Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Artist Interview: Brian Nolan

What is your name: Brian Nolan

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I have a BFA in Photography from Ohio University. Unfortunately, I've forgotten most of what I learned back then.

What is the style of your pieces: Abstract
What is the medium in which you work: I am digitally rephotographing transparency film that was damaged in the flood waters of hurricane Katrina.

What started you on your path as an artist: a feeling in my gut that I had to document and preserve these images.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: an endless drive to photograph the world around me.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: drawing - when I see an artist express themselves through the quality of their line I am in awe.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I used to be terrified of showing my work. Years ago I had a City Job which mostly involved doing as little as possible. It taught me how to simply talk with people. Now at showings I'm almost too relaxed.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: yes actually, I've found that working when it's incredibly hot and humid outside allows me to remove the original slides from the slide pages with less damage (the slides stuck to the plastic slide pages while immersed in the flood water). Because of the heat and humidity I wear beat up old tshirts and shorts.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? this ruined economy.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: beyond a doubt it would be a roast beef po-boy dressed with cheese from Parkway Tavern in New Orleans.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: this year I have started showing my work. Up till now I kept my work close out of fear that it would be judged first with the sympathy for hurricane Katrina victims. Enough time has passed where I think people can see the beauty in the images that I see.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Alfred Steiglitz
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: I saw a print of a photograph Paul Strand took of some ivy in his backyard. The concept of finding subject matter no further than ones own backyard changed my perception of what it took to make an image.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have many many dogs and cats. Some seem to enjoy being photographed. I am constantly photographing them. Interestingly, I am reluctant to show the residual images I have of my pets. The images are so personal. I'm more comfortable showing everything else, perhaps that is something I should now force myself to exhibit.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I'm new to exhibiting. I spend most of my mornings trying to find new walls to hang my work upon. My dream is to contribute a set of images to the New Orleans Museum of Art. I think when I've reached that point I'll be finally content.

If you are an artist and would like to be featured email

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