Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Interview with Benji Whalen

Claudio Parentela interviewed San Francisco artist Benji Whalen. Whalen is the artist who does the embroidered, stuffed arms seen at Bucheon Gallery recently. He's also rep'd by Gallery Paule Anglim.

Sunday, 10 February 2008 -

Claudio Parentela - How did you get started making art?

Benji Whalen -My father is a painter, my mother a puppeteer, my grandmother was a pianist. So, making has always been part of living.

CP- Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

BW- Honestly, I am stimulated by almost everything. I live in a city - in the course of a couple of hours, the awe, love and disgust I feel for everyone and everything I see gives me all I need for a day in the studio. I think I am probably like many artists in finding existence itself pretty stunning. As an artist you get to create new existences, of a sort, making a world in your own image. Not unlike the way kids play - artists don't grow out of it.

CP- What is your main medium of choice?

BW - That's like asking the bigamist to name his favorite wife - you've got to make everyone feel appreciated. I don't know if I've tried a medium I didn't like, and it's healthy to keep trying new ones. I am at home with clay, and thread. And oil paint. There's nothing else like it - it makes me happy just to say the words.

. . . full interview here

image from Whalen's site: "No Complaints", Embroidery floss on stuffed cotton, 24.5" x 7" x 3.5"

1 comment:

Nancy Ewart said...

Stunning work. I admire anybody who can do needlework and knit as I'm such a kutz with those skills. The show at Bucheon is a must see.