Artist of the Week: Julian Lorber

Julian Lorber received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. He lives and works in New York and has been featured in White Hot Magazine, Studio Visit Magazine and interviewed in NY Arts Magazine.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.  I’m from upstate New York. I currently have a studio in Brooklyn where I do my work.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? For my recent paintings, I was interested in the visual effects and traces of street art, murals, graffiti writing and how materials such as soot builds up in urban centers and interior spaces. I liked how these materials sit when controlled on a surface and began creating my own surfaces, mixing media and putting together my own visual architecture to use colors and catch light.

How has your work developed within the past year? I was working on larger work. I was painting big canvases and drawing over them with my own combinations of inks and other drawing media.  I wanted to do something new with painting and my friend, painter Chris Jehly who also teaches drawing at Columbia University gave me some constructive feedback. Through hanging around each other’s studios and just having an artist dialogue, which is so necessary for artists, he pushed me to ask myself the questions about painting that I really wanted to answer. I’ve now made something I like and is worth looking at because it has caught up with the questions and concepts I’m into.

If you hadn’t become an artist what do you think you’d be doing? Maybe something with the web. Digital platforms are a new terrain for the arts and will increasingly become more important for the posterity on an international level. I shoot and edit video so documentary videography is a possibility. I also enjoy curating, buying art, and building interior spaces in new, functional and clever ways. I play guitar, bass and piano so maybe music.

Favorite music? I have a lot of favorites. Today I turned up Phantogram, Eyelid Movies and Nightlife.

What are your thoughts about the art scene in New York? Currently I have a studio in Bushwick, a neighborhood of Brooklyn that’s gained a lot of attention because of the number of artists working there. Bushwick has a huge public open studio every June. It’s great to be near so much art and so many artists. If you’re lucky, you have a good community of friends that make you aware of objective challenges and opportunities.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? I went to Chris Jehly’s show at Baang and Burne Contemporary. Paintings that I had watched develop in his studio over the course of a year were hung in a gallery. It had a lot of presence and looked really strong. Jen Hitchings show at the Sunset Surf Club featured her new paintings that I wish I could take home all.  Although I missed Bret Slater’s show at Elaine Levy Project, I wanted to be there to see his new paintings in person. I’m looking forward to Devon Dunhill Clapp’s upcoming show at et al Projects. I got a sneak peek at a couple works in progress and they were shocking.

What are your plans for the next year? I may be doing some artist residencies. I also intend to exhibit internationally. New opportunities to show and create a dialogue with people is exciting. I will also be doing more murals and public art.

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? I hope I’ve started a dialogue that people would like to respond to and share on multiple platforms, so more people will view my artwork.