Cleveland Institute of Art: Alumni Profile – Dana Schutz

Cleveland Institute of Art: Alumni Profile – Dana Schutz


[music playing] I remember first visiting
CIA and I was just amazed by the facilities. I was painting when
I was in high school. And I just felt like this
would be an amazing place to make work. The first time I showed
work in New York, it was at PS1, which
is a contemporary art museum in Queens. The director of the museum
went through each painting and she was like,
this is horrible. This is terrible. She’s like, you must be the
worst painter I’ve ever met. And I was just like, thank you. What was up at that
time was, you know, there was a lot
of paintings that were made with very
glossy enamel paint, things were very hard edged. There was subjects that
were like photo based or about globalism
or architecture. And my paintings were not
about any of these things. And they were like
lumpy and garish. And it was really clear to me
that these were like different. And I just thought well,
OK, well that’s why. A good day in the
studio is usually when you’re surprised,
where you’re leaving the piece in
a way where you’re excited to come back to it. A bad day in the studio one
is when you get in there and you have really high hopes
and you don’t get anything done and it’s horrible. At least then it’s so bad
that it can only get better. I think that it’s important
for artists to live in a place that they feel excited by. I think community is really
important, like working around other artists. It’s how you share ideas,
get honest opinions. You get energy from the
people you work around. I don’t paint for
a general audience. I don’t think I
could ever do that. Like I could paint for
person, imagined or real. But I could never– I never paint for
a general audience. I think that you just have to
find meaning in what you do, make the work that you
feel an urgency towards, and do the thing that
you can’t help doing. [music playing]

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