Wednesday, March 10, 2010

artist spotlight: john fogarty

For the month of March 2010, the artist spotlight at Go Flying Turtle! goes to New Jersey-based artist John Fogarty. I've been following John's work through his Flickr stream for several years now, and it's a real pleasure to finally have interviewed him. John's art is guided by a confident sense of intuition and a mighty work ethic. Check out his outstanding collage-work, paintings, drawings and mixed media pieces and see for yourself.

1. Q: Did you go to school for art or would you describe yourself as being self-taught?

A: No I didn't go to art school. I did take some classes at the Art Student's of New York, but those classes were mainly about refining the direction you were already going with your art as well as getting inspiration from fellow students.

2. Q: Vivid color plays a major role in your work. What attracts you to using such color in your collages, drawings and paintings?

A: Bright colors, clashing colors, sort of explosive colors kind of line up with a lot of the emotions and thoughts that race through my head as well as a lot of art that inspires me.

3. Q: I know you're big into music. Do you see a relation to music and sound with visual art, and does music influence your own work at all?

A: Music absolutely inspires my art, I mean it's essential for me to get into the mindstate where I can just fully immerse myself in what i'm making.

4. Q: Whose art and music are you into these days?

A: I've been listening to a lot of mixes by musicians that I like that I've downloaded recently. A couple names that come to mind are Tim Hecker (his music really lines up well with making art for me), a mix Prefuse73 made for MoMa last year, the album Selected Ambient Works 2 by Aphex Twin. So much music, and like art I'm always looking for new music to inspire me. Some of the artists that inspire me are Herbert Baglione, Roberto Matta, Blu, Stephanie Toppin, Sat One, Hans Bellmer, and Wols.

5. Q: Is there any type of art "scene" - spaces, galleries, street, out your way ? How'd you describe it?

A: There is, I haven't really made my way into them yet, but New Jersey as well as Brooklyn have some really cool places that I'd like to get involved with in the future.

6. Q: Much of your work incorporates faces and semi-symmetrical, line-based compositions. Can you pinpoint some of the reasons why these can be found in your art?

A: It could be my love of building something with lots of detail yet finding something recognizable in it. Something that comes to mind when I think of that is kind of like if you look at a tree's branches for a while, you can make out unusual faces and expressions, and in my art once I see that, I expand on that even if that recognizable form gets somewhat lost.

7. Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being an artist?

A: Making art that I don't think is terrible and keeps me interested and positive about making more art.

8. Q: Why do you make art - what do you get out of the act of creating?

A: First off catharsis from my mind which has a tendency towards overloading with thoughts till it short circuits. Secondly I love the process of making art and seeing something develop from a couple lines or pieces of paper into something that trips you out or just makes you see things a little brighter or differently.

9. Q: Do you plan on exhibiting your work in any shows or galleries in the near future? Anything else in store with regards to the art of John Fogarty?

A: No I don't have any shows at the moment, but I am working on making some t-shirts with designs of mine as well as getting a website up and running to sell my art on. Some good things have come about recently, just don't want to jinx them because they haven't completely panned out yet.

10. Q: If you had to describe your art to the average joe who might not appreciate your work at first, what would you say to them?

A: Most of my artwork is made from an intuitive point of view, so I think if they weren't into it I'd be fine with that. I don't think I'd really be interested in trying to convince someone to like my artwork. It's what the viewer makes of it.