Sunday, September 4, 2011

Joel Starkey - Drawing

Joel Starkey
Name: Joel Starkey
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile: Joel Starkey
Facebook page: Joel Starkey

I am from a small town of about four hundred  in western Wisconsin. I got my artbook fix from the bookmobile which is something you have to be from a small town to even know about. Needless to say there were no galleries there. I went to UW-La Crosse for my undergraduate degree where I studied drawing and intaglio printmaking, and then I studied at Kansas State where I received my MFA. I currently am an adjunct instructor at Inver Hills Community College and a member of Rosalux gallery.


Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I am working on a series of drawings (and soon screen prints and paintings) in which I am allowing my intuition to guide the work rather than attempting to control and direct every last aspect in its creation. I find that when I let myself just make work without a clear cut goal that I often come up with pieces that get at something deeper with meanings originally hidden to me. After awhile the purpose of the piece becomes more clear, but it takes some time. Lots of imagery from dreams and other good stuff.

I have some pretty intense anxiety so I started studying my thoughts every waking moment and you know what I found? it’s just plain exhausting. That habit carried over in to my art work and it started to feel like I was waiting for my work to open up and reveal the cause of all my problems. Art used to be fun for me, and by changing up the way I worked I was hoping to bring it back to that place.

Brainhead Vacation

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
Oh man, I make no pretenses as to know what it is exactly, but I love asking the question. We see so many images every day but art has that distinction of being something you are meant to contemplate on for a while. The answer isn’t always front and center, and I find that refreshing. As for what my audience takes away from the work I don’t know. 

Everyone  has their own background and history, so to assume we share any commonality beyond a basic level is maybe a bit much, although I do hope that they find something worth coming back to, whether it’s the content or the style of the piece.  I am working on keeping the pieces open ended  because I love hearing what people have to say about it.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
“You are going to make a lot of shitty work before you make anything worthwhile. “ I always think I am done making the shitty work (and I am never right), but when I first heard that bit of advice I was so convinced I was past that point that it was laughable. Now I see it as a positive thing and it has really freed up my process and thinking about art. The recent work always seems to be the most rewarding and that’s just the way it is.


Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
My workspace is a local coffee shop and my bedroom. And that’s the way I like it. Keeps me loose and free, although making sloppy paintings can be a challenge. I have lost more than one security deposit for doing that kind of thing at home. As for the creative process it varies from piece to piece. Sometimes I have a thought that is so overwhelming that I absolutely have to capture it, and other times it’s more of a labor of love and goes through numerous drafts before being finalized. Despite the look of it these pieces they can take a while to come together.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Too many to name which sounds like a cop out but I’m okay with that.  I really love hitting up the galleries to see new work/artists, but right now I’m really feeling that Rosalux has a strong lineup. I recently re-joined so it could come across as self promotion, but I feel that there are a lot of good things happening there. Nick Howard and I are teaming up for a show and planning to do some collaborating, so I’m really excited about that.

Dinner Party

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
The usuals. Galleries with strong work that make me scratch my head. Oh, and antique stores. Such strange, wonderful things to be found there.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?,, etc. I’m finally taking advantage of Twitter and seeing the wealth of resources available. Every day there is a new artist or gallery I’m interested in.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes. I’m showing at SpotArt (Spot'em 9/2/11 - 10/7/11) in the next few days and I will be making a whole new body of work to show at Rosalux. I’m thinking nice drippy paintings and some screenprints for that one.

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