The Canvas | TRXTR
18 February 2012
Main image: 'Vishnu Vapours' copyright TRXTR
UK artist TRXTR opens his first solo exhibition at the Signal Gallery in London in March 2012. TRXTR's work addresses social and moral issues and his distinctive style fuses together the art of photography and painting. His work is thought provoking, poignant, current and amazingly captivating. BOA is extremely pleased that TRXTR took time out of his busy schedule for an interview...
What is your earliest artistic memory?
Making photographically realistic pencil drawings of movie star roll models, always men usually cowboys and wild birds. It was a perfect way to step out of a crushingly dull and uninspiring educational system.
Has your art or approach/method changed over the years and if so, how?
Realizing that I can only work from inspiration and not from concept or brief - the main change is to embrace all forms of image making within one piece, and to avoid my predisposition to disappear into obsessive craft or skill based techniques.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Both visually and intellectually from the media, film, the internet and magazines. I am particularly interested in the West's changing notions of beauty and fashion and by contrast the utilitarian and lethally perfunctory design of military machinery. It’s our tribal dress and spears just a sophisticated veneer disguising our fundamental primitive nature.
'Air Farce One' copyright TRXTR
What is your biggest ambition as an artist?
To produce works of art that have been pushed so far outside of my control and skill set, that they don’t appear to be mine.
If you could own any piece of artwork, what would it be and why?
“The Scapegoat’ by Holman Hunt because of the powerful moral and political message wrapped up in an image of exquisite beauty and darkness. The story goes that he sat in the desert for days in searing heat to paint this picture and got through a heard of goats in the process.
If you could receive coaching/training from any artist (past or present) who would it be?
Without doubt the late Joseph Beuys. I am in total awe of his ability to send out completed messages and observations using images, objects and performances that transcended political, moral or philosophical preachings.
If you could have you artwork displayed in any gallery in the world, where would it be?
The National Gallery in a giant gold frame - not because I think I am in any way worthy to be there, but only because it’s an amazing place capturing the history of humans making pictures for all sorts of reasons under all kinds of regimes and pressures.
'Miss Isle' copyright TRXTR
Who would you like to meet and what question would you want to ask them?
Banksy and ask him if his kids think he is cool or an embarrassment.
What is your most prized possession?
I have a small parcel of land in Devon surrounded by agricultural monoculture on which I have made a large pond and allowed it to revert back to the wild. Over the past 5 years the wildlife there has multiplied amazingly. It’s like an island of cover and food in a barren sea. I love to think that this is how the world would be without human intervention.
If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
London in the sixties, I just missed it, national service had just been abolished, teenagers had just been invented and having had their guns taken away picked up guitars and created popular music.
What do you consider the greatest invention of all time?
This is a tricky one because all inventions seem to have a negative as well as a positive side. Language must be the most significant, which differentiates us from the other creatures on earth. It is, however, language that has allowed us to create writing and develop science, which it can be argued has enabled us to exploit the earth to the point of destruction.
'Feeding the Headless Swans' copyright TRXTR
If you had the power to change something what would that be and why?
The male ego must go as it is largely responsible for the whole past, present and future shit storm that we call humanity.
What is your favourite place?
A small clearing in a virgin forest in Vermont thickly carpeted with deep lichen and only accessible by crawling along an animal track, a place where no human had ever stepped or seen. Email me for the grid reference.
What is your all time favourite movie or tv program?
Every film by Mike Leigh his working process and involvement of the actors in the improvisation and development of the story is breathtaking and endlessly watchable. Also, 'the Today program' BBC Radio 4, I wake up for it and if it ever goes off air our nuclear subs let loose all their missiles. (official policy).
Can you tell us the title/author of the last book you have read?
‘Life’ Keith Richards autobiography. It’s a fascinating insight into outsider introspective obsession with being creative as an alternative to joining the mainstream.
What would you scribble on a wall of world’s greatest quotes?
‘The writings on the wall”
'Big Sister' copyright TRXTR
What are you most afraid of?
What life lesson do you always stand by?
Never tell anyone about a work of art that is still in your head, it’s like describing what someone looks like when you’ve only heard their voice.
If you had to give art students today some advice, what would it be?
Leave college and get on with it, you are being taught a pseudo intellectual language largely created to justify the course, and bares little or no relation to the reality of being a working artist and, unsurprisingly, only 1 percent of students ever carry on after they leave.
Where on the web can we find you?
For full details of the exhibition in London: http://www.bodyofart.com/news/trxtr-pretty-lethal/
'Video Voyeur' copyright TRXTR
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