Welcome back to the second part of: Meet Artist James G. Fischetti. We’ll open the interview with some of his work, then get right to the questions. ;)
(INM) When we visited your website, we we’re amazed at the many kinds of art your currently into. You seem to venture outside the mainstream & have many different avenues.
a.) tell us a little about each.
b.) which is your favorite to do.
(JGF) Although my preference is painting, the mediums I may use can be endless. I have sometimes referred to myself as having caveman technique, which gets summoned using a lot of raw emotion and relying very little on technique that, although could make my job easier, tends to force me to be more conscious throughout the experience which is not necessarily what I’m looking for.
(JGF) I have very little formal training and preferred to study on my own. Working with the development of non/techniques I have found new ways of communicating my ideas; many times these progressions are based on my experimentation with new materials. Any and all materials are fair game. Outside of painting I have dedicated a big part of my life to music.
(JGF) This is something that I utilize all of the methods I employ as a painter. Being a visual artist taught me to be an intuitive musician. In some ways, the act of improvising as a musician has an added incentive in that the energy released, has the capability to bounce back to me from the other musicians that happen to be involved. I don’t see these mediums as being entirely different. In music I am searching for sonic elements and dynamics that parallel the dynamics of color and texture that I utilize in painting. I believe the potential that music can have has barely been touched upon in our lifetime. Once we can break away from our conventions that we so tightly grip to, we will see that there are other languages available to us that can transform our experience and elevate the species. I hope I live long enough to see that.
(INM) Computers seem to be a tool used in your art. Tell us a bit about that.
(JGF) I use the computer when I’m away from the studio. The machine is essential today for anyone working with photography. I have some real joy working with it because it’s so much easier than working in the darkroom with chemicals. On the other hand some of the joy is taken out. I was doing things organically with photographic emulsion and chemistry almost 20 years ago that rivaled much of what I see today that is considered groundbreaking. I worked in the darkroom for more than 30 years. I really put the time in on manipulating photographs the traditional way which gave me a huge head start when moving into the digital world. Although I enjoy playing around with digital photography, I have a hard time taking it seriously and have very little interest in showing it in a gallery situation. I still prefer the organic quality of the painting materials. I found a middle ground by collaging photography into the paintings.
(INM) My father was a painter and said that it was a way for him to release bottled energy and an overcreative imagination. What & how does art serve you?
(JGF) Your father said it all, really. It is about energy.
(JGF) Not just the energy that we store up inside of us but the energy of the universe that can be tapped into if you take the time to find its sweet spots.
(JGF) I’m one who believes that you are born an artist or you are not. I believe people can use it as a craft to make technical things and some beautiful decorations but usually those people can just as easily let it go to pursue other interests. I think art school is a place only useful for its connections and networking. Art school should be pursued by those who want a career in commercial art or advertising, or to teach kids. To make a contribution to this life of some significance one needs to live it first. It takes a long time to have the maturity of having something to say. Today young people are so eager for quick notoriety, it’s that instant gratification thing. But it shows in the work and I think we have that problem more than ever these days. Some galleries grab some of these artists right out of school and their work often shows that. I think it’s a big mistake but here we are.
(INM) Your paintings are passionate & invoke debate. Least it did in our home. Is your work intended to pass along a message? To bring light to a particular subject or is it simply a reflection of what your imagination created that day?
(JGF) I am attempting to orchestrate and convey what I want to see, what I need to see, what’s not being achieved by many others. I have the utmost respect for those who have paved the way for us and somehow feel the need to make a contribution that can honor that. I am trying to tap into the unconscious. I am trying above all to achieve the impossible. This is the only adequate goal I can hope to strive for. To consciously try to achieve what I know cannot be achieved, but along the way uncover some clues. This is what is exciting for me. All the rest I feel is the ego looking for acknowledgement.
(INM) The worlds changing every second. How do you see art changing in the future? Where do you see it taking us in this digital age of technology?
