Bryan Snyder is CityBeat's creative cover artist this week (click here to read more about his specific piece on our cover).
When Snyder's not making art, he's writing about art at CarlsbadCrawl.com, which means he's good at articulating himself and his ideas. His "About" Q&A on his site is awesomely interesting. The email interview I conducted with him for the cover-artist profile was pretty good, too, so I thought I'd include the full transcript here. Enjoy: ---
Kinsee Morlan: Lots of people have dressed up the Cardiff surfer sculpture. Tell me about your installation and what went into it.
Bryan Synder: The Cardiff Kook Van Gogh installation took about 3 weeks to create. I began with the wardrobe, all which I bought at thrift stores, including a shirt, pants, shoes, hat and pipe. Then I constructed an easel out of wood
with welded rings that slid perfectly over the nose of the surfboard. I painted a canvas of the Kook's view of the nearby intersection in thick impasto brushstrokes and signed it Kook. The painting was attached to the easel. The beard was cut out of a red piece of carpet and attached, with a bandage, to the hat and pipe with wire. A palette was attached to one hand by wire and a paintbrush in the other. I sculpted a life size ear our of chivant clay and painted it the color of the sculpture with a trail of blood and it was set at the base of the Kook along with a birthday card, a bottle of Absinthe with a personalized Van Gogh/Snyder Art label and a bouquet of sunflowers. 7 paper mache and painted life size crows were also scattered around the sculpture and intersection.
The installation began at 3:30am and took about 15 minutes. The entire project was created with a fast installation in mind. 1 assistant and I completed the installation without any confrontations or problems and early morning commuters immediately began stopping for photo opportunities.
KM: What do you think of the sculpture itself and the life it's taken on?
BS: Visually the sculpture is a goof, but what it has developed into is something any community could benefit from. It has become a forum for artistic dialog. It inspires imagination and encourages creativity. Culture is defined as a network of minds and the Cardiff Kook is the stage where these minds are collaborating.
KM: You mentioned on the phone that you have a very specific philosophy when it comes to street art. Tell me more about that (I love this post of yours, by the way, and I think your Sanctioned Street Art Rubric is brilliant).
BS: A variety of art movements have been established through-out art history. We are lucky to be witnessing the most recent movement. The current art movement of street art where artists aren't creating for profit or display in galleries, but offering their art free by placing it in the streets. The ultimate goal of street artists is to show their work, to inspire
analysis and to visually improve the experience of the public commute.
The importance of this current art movement has recently been noticed by those outside of the art scene experienced with the Oscar nominated street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop by the anonymous street artist Banksy, the 'Surfing Madonna' in Encinitas and the ongoing community installation of the 'Cardiff Kook'. We have reached a point where, in many cases, the term "street art" needs to be extracted from the definition of vandalism.
KM: You recently played an interesting game of hide and seek in Carlsbad Village. Can you explain what went on? Who's Doodle?
BS: Doodle is a character I began my love for art with. At the early age of around 10, I began drawing him, though at this time he was nameless, just a doodle on paper or anything else I could draw on. Now 20 years later, after many different styles, mediums and influences, I find myself back where I started. I recently began painting him on cardboard and hiding the paintings in the Carlsbad Village. At this point the term doodle was just a description of a quick burst of creativity, but after people started referring to this character by the name Doodle, it stuck and the character was given an identity. It was a natural evolution and I think the name is very fitting.
I recently had a self promoted solo show in the Carlsbad village titled "Doodle". It was my first introduction of the character and style in my professional art. The show consisted of 20 'Doodle' paintings and 100 reproductions printed on paper and glued to wood blocks. Each wood block was hung on the walls with clues that led to hidden 'Doodle' paintings in the local streets.
The goal of this 'Doodle' art hunt was to encourage urban exploration motivated by art while indirectly promoting local business, friendship and the development of a more artistic culture. My next 'Hide and Go Seek
Doodle' hunt will take place the second week in July in Encinitas. Paintings and clues will be available at the E Street Cafe.
KM: You're also an arts blogger. Has writing about art changed the way you make art?
BS: Carlsbadcrawl.com was created about 3 years ago as a way to help the development of a more artistic culture in Carlsbad. I felt like there was a good amount of artists with lots of talent in Carlsbad, but they rarely showed art due to the lack of any scene or forum for artistic dialog and expression. I decided a local blog with emphasis on art and creativity was the first step towards change.
I am a conceptual artist before a painter, a graphic designer or any other form of visual art. I have always treated the blog as a personal journal documenting my artistic beliefs and observations, but more importantly, I hoped that if local artists saw that I was not scared to publicize what I make and how I feel, that other artists would do the same. The art I create has always stemmed from one idea. I choose whatever medium (canvas, Cardiff Kook, or wall) to get that idea out. Since the start of the blog, I have created the same way, but with the additional goal of encouraging others to do the same, ultimately creating a more artistic and nourishing culture within Carlsbad.