Taylor Anton White (*1978, San Diego, CA, Vereinigte Staaten) lives and works in Fredericksburg, VA, USA. White’s work gives form to fleeting memories and slumbering mania. His pictures tell of crisis and triumph, impulse and limitation. While White finds silence in the artistic process, he returns to the freezer from his childhood days, filled with popsicles and secret passages.
From 26th September to 18th November 2018 his artworks are shown at Galerie Kremers in Berlin. We interviewed him in September 2018.
Taylor A. White. IN THE INTERVIEW. IN|DEEDS.
A few sentences about how your motivation as an artist …
My work gives form to fleeting memories and the dormant mania crawling beneath the carpet of the western home. These images recount crisis and triumph, momentum and confinement, lust and lowaltitude bombing. Finding stillness in the recording of arguments within the process of painting and drawing, I return to my childhood freezer filled with popsicles and secret passageways.
What are you thinking about most at the moment; what are you up to right know?
Currently I’m working on a series of paintings for an upcoming solo exhibition here in Berlin. Today I saw a dog in the underground and I was listening to Aerosmith, and I was imagining this dog as Steven Tyler. It was a really nice experience. I’ve been thinking about it all day.
How did you get to art? Why art?
I started going to college for psychology, but then I took this elective course which was a very basic introduction to art and art history, and I was immediately hooked. I changed my major in college immediately, and making art quickly took over my life. The first day of class I walked in to the building and heard people using power tools, and loud music playing and I was like “this is college? Hell yes!”
What makes you happy these days? What frightens you?
Lately, i’ve been spending a lot of time looking at the photographs of food that often surround the windows of restaurants in Berlin. A low resolution photograph of a sandwich, faded from sunlight, I just think it’s such a great image. It makes me really happy when I see a good, unheroic image of food. As for what frightens me, that’s quite a tough question. There are lots of things that frighten me, like sharks, or lions and things like that. I’d have to say that being murdered by a murderer would be pretty frightening. I’m definitely scared of being murdered. Not that it negatively affects my life, or alters my decisions, but if I had to choose one thing that i’m frightened of, it would definitely be murder.
What is typical for your art? Could you please share with us the intention of your art?
I generally create most of my work from an initial thought, or something I overhear, but i’m never interested in making sure that the work ever illustrates that initial prompt. I don’t have any clear intention other than making an object i’ve never seen before. Personally, I’m not interested in art with narratives or overt intention. I want my work to surprise me, and I often implement restrictive controls in my working process so that I don’t have complete control over how a painting is created.
How do you protect yourself from too much inspiration these days?
I don’t think that is a problem for me. I embrace the overload of visual information that I see everyday. If it creates a sense of confusion or anxiety, I’m usually inclined to use that when I’m working. I think a state of frantic anxiety creates interesting decisions in paintings, at least for me it does.
How do you assess the current development of the art market?
The internet is making it so rad!
Two sentences about your current project.
My current work that i’m making in Berlin consists of several large format mixed media paintings which have some new materials and processes that i’ve not previously used.
What are your (next) targets?
When I return to the United States at the end of September, i’ll begin preparing for two upcoming solo exhibitions in NYC and Seoul.
How much of your work is planned – how much emerges intuitively?
All of my work is rooted in spontaneity, and generally if something is planned, my first instinct is to immediately subvert my initial plan.
What are your artworks about?
I’m primarily interested in making contradictory images, things that feel unresolved, unheroic, and absurd.
What should your art cause/evoke in your audience?
I’m never interested in attempting to control a viewer’s response, or to direct them to see it in any particular way. I’m most interested in how varied the response can be from different people.
Which practice/life experience is the most important for an artist? Is it: Painting routine, good teachers at university, good teaching/examples by fellow artists or others, biographical steps, important things which happened in your life?
I don’t believe there is a reliable recipe for making someone a good artist. I think that reckless curiosity is likely the most important attribute that an artist can have. Of course there are various interpretations of what could be considered “reckless.”
Anything else? Is there a ranking?
I’m still thinking about that dog I saw today. And the Aerosmith. It was so incredible.