Saturday, September 12, 2009

Inside the Painter's Studio

"I clean the studio every week. And a lot of times I think while I am cleaning. Usually at the end of each day, I clean up a little. I also clean up and organize at the start of each day—like nesting. It gets me into the work, kind of like pacing.”

Julie Mehretu, Harlem, New York City
(photo by Joe Fig)

In his new book, Inside the Painter’s Studio, artist Joe Fig documents the day-to-day lives of 24 contemporary artists with photos of their studios, notes on their work habits, and interviews about where and how they make art. In addition, Fig’s own sculptures are shown—miniature reproductions of the artists themselves in the process of creating, a spellbinding sort of diorama as portraiture. For any artist, historian, or art fan, there’s fascinating stuff in the minutia about gear and paint brands, and also the larger questions about what it takes to get up every morning and go paint. As Chuck Close says, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

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