March 15, 2013
7 QUESTIONS: Marc Trujillo
We asked Marc Trujillo the following 7 questions because we think he's a good artist and we really wanted to hear his answers. Marc's work was recently exhibited at the Armory Show via Hirschl & Adler Modern. He will also be featured in an upcoming group show in Culver City this May (more details soon). Those interested in seeing more of Marc's work can contact Shelley Farmer, Director at Hirschl & Adler Modern. (Image above: Marc Trujillo, 6351 Sepulveda Boulevard, 2012, oil on polyester over panel, 38 x 47 inches)
1. What is your connection to Los Angeles?
I'm from New Mexico so LA was a trip we always made when I was growing up. I like living here, the west makes sense to me and I like open spaces in my paintings.
2. Name a living painter that you admire.
Rackstraw Downes - Rigorous, with an area of investigation he's defined for himself that seems natural, satisfying and open ended - and I really enjoy looking at his work.
3. Name a dead painter that you admire.
Velazquez - Crushingly talented - he articulates complicated structures with a simplicity that comes from thorough understanding - visually his concision is like what Hemingway talks about when he says you can only leave out what you know. You can look at Velazquez paintings over his life and see his coming into contact with influences, you can tell when he went to Italy and saw Titian for example, his brushwork opens up but he never looks like an imitator. He was able to absorb and synthesize whatever influences he came in contact with.
4. How much did you sell your first painting for?
$400 - 1990.
5. Of the paintings you have made, which is your favorite?
The best answer to this question is Duke Ellington's - "It's always the next one."
6. LACMA, MOCA, Getty, or Hammer?
Getty - I have friends there like Sue Ann Chui who works in the painting conservation studios so I get to go back into the studios and see what they're working on - always a treat! MOCA is less without Paul Schimmel, LACMA is ok but they recently de-acquisitioned a Ter Borsch which was given to them as a gift in the forties which I think is a shame and I have to get over to the Hammer to see Lynn Foulkes' show.
7. Why make paintings?
Delacroix said that we work not only to produce but to give value to time, and I think that's beautiful and that the truth is actually a little more than that. I think we make ourselves when we make things - they come to define us, so in a way the paintings I'm making are making me in turn. If you're asking why painting as opposed to something else I would say that painting is a form as opposed to being a medium, meaning that it means something inherently different to make a painting than to make a film or a song or a comic.
I make paintings in an old way, I start with a lot of drawings to define what my visual motive is for the painting I want to make, which is important to me because the visual has primacy in painting so I need to have a reason that it needs to be a painting. From the drawing I start underpainting in what the 17th Century Dutch would call a dead color layer, raw umber and white with a little black. The reason I'm bringing up process is that I make paintings that are a long, slow, historically informed look at parts of the world we've made for ourselves that are made to be looked at very quickly or not at all.