THE PAINT IN ALAN M. CLARK'S BLOOD
An interview I did with Alan M. Clark is now up on the SF Site. Alan is an incredibly talented artist whose work naturally falls into the surreal/dark fantasy category.
Here's a short excerpt from the SF Site interview.
I've known you for well over a decade now, and so I know that you have an extraordinary and rather sneaky sense of humor. Do you think this quality expresses itself in your paintings? If so, how specifically?
Well it wouldn't be sneaky if I told you all about it. I will say that I believe in having a sense of humor in nearly all things and I try to put a dose of it in much of my work. It could be something as subtle as the techniques I use to flesh out a painting or it could be more in your face, like the doctors playing in the open chest cavity of the surgical patient in my painting, "Blasted Femurs, a Sack o' Religion." Since much of my work is in the horror genre, I try to always approach the work with tongue in cheek. As far as I'm concerned, the more gruesome, grotesque or violent an image is, the more it needs the humor as a release for the audience. To be effective, horror and humor both need to do the same thing: catch you off guard. Good humor in horror can create a wonderful tension.
What excites you in the art world now, whether a movement, a particular artist, or...?
Any artist not afraid to allow the medium and process of their work to show. Compositions that are the product of creative risk-taking. Arresting, evocative, compelling themes and subject matter. Artists I like a lot: Rick Berry, Jill Bauman, Charles Vess, Jason Van Hollander, Darrel Anderson, Dave McKean, Joel Peter Witkin, Phil Hale. Truth is that picking a favorite is like picking between apples and oranges. I like them both. Some artists I don't like their artwork so much as I like what it says or says about them.
Alan has just released a retrospective called The Paint in My Blood. It's a fascinating portrait of the artist and a fascinating tour through the many styles and approaches to painting that Alan has covered over the past 15 to 20 years. The text is informative and honest. The paintings are wildly inventive, with a dark sense of humor at times. This book makes a great present for anyone with a vivid sense of imagination. I highly recommend you buy a copy.