- The titles of your pieces are very evocative, often poetic. How important are titles for you in relation to the work?
TITLES ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SO . THE TITLES HAVE AN OBLIQUE RELATIONSHIP TO THE PAINTINGS. THEY DON’T SEEK TO EXPLAIN THE PAINTINGS , BUT RATHER TO RESONATE WITH THE PAINTINGS.
WE KEEP A VERY SIMPLE HANDMADE WOODEN BOX , WHICH I MADE YEARS AGO . IT SAYS ’TITLES’ ON THE SIDE PLANE. IN THIS BOX WE KEEP. SNIPPETS OF POETRY , STREET NAMES, ODD WORDS WE COME ACROSS AND SOMETIMES
A LINE FROM A NOVEL . WE SIMPLY OPEN UP A BOOK BY HEMINGWAY OR HENRY JAMES, CLOSE THE EYES AND POINT TO A SEEMINGLY RANDOM. LINE SOMEWHERE IN THE BOOK. WE MAY PULL THAT LINE
AND USE IT AS A TITLE IF IT IS SUFFICIENTLY OBLIQUE AND POETIC.
THE TITLES MUST SING.
2) Your works are often connected to places - Capri, Majorca, Rome. I know you are a lover of Italy. How does travel influence and inspire your work? And where do you work best?
THE TITLES OF LOCATIONS MAY NOT RELATE TO A SPECIFIC TRIP BUT RATHER WITH THE IMAGINATION AND FANTASY ONE HAS ABOUT CERTAIN LOCATIONS . FOR ME THE FANTASY OFTEN EXCEEDS THE REALITY OF THE LOCATION..
MANY PAINTERS ARE FANTASY DRIVEN /TO CREATE A MORE BEAUTIFUL WORLD THAN THEY WERE BORN INTO. SOMETIMES THE LOCATIONS ARE ACUTAL PLACES WE HAVE VISITED. OTHER TIMES THEY LIVE IN MY MIND.
ITS NOT FOR ME TO SAY HOW TRAVEL INFLUENCES THE PAINTINGS. YOU HAVE TO ASK THE PAINTINGS DIRECTLY.
3) One of the titles for your works is 'Size Does Matter'. Monumentality is often a feature of your work. Do you get a greater buzz from painting on a large scale?
I DO LIKE PAINTING LARGE. THERE IS SOMETHING EXCITING AND ENRICHING ABOUT SPREADING ONES ‘ WINGS AND TRULY FLYING THROUGH THE SPACE OF THE PAINTING.
Gary Komarin, Country Line, 61 cm x 46 cm
Gary Komarin, The Welsh Rider, 61cm x 46cm
4) Beyond visual references, what other art forms inspire you the most - music and literature for instance? I've often wondered if you listen to music whilst you paint?
I ALWAYS LISTEN TO MUSIC : BACH, STING, MOZART, WILLIE NELSON, BEETHOVEN, THE BEATLES , COUNTRY MUSIC AND ANCIENT JAPANESE STRING INSTRUMENTS. MUSIC CARRIES ME AND KEEPS THE OVER THINKING MIND FROM THINKING.
WHEN I AM IN THE ZONE, I AM HARDLY THINKING AT ALL.
THIS IS A GOOD THING
5) Your mentor Philip Guston has praised your courage and ability to take risks in your work. How important is it to keep taking risks as a painter? Even after you become established in your career.
TAKING RISKS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. IT IS………… TO BE HONEST ‘EVERYTHING’. IN THIS WORLD OF PAINTING. ONE MUST ALWAYS WALK THE TIGHTROPE AND WHILE I HAVE MADE MILLIONS ONE MUST BE VERY HUMBLE IN THE STUDIO BEFORE THE PAINTINGS
I SEE MYSELF MORE LIKE A STAGEHAND THAN ANYTHING ELSE. THINKING OF SUCESS WHILE WORKING IS NOT A GOOD PATH. TAKING RISKS CREATIVELY MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO ALLOW THE PAINTING TO FAIL IF THAT IS WHAT THE PAINTING WISHES TO DO
AFTER A WHILE THE PAINTING DEVELOPS A PERSONALITY OF ITS OWN. IT HAS AN INDEPENDENT LIFE AND IT PUSHES BACK ON YOU. THIS IS A GOOD THING.
6) How do you wind down after a day painting in the studio?
I WIND DOWN ALL DAY LONG. I LIVE ON TEN COUNTRY ACRES WITH GREEN ROLLING HILLS , A POND WITH A BABBLING BROOK, A WONDERFUL IN GROUND. POOL, A STUDIO AND GUEST COTTAGE AND SEVERAL BARNS. I CAN GO FROM COTTAGE TO STUDIO TO HOUSE TO A NEW VIEWING BARN
I DON’T THINK OF GOING INTO THE STUDIO LIKE GOING INTO THE OFFICE AND I DON’T LEAVE AT THE END OF THE DAY. RATHER LIKE BREATHING I BREATHE ALL DAY. .THERE IS ALSO SWIMMING AND YOGA AND TENNIS………. OF COURSE AFTER 5 PM , IRISH WHISKEY ARRIVES AT MY FRONT DOOR.
7) What is your next big project? Aside from the upcoming exhibition.
I HAVE A SOLO SHOW COMING UP IN SEOUL KOREA AND WE HAVE AN INSIDE CONTACT IN ABU DHABI WORKING TO GET ME A SHOW AT THE LOUVRE IN ABU DHABI!
WE ARE ALSO WORKING ON THREE OR MORE NEW BOOKS. THESE WILL BE HEFTY COFFEE TABLE STYLE BOOKS, IMAGES AND TEXT AND VERY HANDSOME TO BOOT.
DUKE AND WIGMORE
THE FRENCH WIG