From Basketballs to Astronauts: David Huffman’s Painted Universe | KQED Arts

From Basketballs to Astronauts: David Huffman’s Painted Universe | KQED Arts


Huffman: I DO HAVE
ONE EXTRAVAGANT SHOT… [ CHUCKLES ] …WHERE I BASICALLY
DRIBBLE THIS WAY, AND IT GOES AROUND THE BACK,
AND THEN I LAY IT UP. SO, I’LL PROBABLY END
WHERE YOU ARE. END UP, LIKE, RIGHT HERE,
JUST SO YOU KNOW. MY NAME IS DAVID HUFFMAN,
AND I AM A PAINTER. !!musiC@[email protected]! I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,
BEING AN ORGANIC HUMAN BEING, WE ABSORB INFORMATION AND
THAT WE DON’T GET RID OF THINGS AS MUCH AS WE THINK WE DO. I THINK THINGS STAY IN US
A LITTLE BIT LONGER. SO, THINGS DON’T GET RECOGNIZED
UNTIL MUCH LATER THAT ARE ALREADY THERE. SO, EVER SINCE
I WAS REALLY YOUNG, I’VE ALWAYS LIKED BASKETBALL. I WAS ALWAYS PLAYING. BY THE TIME I BECAME AN ARTIST,
WORKING WITH DIFFERENT TOPICS, MOSTLY, LIKE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN
TOPICS OF IDENTITY AND CULTURE, THAT THE BASKETBALL
CAME BACK INTO THE WORK. FROM PLAYING THE BASKETBALL TO ACTUALLY LOOKING
AT THE BASKETBALL AND ASKING QUESTIONS
OF WHAT IS IT. IT’S A SPHERE. IT SPINS, IT MOVES,
IT HAS COLOR, IT HAS LINE. IT’S SHAPE IS CONVEX,
IT’S CONCAVE. I MEAN, THOSE ARE OTHER CONCEPTS
AND DEFINITION THAT HAVE MORE TO DO
WITH PICTORIAL IMAGE. AND THAT’S REALLY WHAT PAINTING
IS ABOUT — THE PICTORIAL MOMENT. [email protected][email protected]! SO, I STARTED THIS PIECE
FROM THE TOP. EVEN THOUGH I STARTED ON TOP,
I KNEW I WAS STACKING, TOO. SO, THERE WAS A KIND OF
A STACKING PERFORMANCE IN CREATING THE PIECE. AND THAT GAVE ME THE INTUITION
TO PLACE THINGS THE WAY THEY NEEDED TO BE PLACED AND CREATE TENSIONS
AND OPEN AREAS. SO, WHEN YOU GET THREE
BASKETBALLS WITH JUST LINE, THEY TEND TO HAVE
MORE OF AN OPENNESS TO THEM, AND I THINK THAT SETS UP
INTERESTING TENSION TO THESE SOLID SPACES, WHICH A LITTLE BIT MORE
LIKE SPOTS OR HOLES. SO, FOR ME, THE BASKETBALL
HAS TURNED INTO A CONCEPT, AN ELEMENT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
IT HAS ITS ICONIC DEFINITION. SO, IT BECOMES BOTH SOCIAL
AND ABSTRACT. WHEN I MAKE ART, I MAKE CHOICES
ABOUT INGREDIENTS QUITE A BIT IN THAT THEY SHOULD ENTER
THE PAINTING AND I SHOULD WORK WITH
THOSE INGREDIENTS TO MAKE
A VERY INTERESTING PAINTING. SO, YOU CAN SEE HERE
I’M USING THE STAMP AGAIN, AND I’M USING A MOTTLED FORM
OF THE BASKETBALL AS WELL AS GRAPHIC FLAT FORM. AND THIS OTHER LITTLE ADDITION
THAT YOU SEE, THESE WAVY MARKS HERE ARE
NETTING THAT I’VE BEEN USING — BASKETBALL NETTING. THIS ONE HERE,
I USED FOR THIS PATTERN, WHICH IS A LOT SOFTER
AND A LITTLE BIT MORE FLUID. AND I THINK THAT IT HAS
KIND OF MORE OF A GENTLE IMAGE. AND THEN THIS ONE,
