Kurt Herrmann fills us in on his body of work in the Fall '23 Exhibition, "Stellar Spirits".
1. What initially brought you to art?
I’m the youngest of three and my brother and sister were always making art so I emulated them. I just never stopped. There was never a back up plan or a plan B.
2. What imagery has historically interested you and why?
Impossible to answer because there are too many sources of inspiration but I am continuously drawn back to the Greeks. I especially love Minoan art from Crete around 2000 BC. They had a love for the sea and all living creatures. There’s an incredible vitality to all their work that always feels very present.
3. How has your process evolved in the last 5 to 10 years?
Hard to answer but one thing is that I have scaled up the work to a larger size. Especially with the more color oriented work. I like the work larger so it is a more immersive experience. With smaller work ( like watercolor) I like the intimacy of the brush stroke and gesture. But with the larger work I think one can “feel” the color better when it envelopes you on a larger scale.
4. What, or who, has had the most influence on your work?
For me all my influence and inspiration falls under the umbrella of nature. It is endless and ever changing. I live and work in the Appalachian mountains so these mountains and all the bodies of water that surround me are somehow within every piece I make. They are part of me.
5. What has surprised you about your practice?
After a certain point in my development I realized that I really wasn’t getting “better”, but that the work was simply changing and part of the overall journey. I mean the first real body of work I did was in 1994 when I was a student studying in Siberia. I came home from that trip with a series of small watercolors. I think they hold up very well now and also mark a particular time in my life that cannot be replicated. I was 22 and that naiveté can only be had once. The same can be said of the work I am doing now - it is of the moment and also part of the bigger picture. My work is evolving but not necessarily in a straight line up.
6. What is your identity at large? Do you think about this a lot in relation to your art?
I’m a painter. I don’t think about this at all.