martedì 25 agosto 2009

Interview with Mitchel Spider

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)My name is Mitchel Spider. Im 21

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I live in Sydney, Australia. I work part time at a second hand/antique bookstore.

q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)Controlled scribbles. Mark making with the purpose of finding something out.

q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)I never studied anything creative at high school. When the time came to apply for university courses I enlisted in design, which I thought would be at least partially academics based and would allow me creative exploration. I learned some interesting things about myself, but the course wasn't really for me. At the moment I am just working to pay rent and drawing and playing music with the rest of my time. Next year I will be applying for a Fine Arts Degree at SCA here in Sydney.

q) What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)I seem to have the most success with plain pencils so far. Charcoal and pastels too.

q) What/who influences you most?

a)I wouldn't be doing what I am doing if not for my talented and creative female acquaintance Maria. My younger brother made me a Spongebob sculpture which is incredible. In terms of inspiration within the creative process itself, I think I create things in an attempt to find something out rather than illustrate something I am already certain of. So its this searching that is the inspiration.

q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)If I try and force something to happen, planning to "make art", I will fail miserably. Success is finding myself drawing late at night and not wanting to sleep. I like working on a bunch of similar things at once, multiple attempts to find similar things out.

q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)I want to work out with some degree of clarity what I am doing and why I am doing it. I want the work to gradually reflect more closely the ideas that are emerging. I want to work large scale. I want answers, but only if they come with more questions.

q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)An amazing contemporary Chinese art gallery called White Rabbit opened up a block from my house just last week. Its a great four level space and a great insight into a lot of work I had never seen before. Great sculpture by Chen Wenling especially. Also here in Sydney there is a collective called Bababa international. These guys have the broadest understanding of art imaginable and it translates into a depth of work that seems limitless. Its humble and genuine and THOUGHT OUT which is rare and fucking admirable. (
Allison Schulnik ( is also blowing me away, especially her beautiful stop motion "Hobo Clown" short film.

q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)If something hasn't come forward to me after half an hour then it is quite safe to say that I'm going about searching the wrong way. These are instantaneous things for me so far, and working mostly small scale I don't have the pressure of a polished finished piece. When I do start to produce larger pieces, I would hope that they continue with this sense of immediacy that conveys the process of searching.

q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)Often I like the process of making a lot more than the finished pieces, so when they change hands I don't feel I have lost too much.

q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Don Caballero, Storm and Stress, Ghoul (Sydney), Seekae, Ry Cooder, Bruce Springsteen, Flying Lotus, Tom Waits, I've had "Grievances" by Dan Johnston in my head for two weeks.

q) Books?

a)I work in a second hand bookstore so I collect a whole bunch of stuff when its cheap. Great for artist monographs that I'd never afford otherwise. Right now I'm reading mostly non-fiction and essays. "About Looking" and "Ways of Seeing" by John Berger have been great, and a few Sontag books as well. "Notes of an Anatomist" by F. Gonzalez Crussi was amazing and a huge inspiration for drawings. "Mutants" by Armand Leroi was incredibly interesting to, explanations of genetic mutations.

q) What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?

a)I believe in immediacy, but am humbled by planners. A combination of the two seems to me the ultimate aim.

q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a) Reading, making music with my friends, visiting my family, tea with my girlfriend on the balcony.

q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)I'm working on some album art at the moment. Hopefully more exhibitions next year, when I am a little clearer about my aims. I'm also going to actually study drawing and painting which should be interesting.

q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)Through Flickr though I have found a whole group of people who's work I admire, who's reason for creating is selfless. These people are developing bodies of work with substance, where every piece presented furthers an idea. It is incredibly humbling to find people with this kind of an output, and amazing to be able to interact with them.

Also there is a great online collective I am lucky enough to be included in, which has some of the most amazing people painting and drawing today. The Company of People is run by Landon and Hanna Metz in NY. They are just committed to sharing good ideas from the past and the present and the effort they put in is ridiculous. (

q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.

a)Should I watch the entire second season of Alan Partridge today?

q) Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Buy a book on Cy Twombly

q) Where can we see more of your work online?


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