1- Considering the growing weight economy holds in American and western culture, which is the role of art in our society today?
The role of art remains the same regardless of the economy. Art has as many roles as there are artists. There are artists that make social commentary, there are artists that provoke change, there are artists that define beauty, there are artists that make money and then there are artists that simply make art.
2- If you are not a specialist, art market’s inner workings often seem to be due to commercial and speculative reasons only; what’s your opinion about it?
There is a market for art that is pure speculation and then there is true art. The crazy world of art as a hedge fund has changed the definition of art somewhat. A true artist should not be affected by the market. Great art should not be defined by how much money it is worth. Art is in essence worthless. It does nothing of solid value. It doesn’t provide shelter, food or clothing. It does however provide sustenance for the soul.
3- More and more western society has to deal with different, sometimes very distant cultures, ideas, markets; which is the artist’s role in this process, and how does it affected him?
While it is difficult to transcend one’s own local culture the art world is by definition an international venue. Most artist are very aware of what is happening in other countries. While there are attempts to nationalize artists by saying that they are American, English, Italian or whatever, I think that most artists perceive themselves outside of those boxes.
4- You have been living in Paris for a period of your life; which differences and nearness do you detect in European and American culture?
I lived in Paris for a short time while I was very young. This was in the early sixties. My contemporaries there seemed so much more adult, serious and responsible. I attributed this to the fact that most of them had lost their fathers in the war. The war stole their childhood. As for differences today I will say that America has a very short cultural history and Americans are quicker to embrace new things. This is not always a good thing. Our educational system doesn’t teach art history and this has created a culture that knows almost nothing about art. This is why we have bad architecture, bad product design and ugly cars. America can change all that in one generation if our leaders had the will to. One can only hope.
5- Shall you talk about you and your work: what would you like one to know the first time he discovers your opera?
My work is about the way that art is experienced inside the mind of the viewer. This is a uniquely human experience. I create gestalt spaces and forms. Defining space is the focus of my work. I hope that this comes through. For my latest series entitled «Spaces» I would like the viewer to really see the line between what is «in» and what is «out». That edge of the canvas is the most important part of my work. I chose the human form to articulate these edges because the human form is so universally understood. I hope that people do not see me as a figurative artist but as a conceptual artist.
Over the last twenty years I have been experimenting with theoretical architecture as an art form. The content of my work, whether an installation, painting or sculpture is to define the threshold between the inside and outside of conceptually articulated space. As a sculptor of gestalt space, I have used fire, light, vegetation, water, rope, steel, vinyl and wood. Typically working in the ephemeral media of installation and earthworks, for the “Spaces” project I have decided work in the traditional medium of painting and sculpture. For “Rectangles” and “Squares,” the first two phases in the three-part series entitled “Spaces”, I am using oil on canvas as my medium. To articulate the space that I created, I chose the human form because it is universally understood with clearly recognized boundaries. In observing the art (Rectangles and Squares), it is important to understand that the art is the defined space itself. There are no lines, background, color fields or image to extend beyond the boundaries of the art. For Rectangles and Squares, the art absolutely ends at the edge of the canvas.