Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Interview with the artist as a middle aged man

In a first for this blog I, Dr. Monkey, have landed an interview with Steve Denton, an internationally known self taught artist. 

Dr. M:  So, Steve, thanks for sitting down and talking to me about your art.
Steve: It's my pleasure.  Thanks for the opportunity to plug my work.
Dr. M: When did you start making art?
Steve: I've been around art all my life.  My late father was an artist, as was his brother, my late Uncle Curt.  Both of them were technically very good artists, but both of them were afraid to make original art, they both stuck mainly to making copies of others works.  My father loved copying Van Gogh and some of the Pointillists.  Uncle Curt copied animals and landscapes out of instructional manuals.  I have a brother who makes art as well, he paints and draws houses, naked people having sex, and other prosaic stuff, it's not my kind of art but I guess someone likes it, even if it's only him.  Anyhoo, I began actually making my own art in 1999.
Dr. M: What spurred that on?
Steve: We, my girlfriend and I, were on our way back from the beach in Delaware and we had stopped to stay the night in Durham, NC and I bought some art magazines and I saw the kind of stuff that others were making, so I decided to give it a try when I got home.  Some of that first stuff was just awful and it's been thrown away, but some of it I liked so I kept it.  I made a bunch of stuff, then I slacked off when I changed jobs but I started making art again after my heart attack.  Then we geared up to sell our old condo and I stopped making art for a few years but then a Facebook thing was going around where you make something by hand and give it to people and that got me back into making art.
Dr. M: What kinds of art do you make? 
Steve:  I do mixed media works on plywood and canvas.  I also do linocuts and collages.  I use my own drawings and I use portions of copies of other things.  I incorporate inks, paint, and other things in my art as well.
Dr. M: Are there themes that run through your work?
Steve: Mainly the themes of pattern and repetition.  I like both.  And bold vivid color.
Dr. M: Anything else?
Steve: I like to use pages out of old reference books and other vintage publications in my art.  What I'm trying to do, with the bigger pieces anyway, is to put people in mind of the ancient cave paintings.  I want to get back to the primal images that were painted on cave walls, so for me the way I do that is to draw on, or use cut outs from old books, which are our cave walls so to speak.
Dr. M: Your bigger works are spare but they have a lot going on in them as well.
Steve:  Yes.  I prefer simple clean lines and then if the work needs it I add circles, drips of color, numbers, words, cutout shapes, or what ever I think it might need.
Dr. M: Are you showing your work anywhere currently?
Steve: Yes.  I'm online on Facebook, my various blogs, I'm on Society 6, and I'm in a gallery in Asheville, NC.  The name of the gallery is ZaPow! Gallery and it's downtown in Asheville.
Dr. M: Very cool.  Well, that's all we have time for, thanks for your time.
Steve: Thank you.  It's been a pleasure talking to you.  You're quite the good interviewer.
Dr. M: You're a good interviewee.  And you're quite handsome as well.
Steve: You're not so bad yourself Monkey.  I'll see ya.
Dr. Monkey: Not if I see you first!
Steve: Boo ya! 


Caffeinated Joe said...

Sounds like an interesting artist!

steverse said...

I love this, of course. As an owner of some of the select Denton art work, reading any mention only increases the value. I must say there were times during the interview when Dr. M. appeared to ingratiate himself with the artist. Extraordinarily handsome men, including myself, sometimes tire (not always) of the (credible, justified) praise directed at us. Curry favor is you must.

Kim Hambric said...

One day soon, when you are famous, this interview will go viral.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Denton's linocuts are the bomb!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Two amazing minds (and handsome men) in the same room! What a find!