WHICH IS MADE OUT OF CHAINS — THIS IS REAL CHAIN NETTING. AND YOU CAN SEE HOW
THEY’RE SMALLER AND TIGHTER, AND THEY CREATE A DIFFERENT
KIND OF TEXTURAL IMAGE. I-I THINK THIS ONE SEEMS TO BE
A LITTLE BIT MORE AGGRESSIVE, VISUALLY, FOR ME. WHEN IT COMES
TO ORCHESTRATING ALL THESE DIFFERENT
SENSIBILITIES, I HAVE TO TUNE INTO THEM. THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT
MOOD SHIFTS IN ME WHEN I’M CREATING THIS. ULTIMATELY, I FEEL LIKE
ONCE THE PAINTING IS CONSTRUCTED AND ITS MOVING
IN A GREAT DIRECTION, IT PULLS ME, THE ARTIST,
INTO IT. AND I THINK MOST ARTISTS
DON’T REALLY CHOOSE THEIR WORK. I THINK ART CHOOSES THE ARTIST. [email protected][email protected]! SO FOR ME, THE SPACE PROGRAM
IN GENERAL, FROM THE ’60s, STIRRED UP CONCEPTS
FOR MY OWN SENSE OF NARRATIVE. SO, WHAT I HAD TAKEN
WERE AFRICAN AMERICANS AND PUT THEM IN ASTRONAUT SUITS
SO THAT THEY CAN FIND A DIFFERENT SENSE OF SELF
AND LOCATION FROM WHAT I CONSIDER
A HISTORICAL HOMELESSNESS. HISTORICAL HOMELESSNESS, WHEN IT COMES TO
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE, STARTS FROM SLAVERY. IT’S THAT RUPTURE THAT OCCURRED
DURING THAT TIME WHICH SET AFRICAN AMERICANS
APART FROM THEIR IDENTITY AND THEIR CULTURE
AND THEIR LANGUAGE. FOR ME, THAT’S A HISTORICAL
STATE OF HOMELESSNESS — THAT YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING
TO REFLECT ON TO BECOME WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND TO THRIVE
FROM THAT UNDERSTANDING. SO, THIS CHARACTER HERE IS A,
UH — A STEREOTYPE IMAGE OF
AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHARACTER, BUT HE’S SMILING, YOU KNOW? AND THE QUESTION IS,
WHAT IS HE SO HAPPY ABOUT? WHY ARE THEY SO SMILEY
AND HAPPY? WHY IS AUNT JEMIMA SEEMINGLY,
LIKE, IN THE GOOD SPIRITS? LIKE, IT JUST DIDN’T MAKE SENSE
TO THE HISTORY. AND AS I LOOKED FURTHER INTO IT, THAT IT LOOKED LIKE THERE WAS
SOMETHING BEING COVERED UP. AND SO
WHAT WOULD BE COVERED UP? WHAT’S THE TRUTH
THAT WAS COVERED UP? WELL, THERE WAS CONDITIONS
THAT WERE SO HARSH AND EMOTIONALLY DAMAGING
THAT IT’S A TRAUMATIC STATE. AND SO,
THIS NOTION OF TRAUMA ALWAYS GOES WITH
SOME OF THESE CHARACTERS, BECAUSE IT’S PART
OF THEIR CONDITIONING. AND SOME OF THE NARRATIVE IS
TRYING TO WORK SOME OF IT OUT. IT’S THE KIND OF THERAPY
THEY DIDN’T GET. [email protected][email protected]! I THINK PERSPECTIVES
CAN BE SHIFTED THROUGH ANYTHING
THAT’S DONE WELL, AND I THINK THAT’S ALL WE GOT
IN THE WORLD. THERE ARE THINGS
THAT ARE ARTICULATED TO A POINT OF BEING TRANSFORMED. [email protected][email protected]!

local_offerevent_note January 14, 2020

account_box Matthew Anderson


local_offer

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