Monday, July 28, 2008

Robert Hardgrave a.k.a. FarmerBob Interview

Finally, I have gotten around to doing some interviews. Our first one will be Mr. Hardgrave. Long have I admired Robert's work and it just keeps getting better and better. I am so excited for the up coming show here in Colorado.
Interview #1

Full Name

Robert Hardgrave
Seattle, WA USA
URL(s) and

How did you get started doing art?
I have been dedicated to self-exploration through drawing and painting since around 1992 when I first moved to Seattle from southern Arizona.

Describe your process.
I enjoy having multiple surfaces to work on simultaneously. Getting everything covered in many layers of paint begins the search for something to develop. You never know when a painting will turn into what it will be and then you still may not know until right towards the end. Collage has begun to be a major part of how I work lately. I draw all over a bunch of paper and then cut it up, reassemble it, until it forms something I can recognize. The beauty of this technique is if I draw something and I like it I don't have to cut it up, but if I draw something I don't like, I know I can always use it for collage purposes. It's fail safe!

Tools of the trade? Favorite medium?
Mostly acrylics and ink on paper or canvas. Although ink on paper is always my favorite media. It is just so versatile and fun.

How would you explain your art or categorize it?
This is a really hard question to answer. All my work is something that I can recognize, but I make it in such a way that some people don't see it exactly as I do. This allows people to use their own set of ideas and experiences to interpret it as they will. I suppose I would categorize it as abstract, although it is referencing common recognizable forms. Lately I have been using the portrait format to explore my ideas. This allows people to immediately be able to step into the painting but eventually take them somewhere internal.

Tell us about you book coming out from ROJO?
A few months ago, David over at ROJO, offered me the opportunity to publish a book through him. I was thrilled. We initially decided on producing a 240 page book, but after putting 240 pages together I felt a shorter book would serve me better. The whole quality over quantity idea. In addition I was working on a new body of work for an exhibit at Joshua Liner Gallery in NY, and some of that work I wanted to put in there. I finally finished putting it together in early June. I am very excited to see it in print this next month (August). You can go to their website for more information.

What products, prints, books etc do you have coming out this year or are out?
There is a t-shirt I designed through Threadless, which was also working with Timbuk2, so I also have a bag out with the same design, except with a different color way. The bag is expensive, but it is definitely well-made. Lastly I have a new snowboard coming out through Morrow Snowboards. It should be out Fall 2008.

What magazine have you been in this year?
I have been a couple magazines this year. Earlier in April I was in Redefine Magazine and now Hi-Fructose issue #8. I am quite an honored to be covered in both of them.

What inspires you?
Lately it has been simply the painting process, but life experiences always push their way into my concepts.

Any words of wisdom for young artist?
Be sure making images is truly what you want to do. Be ready for a life-long journey.

What is one thing every artist should do in your opinion to become a better artist?
Work hard on their craft. Draw as much as they can.

What is your favorite piece of art work that you wished you had done?
I am a huge fan of artists such as George Grosz and Ben Shaun. This painting by Grosz is one of my all time favorites.

Favorite band(s)?
As of late: Lurker of Chalice, Wrnlrd, Brown Jenkins and Deathspell Omega.

How is smitty (the dog) doing?
Smitty is the sweetest little puppy! A little crazy at times, but a great addition to the family. Did I mention how sweet she is?

Favorite thing to do when you aren't doing art?
Listening to music, going to galleries, visiting with friends, eating delicious food, listening to music...

Favorite books, magazines, blogs....?

What do you have coming up, projects, shows, etc?
I am excited to be doing some projects with my friend Kevin Titzer, an amazing sculptor. I am showing August 16th at Limited Addiction Gallery in Denver, a book release exhibit in Barcelona sometime this Fall and I will be doing some art fairs this December.

Thanks BOB! ^5!
Thanks Jeremy
See you soon.


Robert Pokorny (RIP) said...

Thanks for the interview ! Robert Hardgrave is one of my favorite Artists working today. Mesmerizing work.

matthew feyld said...

Always an inspiration.