Artist of the Week: Tim Louis Graham

Tim Louis Graham recently received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He currently has a 12 x 12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and will be giving a talk this Tuesday, October 12 at 6pm.

When did your interest in art begin?  When I thought art was about breaking the rules. Now I know there are rules not to break.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say?  My work is about other ways of thinking, connecting thoughts, in-betweens, and affirmation. I would say its not this or that but something of both.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now?  I would like to say my reading, but it is more of a support than influence.  I can never make work from reading but it allows me more space to make work that I would otherwise not be able to understand enough to make.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like?  I think of an idea or a concept I would like to explore and these usually come from an artwork I am envisioning. I call my sister and we jam about it. If the idea is interesting and I think the work will be intriguing I might actually try to make something. I’m not the artist that goes to the studio every day and makes work from work. I will only go if I have a specific idea I want to tryout.

What artists are you interested in right now?  Cerith Wyn Evans, Joe Scanlan, Jimmie Durham, Luc Tuymans, Rodney Graham, and my friend Diego Leclery.

How has your work developed within the past year?  I’m trying to put myself out there more and integrate my background into my artworks. This is manifesting itself through using Colorado landscapes in photos and videos and working with my mom.

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work?  I try to make work that has a strong visual component that anyone can enjoy and I try to make work that has interesting conceptual underpinnings that I can get into and talk about with anyone who wants to.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you?  Luc Tuymans at the MCA, Dan Gunn at Lloyd Dobler, Autumn Ramsey at Julius Caesar, Alice Tippit at Peregrine Program. All amazing shows.

What do you do when you’re not working on art?  I really like to cook, I try to read as much as I can, I like to be outside when the weather is nice.

What is one the bigger challenges you and/or other artists are struggling with these days, and how do you see it developing?  I see artists struggling with the influence, effect, impact, control, sway, hold, power, authority, mastery, domination, supremacy (supremacy?), guidance, direction, and pressure (yes pressure) of the Internet. No matter what type of work you are making, this list (of synonyms I just pulled up for influence) applies in some way.

If you had one wish what would it be?  I would really like to have the work that is in my head just appear before me as I am thinking about it.  But I would like it to be a little better that I could imagine.

What are you really excited about right now?  Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory is amazing. I can’t understand all of it but I feel I agree with many of his insights and views on art.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?  I would really like to go back in time and see Athens all painted up.

Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why?  I visit VVork and Contemporary Art Daily to see whats going on. I look at the Artforum Scene and Herd Diary so I will know what people look like. I’m not very good with the Internet, I don’t know how to RSS, I just get lost. I work on my website a lot, timlouisgraham.com

What were you like in high school?  I was the class clown.

If you hadn’t become an artist, what do you think you’d be doing?  I have no idea. I focused on being an artist and never imagined anything else.

What’s your absolute favorite place in the world to be?  The San Juan Mountains

What are your plans for the next year?  Just keep working.

Any current or upcoming shows we should know about?  My 12×12 at the MCA, {…} is up till the end of October.