Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Art Space Talk: Mitchell Poor

I recently interviewed artist Mitchell Poor. Mr. Poor interested in exploring the subconscious with his paintings. In a sense, Mitchell offers himself by revealing the primitive (often symbolic) forms that come from deep within his mind. His work reminds me of traditional African masks that have been forced into a contemporary setting- a clash of time and cultures. The here is now and the past is never far behind.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "I discovered that Art would be a part of my life at an early age. I was a highly imaginative child drawing all the time. Later, while in school I experienced dyslexia and this made school challenging but it opened up a whole world that was poetic and flexible. Later in high school I found a book on the Surrealist’s in the library. I couldn’t believe what those guys were painting; it was opening doors for me in my own mind."

Q. What did you study in college? How did it influence your future work?

A. "While in college I studied Commercial Illustration, however my heart was not really into it. I thought maybe teaching art would be a direction I could count on, but it was just being an Artist that I wanted. Even if I had to divide my life into two lives, while working to do my art work, I would."

Q. Can you share some of your philosophy about art and artistic creation?

A. "Creating Art has forced me to face the subconscious and explore it by investigating moods, experiencing altered states, practicing methods of learning with self-hypnosis and applying memory of myself, as an experience into my work. I feel mortality is a driving motive in my work as an artist. Mood becomes colors and the altered states become masks. I relate what I know into the unknown and see what happens."

Q. How has the 'daily grind' influenced your artistic practice?

A. "Through day jobs I have been taught how to act and care professionally for customers and the work that I do."

Q. Have any artists from the past influenced you?

A. "I like Edvard Munch because he is not perfect. He put life into waves. I read the book, The Story of Edvard Munch by Ketil Bjornstad , I put down several times because I identified strongly with Munch for some reason. Maybe we had similar fears and passions.

I also like Romare Bearden because he used everyday (available) material in his work. Pretty much all the Surrealist’s have made an impression on me."

Q. Care to go into more detail about your artistic process?

A. "I paint what’s happening while I’m doing it…as it unfolds in the now. It has been an experiment for me, direct experience. If my painting were a type of music it would be jazz with steady beats, ticking strings, wild horns and gesturing pianos.

While painting and doing collage, I avoid committing myself to perfect manners and specific planning. I rip and repair my own work as a reflection of anarchy and control. I would never wear any of the colors I paint with, but I love bright colors and primitive forms."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "http://primitivesurrealism.com/"

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Mitchell Poor. Feel free to critique or discuss his work.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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