Thursday, September 6, 2007

the eternity of white

Doug Young
september 6 - october 27, 2007

Alcove is pleased to present Doug Young’s new sculpture, The Eternity of White. Walking into Young’s three-dimensional map of Antarctica created in wood, plastic and light, is an experience in physical vastness and temporal eternity. One enters the sculpture through a cave-like opening amidst carved stalactites to find a haunting, ethereal tone as a traveling companion. The Antarctic land mass lies above, and the gossamer, undulating glow emitted by the continent reminds us that we are at the intersection of void and abundance.

Etched inscriptions on both sides of the mapped walkway -- taken from Robert Falcon Scott and the Bible -- serve as testimony to a particular assemblage of awe and fear that can only be evoked by nature, spirituality, and a disassociation with ordinary life. Faced with these truths, we are forced to question our own paths, abilities, and dedication to our own unknowns.

The corpus of Young’s work, and this sculpture in particular, is infused with the same unwavering faith and infallible determination that were invariably present in those explorers who set off by ship and by foot into the vast, monotonous stretch of the Antarctic.

Doug Young has exhibited widely in New York and Chicago. In 2001 he was awarded the Guinness Book World Record for the longest nonstop banjo performance in history—24 hours total. Doug will return in the early winter of 2008 with all new work to be presented by Roebling Hall.

an interview with Doug Young
by Gwendolyn Skaggs

gcs: When did you start to make art?
dy: I started drawing when I was a toddler, but nothing that could be considered a personal expression until I was much older – in my twenties.

gcs: Do you consider yourself a professional artist?
dy: By professional do you mean make money? I consider myself a serious artist.

gcs: What drives you to make art?
dy: That nagging inner spirit that keeps daring me, shouting at me, and pushing me.

gcs: Do you see yourself as an inventor, of sorts?
dy: Yes, most sculptures start with an idea, but without a clear and practical means for creating them. This is where cunning and invention step in.

gcs: How did the artist and inventor in you merge and does it create any conflicts?
dy: The inventor is here to serve the poetic needs of the artistic expression, similar to the relationship between an architect and an engineer.

gcs: How does the invention process work for you?
dy: It is born out of the necessity to supply a need.

gcs: Explain your inspiration?
dy: I am inspired by and want to reflect powerful ideas, however they may show themselves.

gcs: In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?
dy: While thinking about experiences I have had or would like to have, something just pops. I could be walking down the street or sitting on the toilet.

gcs: From ideas to production of art – how? And why?
dy: As I go from the idea to the realization of an idea, there are numerous ways to go about it. Choosing materials, size, etc… I always try to keep the out come as simple and direct as possible. Be truthful to the source and content.

gcs: Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?
dy: There is no limit to what can be used. As mentioned above the sculptor/idea dictates the shape of content to quote Ben Shan.

gcs: Which artists would you most like to blatantly rip off?
dy: Earl Scruggs

gcs: Are you happy with your reasons for making art? i.e. Are there any trade offs that make life hard?
dy: To quote Robert Henri “art is a privilege you pay for with your life.” Life? Hard? You see it all the time, divorce, addiction, suicide, depression. In respect to being an artist I believe all of that comes from never being able to feel truly fulfilled. But people continue to do it living for those fleeting moments of ecstasy.

gcs: When does your art become successful?
dy: When problems get solved.

gcs: Any routine in making your artwork?
dy: My whole life is about routine. I am a morning person, so I get up early and go to bed early. Early to bed, Early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Right?

gcs: How do you start the process of making work?
dy: I just start, do a little research if necessary, get some money together, and go

gcs: What is art?
dy: The hope for a better tomorrow.

gcs: Who has been the biggest influence on you?
dy: My parents, Jason Bell, John Mitchell and the so often forgotten Ashcan School.

gcs: Which pieces would you like to be remembered for, thus far?
dy: The Sad Death of Doug Young, and The Levitating Tire


Mary Hilton said...

Excellent exhibit. Thank you for your link to my site and its review of The Eternity of White. Wonderful art space and look forward to new and wonderful art!

jacqueline said...

thank you for this rockin' ass interview. simple though it is... it speaks volumes of sincerity and the poetics of process.