Installation week is upon us yet again here at Shooting Gallery, where we find ourselves surrounded with sawdust, crates waiting to be unpacked, and freshly painted walls awaiting Anthony Sneed’s newest work. In preparation for the unveiling of his “Grand Illusion,” we’re keeping things under wraps, but have managed to grab some sneak peek photos for you (stay tuned…) and chatted a bit with the artist about his love affair with color, Blue Bottle Coffee and hanging out with a variety of NYC art scene heavy-hitters. We’re really excited for the show to open, and hope to see you this Saturday, July 9th from 7-11 pm at Shooting Gallery! We promise it’s a show you won’t want to miss.
Read the full interview After the Jump!
As a self-taught artist, what was your point of entry into making art? How did you get started?
I got into making art by being around other artists. People like Anthony Lister were an early inspiration to be around. I was always an artist but I was focusing on music for a period. I got started by making small work that I realized would look great large. That is how the Video Game Series was born. From there I ventured into abstract minimalism and the Shadow Series of paintings came about.
What were you working on before you started the pieces for “Grand Illusion,” and how did you arrive upon the initial inspiration for the work?
I had just wrapped up the Video Game Series and put a show on in NY this past January, so right after that show, I jumped into the Grand Illusion work. For this show, I started with the two colors that I’ve been attracted to for a long time: teal blue & red and I ran with it. I also spent 2 days building a scale model of the gallery out of foam-core so I could really get a sense of the space I was to be working in. I’d make paintings on the computer, print them out small scale and place them in the gallery to see what worked best. Then I’d take the stuff that I loved and execute it in the studio. I made more work than I need, but I feel editing your show down is very important.
Where are some of your favorite places to go to for inspiration?
I don’t ever go anywhere specifically for inspiration but I always find myself inspired while driving a long distance. Also, I get inspired while watching movies in a theater for some reason or another.
On an average day in the studio, what gets you up and going?
Having a deadline and usually an espresso from Blue Bottle. (Yes we have those in Brooklyn now too haha).
Can you talk a little bit about the roles that color, scale and shape play in your works for “Grand Illusion?”
I have a love affair with color. I think we all do to some degree but I am constantly looking for color that speaks to me. Sea Foam/Mint Green is my all time favorite, but right now I am working with hot reds and teals. They play really well with each other. The colors in my work are a way to express everything without saying anything. There’s no message but the work speaks volumes I feel. I have work ranging from 2 feet to 16 feet tall so the size spectrum is utilized almost equally as color is.
Are there any parts of the work that have surprised you, or that you really love?
Yes. I found that these pieces that I have been working on that were always relatively large (76″ x 50″) work almost better smaller. That was nice to find out and fortunately I have enough small works to show that.
How has the work you’ve made in the studio influenced the projects you do in the streets, and vice versa?
There’s no correlation. I paint in the streets sometimes. I would never consider myself a street artist but obviously people will try to say that. I think when I paint in the outside I’m taking clean, well executed work and integrating it on walls that were never meant for this type of work. That’s why the low brow/street art movement worked/failed. You had street artists’ with no quality control, so it made for sometimes interesting but mostly terrible work. I like to think I am putting museum level work outside. It’s rare to see abstract minimalism outdoors.
What are some of the most interesting moments you’ve had as an artist thus far?
Taking Judith Supine to get her makeup done at the MAC store in LA for her show at New Image this year was a highlight. Also, having Patrick McNeil of FAILE come to my studio and give me feedback on my work and actually acquire the painting we eventually made into a print was very special to me.
What’s on the horizon for you, post-installation of this project?
I fly back to NY the next day and begin a month long acting intensive. I am putting the finishing touches on the 4th revision of a script I co-wrote with cult director Frank Henenlotter that we plan to shoot this coming December in New Orleans & Brooklyn. It’s being produced by Gabe Bartalos who has done every single special effect on everything Matthew Barney has done. It’s going to be a busy year for me.