Emerging Selection 2011: US artist Richard Kurtz


Born in New Mexico
Lives and works in New Mexico

His website: https://www.richardkurtz.com
Biography: https://www.richardkurtz.com/biography

Very interesting artist who works with the same relationship with his art that Jean Michel Basquiat used to have with his art. He is sincerely amazed, genuinely fascinated by the art he produces. The art he produces is far above him, it shows to him the path to take when for lots of artists this is the opposite, the artist tends to control everything.



POCKET ART SERIES  acrylic on credit card  – courtesy the artist
Richard KURTZ Interview par Beatrice Chassepot

You say When I was thirteen Muhammed Ali was my Hero. He spoke his truth. I saw him walking on the boardwalk in Atlantic City in 1968. His Boxing title had been stripped from him. He walked the planks of the boardwalk with integrity. The boxer series for me serves as a metaphor to focus. The image of the boxer is my way of dealing with my demons…a constant fight to remain conscious and present. Are you a boxer yourself?  If yes at a good level? Can you tell us the reason(s) you jumped in making Art? Is there a specific reason, because when I look at your art it is like a diary?

Richad KURTZ:
My art functions as a personal diary of sorts, and I found the image of the boxer to be a rich autobiographical subject.  The boxer is totally conscious, totally present, dancing with the problems before him.  In my boxing series, the boxer is my protagonist, my speaker.  I interact through the boxer, responding to the boxing ring of life around me, reflecting on the many strong fighters opposing my mind, my peace.

BCh: Can you describe and tell us about the mini art in the “pocket art series”

Richad KURTZ: The pocket art paintings came about for a number of reasons.  Practically speaking, the surfaces; hotel key cards, gift cards, expired credit cards, are abundant, easy to find.  I was painting in a small studio, and found that I could work on the pocket pieces just about anywhere.  I also see the system that produces these cards as a boxing opponent.  Many fighters fall to consumer culture.

I also enjoyed the portability.  When someone asked me what kinds of paintings I did, I could produce them immediately from my pocket and start a dialog instead of relying on words and explanations.  Since the art is portable, it can easily be spread out into the world.  This gives me great satisfaction, people holding an original work of mine in the palm of their hand.

BCh: You paint also inside luxury boxes from Cartier, Hermès and so on, please tell us more

Richad KURTZ: Recycling these objects, transforming them into something beautiful, valuable, is important to me also.  I found a Cartier box and enjoyed working with it.  While in Miami, I worked on a series of paintings inside cigar boxes I found in Little Havana.  Art does not need to be limited to canvas.  In the boxing match, life, all surfaces are the canvas.

BCh: You say about boxing (…)It is the Fight for our Souls…the last vestiges of Freedom on the planet (…) Do you feel boxing is a a recurrent theme you can develop for your art like forever?

Richad KURTZ: I enjoy training in boxing gyms.  The atmosphere makes sense to me there.  I like the sound of jumping rope, the tools of the boxing trade around me.  It helps me feel totally present, connected to my body.  It keeps me fresh, alert, alive.

While the substance of the boxing series is something very important to my art in general, I have been working on new ideas.  The boxers serve as a strong foundation for me to leap from.  I never plan to stop growing as an artist.

Los Angeles/NY, December 21th 2011