Cassell Interviews Cassell
Q. Why do you make art?
A. The process is absorbing and there’s a sense of discovery. Making art takes me to a more secluded or even an unknown place in myself. And unlike life, where you can get hit by a car crossing the street, with art the journey is relatively safe.
Q. You qualified that statement with “relatively.” What does that mean?
A. As an artist, you have to be daring. But the end result of a piece can be scary, too. Or, at the least, sometimes a little embarrassing or even trite, when you set out with such serious intentions.
Q. What do you mean?
A. You reveal yourself, your desires, obsessions. Even the use of color can seem risky, since it’s so personal. Of course, sometimes when you create something, you don’t completely recognize it as your own. You wonder where it came from.
Q. You used to be a photographer. How does painting/collage differ from making photographs?
A. The creative work in photography occurs largely in those brief moments when you select what you see around you. So it’s fairly time-limited. Painting is an ongoing process that takes you inward. There’s a continuous dialogue between your head and what you see on the canvas.
Q. What are some of the issues you struggle with as an artist?
A. Whether my technical abilities are up to par. You worry about not being good enough. At the same time, you can worry too much about technical issues to the point where it can cloud what you’re trying to do.
Q. How do you know when a work is finished?
A. Like most artists, you can obsess over whether something is done or not. The answer is, I think, you never really know for sure. Besides, there are many possible “finishes.”
A. On your blog, you comment occasionally on art exhibits. What do you see as the role of the critic?
Q. I think critics/reviewers should try to expand the conversation or discourse which an artist’s works have already begun. Just to grade an artist’s work seems pretty limited to me.