Thursday, November 29, 2007

Interview with David Ruhlman

q) Introduce yourself first please?

a)My name is David Ruhlman. I was born in Stuttgart, Germany. I spent a good deal of my youth moving around. In my youth I lived in ten different states in a 12-year period. Spent the last ten years of my life in Salt Lake City, Utah.

q) How did you get into art?

a)Art was born in my blood. My younger brother Mathieu was quite influential. We would spend hours listening to strange music and try and make even stranger artwork. We made a few art zines together. My early drawings were surrealist influenced pen and ink drawings. I then went into a self-imposed exile and made these unusual hand-made books. Made over 40 books within a 2-year period. The last of these books I used gouache and thought that I should make something I could hang on my wall. I then started painting. I taught myself how to paint and have been painting with gouache on wood for the last 5 years. It has been within this time that I have shown the outside world the objects/paintings that I have been making.

q) Who has been the biggest influence on you?

a)I would again say my brother Mathieu. We would always try and outdo each other, and try and impress the other. The art and writings of Jean Dubuffet were very influential. A qoute of his that I love states "Art should always make people laugh a little and frighten them a little. Anything but bore them. Art has no right to be boring." He opened my eyes to an art that I was searching for. I also love reading artist/poet biographies. Rimbaud, Max Ernst and Edvard Munch are a few of my favorites.

q) Do you rule by any tendency in your creative work, or you only follow what comes in your mind?

a)I work intuitively. I think this goes back to being self-taught. I don’t have a lot of confinements placed on what I should or should not do with my artwork. I read a qoute that make sence to me "I paint what I want to see."

q) Do you have a preferred medium to work on? Why?

a)I would have to say gouache. I started with gouache and haven’t used anything else since. I tried oil and acrylic once, but didn’t like it. I have a love for found objects and collage material. I would still like to try etching or woodcuts in the future.

q) How much does your environment have an effect on your pictures?

a)Environment plays a big role. Salt Lake City has many advantages and disadvantages. It is a bizarre place. It has been helpful because you can be left alone and it isn’t too expensive to live. There are also some of the most beautiful terrain imaginable (Goblin Valley, Bryce Canyon.) My series “ the earth grows in each of us” came to me as I was hiking up in the canyons. There isn’t much of an art scene. It allows to work on your artwork without a lot of outside "noise." This is difficult at times. But there are some great artists here that unfortunately many others aren’t aware of. Salt Lake is a strange place inhabited by strange spirits.

q) Tell us about your studio space. Where do you work? Do you listen to certain types of music while working?

a)I work at my home. I haven’t ever thought of having a studio. My work is quite detailed so I don’t have a lot of paint going everywhere. I work on the floor with the board on the ground. This has been a bit difficult on my back as of late- will have to find something new soon. Oh, the music question. I always have music playing in the background. I usually listen to a wide varity of music.

q) Who are your favorite artists?

a)Jean Dubuffet, Wallace Berman, Paul Klee, Werner Herzog, Andrei Tarkosky, Joseph Beuys, Max Ernst, Windor McCay, Ivan Generalic , Hundertwasser, Steve Smith ( Cein Watson, Camilla Engman, Sri Whipple.

q )When have you started using the internet and what role does this form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?

a)My older brother made my site. It has been fantastic. It opened a whole world to me. I have been contacted from people in Italy, Iceland and Sweden who would have never seen my artwork. I enjoy contacting and being in contact with other artists. I have been able to sell a few of my paintings through my website. So that’s been great!!!
q) What books are on your nightstand?
a)The Roald Dahl Omnibus, The Road by Cormac McCarthy (which I just finished) and my journal (which I haven’t written in for 2 months)

q) What's playing on your stereo?

a)I have a five-disc player. My brother just released a fantastic album under Mathieu Ruhlmann called “The earth grows in each of us.” –AMAZING! Roy Orbison “In dreams”, MACHINEFABRIEK, Dr. John “Gris, Gris” Edward Artemiev- soundtracks.

q) Any interesting "rituals" before you start creating?

a)Not many. Always have to have music. I have used the same small cup for water and paint cloth for the last 5 years. I usually always paint in the morning or afternoon. I am not much of a night owl.

q) What is your favourite colour?

a)Blue - Yves Klein blue

q) What is the best time in the day for you to work on a project? Is there one, or is it more about the environment -- maybe the right mood?

a)See the answer above.

q) What projects mean a lot to you at the moment?

a)I just finished a triptych that I am very excited about. It was part of an anagram series that I have been working on. It started with a painting that I finished titled “The left hand of Edvard Munch is the right hand of God.” I photocopied the entire painting and then rearranged the images. I did this for 2 other paintings. I have been quite pleased with them. I hope to further this idea in the future. I haven’t had a chance to show them outside of a few friends and hope to be able to show them soon. I am also part of a small group show coming up. Artists submit a white painting, or whatever that means to them. I have three paintings. Should be interesting.
Thanks for your time.

q)Your contacts…


At November 30, 2007 at 9:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful aartwork- and ejoyable interview. Seems like a nice guy.



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