Interview with Artist Derek Weisberg
SG: Please tell us about yourself?
DW: My name is Derek Weisberg, I am 25 years old, I live and work inOakland CA (the right and bright side of the bay) I am a Bay Areanative. I have been making art forever, I am a lifer. I wouldn't knowwhat else to do, and cant really do anything else.
SG: Where do you currently live and work?
DW: West Oakland to be specific, I have a live work space, really just a big cold dark garage. But I love it. Sometimes.
SG: What mediums do you work with?
DW: I primarily work in ceramics/clay. I know you are all thinkingabout nice pretty pots, cups and stuff, no sorry none of that wheelthrown BS, no offense to any potters out there, because I really thinkthere is some amazing functional work made and can appreciate it, itsjust not for me. I also like to use a lot of found objects and mixedmaterials with the ceramic. I also draw and push around some coloredstuff on paper but those are more ways to gets ideas out and exercisesto help with the sculpture.
SG: Describe your working process when creating a new work.
DW: Working process? I could get real clay dork on you but I willtry to spare you, basically all the work is "hand built" (a ceramicterm used to differentiate from wheel thrown) made of coils of clayattached and then sculpted. I usually work from both photo reference aswell as drawings. And sometimes I say forget that stuff and just gowith it and let the material do its thing. Then I glaze (color orpaint) the sculptures, then put it in a kiln and fire it. I re-glazeand re-fire if necessary.
SG: What kind of things do you do when you get blocked or find it hard to create something?
DW: First off I love working! So if I get stuck I just keep workingand making, even if it all ends up terrible. At a certain point aswitch is flipped and something usually turns up. If I find myselfreally really blocked, I hit the books, because I also love arthistory. So I just start looking through lots of art books, and images,etc.
SG: Where are you currently finding your inspiration?
DW: Is it too cliche and vague to say everywhere? Really my work isemotional and psychological self portraiture, so whatever is happeningin my life, however I am feeling is what I turn to, to use as fuel formy sculpture. But maybe you want a more specific answer, I have beenlooking a lot at ancient Greek and Roman funerary sculpture lately.
SG: Where has your work been seen?
DW: I have shown my work a lot in the Bay Area, LA, and CA. I guessmost recently I had a solo earlier this year at a really great gallery,Anno Domini in San Jose, a two person show with my friend Crystal Morey at Young Blood gallery in ATL, an all Oakland artist group show at the important Di Rosa preservein Napa CA. I have work in the permanent collection at the OaklandMuseum. And it has been seen in other galleries nationally andinternationally including Mexico, and Germany. And finally I have apage feature in BLISS magazine this month (page 46), check it out
SG: Where will it be seen next?
DW: Right now, I have a few things on my plate. December I will havework at Anno Domini's Fresh Produce show, as well as this kind ofalternative space in Piedmont CA, that show will revolve around andrelate to the Winter Solstice. February, I have a solo at one of thecoolest and best spaces in Oakland, Rowan Morrison, I am going to turn the whole gallery into a candle lit catacomb, withover 30 sculptures. I am excited for it. And in the (not so distant)future, May 09, a two person show at the legendary Space 1026 in Philly.
SG: What is your dream art assignment?
DW: I always listen to music while I am working, always! and about95% of the time its Hip Hop. For a while I have been dreaming aboutcollaborating with a musician or several. Combining hip hop with mysculptures. In a way giving my visually frozen figures an activeauditory narrative or give them words. I want the feeling of aninnerness to the sculptures to relate and to share the feelings of themusic. It would give the sculptures certain "demanded" time frame,which I think would be interesting. I guess in a sense it would be asoundtrack to a series of sculptures and simultaneously (for the lackof a better word) illustrations to the music. The viewer could walk upto a sculpture, put on some headphones and listen to the music and lookat the sculpture, at the same time.
SG: What is your favorite color?
DW: I don't have one really.
SG: Who is your favorite artist? And Why?
DW: Too many to name, and it would take forever to list why.Honestly, the list of my favorite artists range from 4680 year oldunnamed Egyptian sculptors to contemporary artists like my good friendPercy Feils " But just to run a little list: MANY Ancient cultures,Egypt, Greek, Assyrian, Medieval art, illuminated manuscripts, FraAngelico, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Bernini, Rembrandt, TilmanRiemenshneider, early Picasso, Stephen DeStaebler, Egon Scheile,Giacometti, Clayton Brothers, Os Gemeos, Barry McGee, Phil Frost,"Other". OOPS thats kind of a serious list, but I guess thats goodright?
SG: What book/magazine are you reading this week?
DW: I really like reading, but I like working more and so that isusually how I spend my time. And then when I do read (usually late atnight) I tend to read a little bit (because I fall asleep) of a lot ofthings. So the books I have my nose in right now are: NY alternativeart 1965 to 1985, Julie Ault–Solipsist by Henry Rollins, The GoldenCompass, The Legend of Baal Shem by Martin Buber, Great German Stories,Said the Shotgun to the Head by Saul Williams, Greek Mythology.
and looking through and reading bits of the Bernini catalogue of the show that was just at the Getty Museum.
SG: Ever do a self portrait? Where is it now?
DW: That is all I do.
SG: Where is your favorite place to hang out?
DW: I love NY, but don't get to hang out there often. I don't reallyhang out much, and don't really go many places. Basically I go to work,come home and work in my studio. (its kind of a sad existencesometimes). When I go out I usually go and see art shows, or musicshows, then back home. Lame I know. So I guess to officially answeryour question, my studio is my favorite place to hang out.
SG: Any final words of advice?
DW: Go to your studio and make stuff, everyday! Fuck what otherpeople say or think. Make your work the way you want because you haveno other option. If you feel like you have another option, great, takeit, make lots of money and buy my art or someone's art who you reallylike. Peace, find Love and be good.
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