Art Talk with Alex Cutler

Art Talk with Alex Cutler

CultureSeptember 13, 2013

The Vitals

Height: 6' 2”

Weight: 154 pounds

Favorite drink: espresso

Favorite Ice cream flavor: chocolate peanut butter

Best movie villain: the iceberg in “Titanic"

Two favorite colors: orange and burgundy

Music preference: typically old

Suit or sweatpants: suit

Mac or PC: Mac

Snow or rain: rain

Burrito or sushi: sushi

One cause you’d stand up for in the world: worldwide freedom

Online work: Google me or visit my websites, I have quite a few interviews and write ups floating around out there

Did you spend a good amount of your childhood making art? Yes pretty much the majority of my childhood was spent drawing. It got me in a lot of trouble at school and kicked out of sunday school.

How do you think the Denver art scene has evolved over time? I've only been here about a year, but it seems to be catching up with the rest of the world. You have a lot of different kinds of art happening here but for awhile it seemed very Southwest influenced and people painting pretty pictures of sunsets and landscapes. From what I've been noticing from my year here there is a lot of talent and pockets of people doing really great work I think its just going to take everybody getting together and getting it out into the public on a legitimate level to be appreciated.

What inspires your work? I am inspired by people, film, photography, other art, music the list could go on forever. The act of being inspired comes at unexpected times. Just the other day I was flipping through a National Geographic and was drawn to a story about the short, vicious life of a lion on the serengeti. The photographs in the story were so powerful and almost had a staged human element to them, and it inspired me to consider a different approach to the composition of my paintings. Just a small example of how I may get inspired.

What do you want to achieve through your artwork? Is there a message? I achieve what I want every time I complete a painting that has been on my mind, ultimately art is my mode of expression, and it does its job beautifully. If in doing so my paintings engage, evoke and expand people’s ideas of art and their relationship to the world around them, then that would be great too. There are certainly themes I like to play with that may reflect our current way of life. For instance, my paintings are by no means surface deep and often take time to comprehend, which challenges the ideas of instant gratification we have all become so accustomed to. The message is in the art, and I like to leave it open for the viewer to find and cherish for themselves.

Can you describe your creative process? Find or create source material. Get materials if needed. Clear my schedule for time needed to complete since I paint start to finish. Listen to lots of music drink lots of coffee and, of course, paint. Nothing too special to it. Sometimes I get frustrated and I destroy paintings. I get really hot and take off all my clothes and paint naked. Whatever works.

Do you have any upcoming shows or endeavors? I am currently working on new work/some commission stuff. I will undoubtably have a big show somewhere this fall/winter season, and I have been considering having a studio show to get rid of old works that are occupying my space, so please follow me on instagram and tumblr to get the latest on my shows.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Do it every day. You must exercise the skill and keep your brain thinking artistically. As far as the career side, there are a multitude of channels to make a living and its up to the artist to decide how to do it. One thing not said often is how the idea of making money off your art can ruin you. Everyone is a critic, and some will tell you what you should or shouldn’t paint or say things like “You painted her so ugly. Why don't you paint more pretty people?” and when there is money involved it can really stray you of course of your original intent. So one of the toughest decision in making art your career is how far do you go to fit the needs of the masses versus creating something you love but may be misunderstood or go over the heads of many. What I paint is not your traditional pretty picture to hang above your couch, and because of that I have lost a lot of potential patrons. However the up side is that I get to paint what I want, and when someone comes along that does like it enough to buy it, its more special, and I am happy carry those relationships further.

You tend to use the female form in your artwork, is there a particular reason for this? I actually believe I paint males just as much as females. When It comes to my particular viewing of art, I see no difference between the two forms. The female form has adopted this beautiful majestic connotation in art that I find kind of silly. Its just another human body to me, and honestly I find the little physical traits in the human form far more interesting than the obvious ones both men and women included.

Any thanks you’d like to provide to anyone or anything specific? The people worth thanking know who they are, they were there in the beginning and have my art on their walls. I have had enlightening conversations with them that helped me do what I love. I go skateboarding with them or have been on trips with them. I see them often and love them all very much.