Dogs or Cats ?
q)Please tell us your name and where you practice.
a)My name is Gavin Worth. I was born in
Zimbabwe, Africa, grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, I lived in for 8 San Francisco, California
years, and just two months ago, I moved to
to teach at the Cairo, Egypt . American International School
q) Why do you make art?
a)I guess I make art because I don't really have another choice. It's
just what I do... it's what I've always done. It's like an itch that has
to be scratched. And when you have an idea in your head and you actually
create it with your hands, well, there's almost no feeling in the world
q) How do you work ?
a)It depends on the media and concept of the piece. For my wire
sculptures, I always start with a pencil and paper, sketching. I work
through different poses, until I get something that clicks. This isn't
cerebral work, you can't sit around and think about what would be a good
sculpture -- this is all done on paper. The real ideas come while
drawing. Once the drawing is finished, I work on making the sculpture,
finishing the base, and mounting it.
q) What´s your background?
a)My background is in acting. I was a trained classical actor and
musician, and for several years, I worked with various Shakespeare
Festivals around the country as an actor and teacher. I always drew and
painted, and during my acting career, I got the opportunity to do a lot
of set design, scene painting, and fabrication. I even made a full size
Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton out of foam using a chainsaw once. In the
past 5 years or so, I've really focused on making art more full-time.
q) What role does the artist have in society?
a)I think the good artists, the ones that I really admire, have the
roles like the shamans did in ancient societies. They cut through masks
and show truth. It might be a pretty truth, it might be an ugly truth,
but it's always in good art. Have you ever been in a place that has no
art, no culture? If you have, you'll know why it's SO important. It
gives you air to breathe.
q) What was a seminal experience for you ?
a)When I was 16, I took all the money that I had saved and traveled to
. I lived on cheese for a week, but I saw unbelievable art. One Paris
day, I saw a sidewalk chalk artist reproducing masterpieces out by the
Louvre. I couldn't stop watching him. When I got home, I tried to do the
same thing. It's the first time I took making art seriously.
q) Has your practice changed over time ?
a)I've become less structured and more able to trust my instincts.
It's terrifying to let go and work without a plan, but there's only so
far you can go unless you do that.
q) What art do you most identify with ?
a)Seriously, lots of it. I love Michelangelo, I love Schiele, I love
Lucien Freud, I love street art... Figurative art has always spoken to
q) What´s your strongest memory of your childhood ?
a)A big one, I guess, was when I was bitten by a rattlesnake when I
was 6. That changed a lot.
q) What themes do you pursue ?
a)I like to champion honesty. I think it's the most important thing
q) What´s your most embarrassing moment ?
a)My entire life from 12-24.
q)What jobs have you done other than being an artist ?
a)Tons... teacher, office drone, barista, Gap employee, restaurant
table busser, did work in landscaping, and I even worked cleaning the
floors at an upscale spa. Work's good for you.
q) What responses have you had to your work ?
a)Across the board. Some people love it, some people hate it, some
people are indifferent. The most baffling response I had, and I got a
lot of it at a certain unnamed art festival that I went to, was,
"They're good, but why all the nipples?" Seriously? We're still
uncomfortable with nudes in art these days?
q) What do you dislike about the artworld ?
a)There's some unpleasantness in the business side of it, but what
bothers me the most is the general sense of alienation that exists for
most people who wander into galleries. Elitism and the "You mean you
don't get it?" attitude bother me.
q) What research do you do ?
a)I've been doing a lot for an upcoming project.
q) What is your dream project?
a)Ha! Funny you should ask... I'm hoping to start work on it during my
. Top secret right now I'm afraid, but it's going to be Cairo
q) What´s the best piece of advice you have been given ?
a)Never drink on an empty stomach.
q) What couldn't you do without?
a)Pencils come in pretty handy.
q) What makes you angry?
a)I've cursed plenty of times while playing "Angry Birds."
q) What is your worst quality?
a)Maybe my lack of skill at playing "Angry Birds?"
q)…Dogs or Cats ?
a)Whenever a cat lover is describing how great their cat is, they
always say, "Oh, Trixie is a great cat. She's just like a dog!" So if
the best of the best cats start being compared to dogs, why not just get
a dog, which is always awesome?
q) Making art is a lot like being on lsd…Know what I mean ?
a)Never taken LSD... sorry.
q) What does " copy" mean to you ?
a)It's a cool way to say "I got it" over a walkie-talkie.
q) What´s your favorite cuss word ?
a)Jerk. Try it, it makes an impact.