think every piece I do requires or lends itself to the same process.
Mon 28 May 2012