Category: Q&A

Jerry Kirk

Artist Q&A with Jerry Kirk

“A King, A Clown, and Businessman”, acrylic on wood, 36 x 60 in | 91 x 152 cm, 2019

Why did you become an artist?

It was never a question of why. I began making art the moment that I was old enough to hold a crayon in my hand and never had a thought to being anything but an artist. I’ve been making art and have been an artist my entire life.

How is your work different than everything out there?

My work is different because of the variety of styles and themes that I incorporate. Unlike most artists who find their niche or one style and stick to that I like to follow my muse wherever she leads. From neo-realistic landscapes to expressive figurative and narrative paintings my work is basically all over the place. To work in one style pursuing the same theme or genre over and over would bore me so I choose to do it all and by doing so, I believe, grow and evolve more as an artist. The media that I choose to work in is also a variety – from painting to drawing to digital. I also write poetry. My art is about expressing whatever my soul desires in any way that I can. I think that this sets me apart from other artists and makes my art different. 

Jerry Kirk, self portrait

What’s different about your current body of work?

Lately I have been pursuing expressionistic land and streetscapes along with politically and socially themed narrative paintings. After 30 years of living in one place I recently moved to a different state and this new local is infusing my land and streetscape paintings with a different look and feel; more expressionism than realism. The current social … Click here to read more

Lily Qian

Artist Q&A with Lily Qian

“The Swimmer”, digital, 2020

Why did you become an artist?

I was fortunate to have had a bohemian childhood. At a young age, I was encouraged to draw, read, and take dance classes. I was born into an artist family: my father was the Dean of the oil painting department at Beijing University and my mother was a ballet dancer and an award-winning costume designer. My father told me he wanted me to be an artist because it’s something I will always have no matter what happens in life. I became interested in illustration, design, and children’s books because it’s about creating art for everyone.

What’s different about your current body of work?

I always begin a project with drawing by hand first. I have a diverse range and enjoy working with a variety of materials from ink, watercolor, charcoal, and digital. For a long time, I was interested in studying people through portraiture and figurative works. My current work is a departure from the figure and more about exploring ideas and storytelling.

Lily Qian, photo by Nathan Rocky

What’s coming up for you?

When I’m not busy with an illustration assignment, I’m creating new work for my portfolio. My next goal is to write and illustrate children’s books. Currently, I’m working with Christian Dior Couture on special fashion illustration assignments. Since 2017, I’ve partnered with Others Trade for Hope to design and develop handmade textile goods to support a small group of female artisans and their families in Bangladesh. It’s important for me to give back, and find a place where my work would also inspire others to fuller and happier lives. 

“Kayak”, digital, 2020

To learn more about Lily and her work, please visit www.lily-qian.com/illustration.… Click here to read more

Alex Cao

Artist Q&A with Alex G. Cao

Alex G. Cao “Immortal” installation view

How and why did you become an artist?

Coming from China to New York City in the 80s was a wonderful experience; a world of beauty and enchantment. While studying at Fashion Institute of Technology, I was fortunate to be surrounded by fashion and beauty while gaining experience working in a creative field. Through work, I was engaging with pop culture, glorifying beauty and a vibrating downtown NYC scene. I began to reflect on the use of logos and classic icons as markers of society, as recognizable as the Parthenon of Ancient Greece or the Roman Colosseum – perhaps even more recognizable.
 
I visited Naples and Pompeii just after graduating to discover these iconic ancient cities which have the most profound impact. Through my travels I was able to identify the iconic styles and architecture of classical Greco-Roman society. In these places I uncovered mosaics which lined city streets for centuries.  I started to make art while engaging with these memories, recalling this trip to Pompeii and building the architecture of my artistic career on the memory of this experience. After spending time in the piazzas of Italy surrounded by these ancient art forms. It was these formative trips that continue to inspire me artistically.

Tell us about your new show “Immortal.”  What is the meaning of it?

This new body of work in “Immortal” blends the pop culture imagery I always inspired and fascinating in with materials including plexiglass, canvas and stainless steel mirrors. The stainless steel mirror holds particular significance as it reflects and augments what you’re already witnessing; even projecting outward. The tension between the relationship of small repetitive images and the large final composition makes this work especially poignant. 

These framed work are … Click here to read more