I am an Artist: Geremy George
1. Why are you an artist?
When I was younger, like many other children, I felt a strong desire to create and illustrate. I never really grew out of that, and during my pre-teen/teenage years, I found drawing and creating art in general to be very stimulating. It functioned as an outlet for my thoughts and imagination and helped me find a place to fit in during those of self-discovery.
Now, as an adult and as an artist, I find that art allows me the ability to explore, express, convey and translate the intangible (ideas, emotions dreams, inspiration). I have also found that I'm intrigued by the external interpretation of my work, mainly because of the connection it brings with me and the interpreter/viewer. I believe my images stir emotions, memories and contemplation on the part of observers, even before they being to investigate what my initial meanings/intentions were for the images.
2. Is there a concept behind your work? If so, please tell us about it.
In a simple statement, the concept behind my work is the experimentation and manipulation of inspiration.
Once I became serious about creating, it was important for me to seek out what actions, environments, thought processes and other circumstantial catalysts spurred inspiration in my mind. For me, many times, inspiration comes through my desire to problem solve on an existential level. Utilizing random statements, I found that I could jump start my philosophical mind, which often produced an inspired thought that I would need to convey. In school, I had a wonderful design professor that introduced me to the idea of exquisite corpse. Using a variation of this method, I have been able to successfully stimulate inspiration, somewhat eliminating the chaotic variability that usually accompanies the occurrence of artistic inspiration, generally. I've been able to force it, without corrupting the honesty of it.
3. Why do you use the medium that you use?
My most recent work has been digital photo collage, utilizing both raster and vector-based softwares. I've really just felt comfortable with the process and enjoyed the range of capacity that it allows me, to convey exactly what I wish to convey (what I see in my mind). It's a comfort that isn't always present in my physical, hand-painted/cut-out collage work. For me, it's a fulfilling medium.
4. Elaborate on your "Exquisite Corpse" method. How did you come up with the idea? What do you think it does for you as an artist?
I first learned of the exquisite corpse method in a design class that I took at a community college near my hometown.
Quoth Wikipedia, "Exquisite corpse (also known as "exquisite cadaver" or "rotating corpse") is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled, the result being known as the exquisite corpse or cadavre exquis in French. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule (e.g. "The adjective noun adverb verb the adjective noun") or by being allowed to see the end of what the previous person contributed."
My method is a bit different this description, but still holds to the basic principle. As a derivation, I created a computerized randomizer that uses lists of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. to produce randomly generated sentences/statements. This adaptation addresses a couple of issues I had with the original exquisite corpse method.
1. Influence of the players. Things like Rorschach testing show us that choice can be greatly influenced by personality. The nature of a standard exquisite corpse method leads to a creation based off of group influence, because each player is choosing the next step based on their intentions, influences, perceptions, etc. Now, while that is intriguing in itself, I wanted to create works solely from my own mind, based on my own expressions and interpretations, connecting to the group, or external world after the fact.
2. Interpreting the product. The goal of the standard sentence-type method is to play the game, let the players choose the words and interpret the product. This goal was too limited for what I wanted to accomplish. My adapted method doesn't just seek to interpret or convey the product of the exquisite corpse game, but goes a step further, to where the product formed by the game is used to inspire my ideas, or to force/trigger inspiration in my mind. So for instance, if the game were to produce something like, "The blind auctioneer gobbles the towering roller skates," my goal wouldn't be just to start chopping up images of auction houses and roller skates (not that I don't do this as an exercise from time-to-time). My goal would be to have this sentence trigger certain memories, emotions or tangents that would lead to an image or idea that I would have a desire to convey. Many times, my method produces junk statements that do nothing for me. Every once in a while, though... it works. I feel my mind ignite, and I can't shut it off after that.
5. Why black and white?
To a very large extent, I get off on the contrast of it. It's exactly what I see in my mind when I visualize an image. I hardly ever daydream in color. A part of me wants to equate it psychologically with the exposure of some type of truth, or objective realization, and in some ways that's there when I feel like I've meaningfully conveyed or expressed an idea, but it's hardly well thought out on my part and because of that is has to be at least half bullshit.
6. What is the role of the artist in our society? and in Colorado?
So before I elaborate, I have to add a disclaimer that every time I engage in the type of thing that I'm about to describe, I feel absolutely pretentious, as though I should be wearing a beret and urinating on a blank white canvas. That being said, I will continue and let the external world judge me without any more concern.
To me, the artist is the human in all of its complexity. For every psyche, for every contemplation, for every emotion, there is an artist. The artist can create and convey order, chaos and every state of flux in between. Art is the whole of the human condition, struggling to present and expose itself tangibly. The artist is the means of this presentation.
Colorado is a reduced-scale model of the bigger picture.... just with a disproportionate amount of yuppies thrown in.
7. Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?
I don't have a LOT to say about this. If I'm here in 5 years, I'll be experimenting and creating. It's been a part of my life since I've been able to do it.
8. What are your ultimate goals as an artist?
My goals have always been to convey my ideas as honestly, accurately and creatively as I can. As long as there are new ideas to explore and meanings that I am compelled to express, I will be fulfilled.
9. What does art mean to you?
Art is the voice of the human, whether it is ignorant of itself, or fully enlightened. It's when humanity looks to itself to solve its own problems, whether the product is reason or perplexity. It's the realization of the intangible and the interpretation/transformation into the tangible.