Friday, 8 April 2011

LM Interview: Derek Weisberg- the art of sculptor

London Miles recently had a virtual chat with California based sculptor, Derek Wiesberg. We thought it would be a good idea to share with you just what this truly talented fella has been up to and what makes him create his impressively detailed characters.

1. Your mediums of choice:
My primary medium of choice is clay/ceramics, I have been working with clay for close to 20 years, I guess I fell in love with it as a material early on. However I will make work with whatever material I need to convey my ideas most appropriately.

2. Three words to describe your artwork:
I dont know. . . . . . I guess: Figurative, sculpture, emotive, Humanism, accessible, sensitive, contemplative, spiritual, Damn, sorry thats more then 3 I couldn't do it.

3. What inspires you to create the characters you do? Life inspires me. My world and the world around me, my relationships and experiences. I am interested in depicting human emotions and the human condition. The stylization of the figures is meant to emphasis these emotions, for example the eyes wide set is a way to convey and express ideas of vulnerability, prey and disfunction. Really everything that comes into my eyes, ears, thoughts whatever inspires the work.

4. Are your sculptures individuals, or are they part of a growing family?
All of the above, I usually say they are all self portraits, as I feel most honest when I am making work about my life and the world around me, my thoughts and feelings. However, my family definitely comes into my work and so the work can also take on a kind of growing family. For the past several years I was interested in depicting this kind of "universal man", or "everyday man", but lately the figures have become more individual, not neceassarily specific people, but individual.

5. How old were you when you started sculpting?
When I could hold a fork and had mash potatoes on my plate!

6. How long does one take to complete?
It really varies depending on the piece, and the scale and such, it could be a few hours to a few weeks to do the actual sculpting. But ceramics is such a process based material; you know, sculpt, wait, sculpt more, wait, finish sculpting, wait for the clay to dry, fire the piece, glaze the piece and fire it again, repeat firing if necessary, so really start to finish it takes several weeks.

7. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on a few pieces for an art fair coming up in San Francisco, and also a really big piece for Anno Domini's 10 year anniversary show coming up in the beginning of next year.

8. Which piece of yours is your favourite or one that you are most proud
of? Do you have an image of it?
That is a hard question, there are a lot of works I like, but usually after I have made the piece, I have learned and gotten most of what I will from it and am ready to move onto the next. With that said, The "Olam Haba" installation is one of my favorite things I've done. Also a few of the piece I just finished for my last solo show Auroral Dreaming, "Stares Into Infinity" and "Wreaths Sent Down the River". Also a piece that I really like which you will be showing at London Miles "Give Me a Skull So I Can Remember You". I like those works

9. Where would you like your characters to trave to next?
Maybe New York, Maybe Eastern Europe like Prague or Budapest, Maybe Berlin, all for different reasons and purposes.

10. Favourite music to listen to while working.
Rap music! Good ol' 90's era and really obscure/underground/indie/weirdo rap are my favorites. Classical music as well.

11. Do you work in the day or are you a night owl?
I'm a Lark and an Owl, wake up early, go to sleep late, and work those feathers to the bone the whole time in between.

Visit Derek's Weisberg website and see his complete portfolio:

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