“Geometric Abstraction” Robert Perlman

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios along with  images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Geometric Abstraction” opens February 21, 2015 and runs through March 28, 2015.   The artists included in the exhibition are David Brody, Robert Perlman, Chris Watts.

Artist Interview #2: Robert Perlman


1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I’m a full time graphic artist, i.e. graphic designer for 50 years. That has been the proverbial day job. While I’m mostly retired, I continue to accept a modest number of design projects.

 2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I identify as an applied artist. That I also had a committed fine art side was simply an unceremonious, yet necessary complement to a very challenging design profession.

3. What are your influences?

There are innumerable influences. Certainly my first 35 years in New York City exposed me not only to a vibrant gallery and museum milieu, but also an urban environment whose sheer physical and visual character cannot be overstated as a formative agent. A second influence acknowledges the multitude of early Modernist, Abstract Expressionist, and Post Painterly Abstractionist artists whose work may have been helpful in my development. Of note are a few of my favorites: Serge Poliakoff, Nicolas de Stael, Kenzo Okada, and Richard Diebenkorn. A third influence is the planar, two-dimensional vocabulary of the graphic design profession, in which I was gainfully ensconced for decades.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My studio is the attic of my Seattle home. It’s about 350 square feet and comprises a painting, sculpture, graphic design and bookkeeping area. Moreover, it’s the family’s miscellaneous storage facility. On the north, gabled end we installed a large window to augment the artificial light in the painting area. In the roof we installed three small skylights to brighten the entire space.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

Mostly, I work in multiple sessions with other activities intervening. The interruptions afford fresh assessment when returning to the work, which can otherwise get bogged down. I sometimes listen to music and/or radio, but just as often to nothing.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

My preferred medium is acrylics. I work on paper to facilitate storage of completed paintings. I don’t have adequate space to store stretched canvases. I work on one painting at a time, but I do work simultaneously on exploratory drawings.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Generally, there are two ways I can start a painting. One is to draw or paint directly on my sheet, the other is to enlarge and transfer an existing drawing to the sheet. Of late, I’ve been employing the latter. At this time however, I’m not sure which makes for a better result.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

Aside from the everyday household, meal preparation, and bookkeeping activities that we all perform, I have a regular, classical piano practice regime that I engage in daily. Also, I work out at a gym five days a week.

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