Saturday, June 21, 2008


I once had a video professor, Howard Fried, who theorized that the reason that all the paintings in the painting department looked the same was that the students bought all their supplies at the school store. No matter what imagery they put on the canvas, the brushes, paints and sizes were all uniform. It was the best observation I ever got from a teacher. So in my early 30's, when I seriously started painting, I remembered Howard's words. There was no way I would do uniform work.
The early Kristan Kohl work was of all sizes- square and rectangular, but mixed up. Some big. Some small. Then, a few years back, I suddenly craved a uniform size. I really don't know why. I wanted the size to be big for an apartment, but still hangable. And I wanted to work in only this size. I came up with 54"X90". This was not a standard 4X8 sheet of plywood....but close. I could reach the middle from both sides and carry relatively easily. They would fit in a pick up and wouldn't take more than a week to complete.
Then I came up with a technique. This sounds easier than it really is. Good techniques are few and far between. It involves scissors, paper, tape, paint and glue. Sort of like kindergarten. That's a good thing. It's calming and basically mindless. Then the last two ingredients are impatience and boredom. I want to get the shit done and if I don't change it up in interesting ways I can't bring myself to fuck with it. So that's it. All my secrets. You can do these paintings for your self. Have fun. I'm thinking of getting into explosives.


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