(JGF) Early on I had a strong connection with cultures other than my own and I really jumped into that with all my energy. Today I realize I need my work to transcend culture to speak of what is humanity. The work that satisfies me the most today implies some global, cultural feeling without outright saying it. In other words, without using actual symbols or motifs used in non-western cultures but giving the feeling of these influences in a subconscious way. This I see as a development toward the future of art. The artist speaking as pure nature by tapping into the larger consciousness.
(INM) Tell us some names of artists, such as yourself, who we should be looking out for. Modern day art warriors who are influencing the world as we know it & taking art to new places.
(JGF) Of course that is very difficult when there is so much out there to experience. I have had the great fortune to forge a long term alliance with my favorite painter that’s working today, Ouattara Watts. Close to 20 years ago I met him by chance on the subway the day after seeing his work which completely changed my perception regarding what painting was capable of. This grew into a long and fruitful friendship that continues to be a source of inspiration to this day. He has schooled me to the many mysteries of the elusive art world and warned me early on the many of its shrouded trappings. I am extremely fortunate to have this deep friendship because it’s important for anyone trying to jump into the void to have at least one person to talk to about it each time they make it back. Even with this, the artists’ lot is certainly a solitary one.
(JGF) I think anyone who attempts to delve into the world of the artist is doing themselves and everyone who looks at what they are doing a disservice by not finding out as much as they can about those who came before us. Most people evolving in contemporary western society often has way too many distractions and influences to bypass knowing this history. I see it all as a giant art history puzzle that’s intertwined with our political history, if there are missing pieces it will be hard to have a firm grasp at what’s going on and how to take the next step.
(INM) Its feeling as though the Art community is tightly woven and closed off to outsiders. There is a shared view that art has become entirely too pretentious. Although the artists themselves seem to be the exact opposite, very humble & all about how it makes each individual feel. What do you think about this and do you see a lot of this where you live and in the artistic community?
(JGF) Yes, of course! I live in New York and you can’t walk very far without encountering people like that. It shouldn’t matter if someone is talking about art or they are talking about grapefruits. There is no excuse for this kind of rude behavior. This is the world we live in. We will always encounter people who don’t realize that they are part of you and you are part of them, so they make a knee-jerk reaction that is more of a statement regarding how they wish to be perceived by who they think is important, than any kind of genuine response to what someone may be trying to say. We all thought that at a certain point until we mature to realize that we don’t know. Unfortunately the art world seems to have its share of people who can never connect with you because they have no idea how to listen. Once they stop talking, they will watch your mouth move until it stops so they can continue on where they left off. These are often people who will only listen long enough to find out what you can do for them. On the other hand there are always genuine people out there who share in the joys life has to offer and are a pleasure to be with and exchange ideas regarding the senseless joy of being alive.
(INM) Is there a platform for artists to follow? Are you encouraged to build a platform online or is it wholly different than the literary world.
(JGF) The way it appears to me is that there is no platform. There is no standard. There is no way to get a gallery to sign you unless they get to know you as a person and can identify that you are someone worth investing in. There are politics at work in every field where there is money to be made. Everyone that has the ability to make a decision regarding putting someone’s career into motion has obligations to take care of the people who are in their inner circles. People who they have worked with in some capacity or who was introduced to them by someone they know and respect. Everyone has to not only put the work in but also wait for their turn.
(INM) It’s been a blast looking into the Artistic world of James Fischetti. Tell us what we can expect from you in the future.
(JGF) I can’t tell you what to expect from me in the future because I don’t know what to expect from myself. I can just hope to maintain my health that’s needed to continue forging ahead and honing my work to be ready when it’s my turn.
Thank you James, for stopping by & chatting with us on Two Voices….One Thought. For those that would like leave James a comment & he’ll answer any questions. Thanks!! ;)
Please be sure to visit James’ website & take some time to look at his collection of stunning art.