Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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RAMOS: Hi Sherman, thank you for joining me
SHERMAN: thanks for having me
RAMOS: yes you are right... i just got the names confused
i really like Williams work
did you know of her before you saw this piece or did run into the piece and then heard of her
SHERMAN: me too. i had been looking at her work the last 2 years at Basel and when i saw this piece i couldn't say no.
it had so much more depth and the colors in person are amazing
RAMOS: i agree... the different scales of brush strokes, from blurs to a very refined line creating drawing-like images, are very joyful and almost whimsical
SHERMAN: yes! and the lines are so precise. its really a beautiful piece of work.
RAMOS: yes. .. the baby blue in contrast to the the lines feel like a horizon, a sort of background to this whirlwind
i enjoy the visual narrative
SHERMAN: i collect another artist named Friedrich Kunath who also does these surreal drawings throughout his work and so when Sue had added this dimension to the pieces this year it brought a smile to my face because i have always loved the way she paints. I love the loafer in the middle of the painting.
RAMOS: yes it also reminds me a little of Cecily Brown's work
Williams is somewhere in between Kunath and Brown
Kunath is a bit more figurative
but i see that juxtaposition of line-work and painting that also appears in Williams' work
RAMOS: Nina Beier's piece is very different
Allegory of Peace and Happiness of the State, 2015
Ceramic cup, cofee beans, resin, wood and metal
12 2/3 x 22 x 19 2/3 in.
SHERMAN: Nina's piece is so clever. its a sculpture made of coffee beans being poured onto the floor by a coffee cup.
i like that theres a bit of awkwardness to her work
SHERMAN: Yeah she tends to mix things up which i like. The first time i saw her work she had made the framed paintings from different fabrics.
I love coffee and could think of nothing better for my kitchen than this sculpture.
i found them brilliant. They even smell like espresso
RAMOS: haha awesome
so this piece was location specific
as opposed to William's piece
SHERMAN: correct. I also love the gallery Standard(OSLO), i think they have one of the best programs.
Williams was a I can't walk away from this decision. Big different in price but equal love for the both.
RAMOS: right... Williams is more conventional in it's beauty, at least only in comparison to Beier which has a very subtle and ingenious touch of impossibility and reality that work very well together
i too enjoyed meeting Gilda from Standard - hoping to get her in a conversation soon
SHERMAN: She's fantastic
so tell me about the Jonathan Gardner piece you bought
because it seems like a bit of a curve ball
Reading Room, 2015
Oil on linen
56 x 36 in.
SHERMAN: I love tennis as you know. And I saw this painting at Sadie Coles of these women playing tennis and it was Jonathan Gardner. I then researched his work online and saw that he worked under Jim Nutt whose work I liked. Almost like a sims game version of Picasso.
Anyway, I'd put Gardner on my radar and I was having lunch with a good friend of mine named Casey Kaplan who has a gallery in NYC and mentioned to him I really like this guys work. He paused and smiled and said "that's so strange because I'm going to represent him" which then made me smile because I knew right then I would be able to own a piece of his work.
there are hits of those DNAs there for me
but i definitely see the sims version of Picasso
SHERMAN: His attention to details is fascinating. The way he paints a women gives her body life on the canvas. Pretty amazing.
RAMOS: yes i like the two-dimensionality to the composition (hence Matisse)
everything works on the same plane
SHERMAN: Def uses Matisse and Magritte references.
RAMOS: some of the facial expressions in other works have a Modigliani-sh sort of stare
and the boobs for some reason remind me of Botero
You know your art history.
RAMOS: although this particular piece has no face and no boobs...
this piece seems scholarly
as if sitting at school dreaming of my nightstand and what i get to wear later at night
SHERMAN: I know.
RAMOS: so i love the way you love the work you purchase
and how you don't set strict standards in terms of typologies
SHERMAN: No I've always bought with my eyes and not with my ears.
If I like an artist I buy that artist. That's what I love about my collection.
RAMOS: is that what it feels like?
when you own a piece... does it feel like you own a bit of a person?
i never thought of it that way
SHERMAN: Absolutely in fact I'm a big fan of meeting the artists I collect because I have a piece of that person in my house and I'm big on energy so I like to know there is positive energy in the painting when I bring it into my house.
I've become good friends with several of the artists I collect and they are all amazing people in their day to day lives as well
RAMOS: i'll tell you this... as an artist, i've never thought of my work as a piece of me, in fact i am quite detached from them as they seem more like a piece of my intellect, at least the more recent things
but it is refreshing to think that way
and makes me want to put more soul into it
SHERMAN: Well I think now a days people sell art when they buy it so much you have to probably detach from it when it leaves your studio. But for me as a collector and I've only really been collecting for the last 5 years I want to make sure I live with and enjoy the art I buy. I've never bought art to make money off it. That is never my intention. I buy art to give my house life and joy to those who come over and say wow that's amazing whose that artist and it brings up good conversation.
In my professional life I am a Producer, and I look at first time directors a lot and it's funny how I never noticed until now that I probably do that with art as well. I like to buy young artists as if I'm making their first film in the hopes of continuing to make movies with them for the remainder of our lives.