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December 01, 2006

Chris Dorland Interview - Part 2

I hope everyone enjoyed the insightful thoughts from painter Chris Dorland in Part 1, here's Part 2.

Oh.. and for all those young pushy,opportunistic "enterprising" artists who emailed me asking to be the focus of a MAO Artist Interview.. please take a number.. and you've got to satisfy AT LEAST ONE of 3 requirements....

  1. Be the chosen focus artist of a major American Contemporary Art Fair
  2. Have your work featured on the cover of a significant national art publication
  3. Make an appreciative art donation to the MAO Family Private Art Collection (which reminds me, Chris, I need to talk to you.... )

MAO Q5: Last year, your work was on the cover of the Nov/Dec Issue of Art Papers, and you were the featured artist at the ~Scope Miami Art Fair 2005. That's a lot of attention for a young artist, has it had any impact on your life and artwork?

C. Dorland A5 : Well it’s made me more ambitious with my work. That’s for sure. It’s a very powerful thing to have people believe in you. But other than that my life has not changed. I’m not Chris_dorland_untitled_whiteheat driving a Benz or anything. And that’s a good thing. I’ve been extremely fortunate with my career so far. My success in the world and my successes in the studio have developed organically alongside each other. That’s been a tremendous gift and I’m extremely grateful for that. (photo #1,Untitled (white heat), 2006,oil on linen,44"x66")

MAO Q6: How is the new work in this show different than "The Crystal World" show you had in 2005 ?

C. Dorland A6 : It's better.

MAO Q7: Do you work mostly with B&W photo's? In many of your paintings you have used strong acid toned colors, with ominous toxic glowing horizons. They all have a Sci-Fi feel, it's probably one of the strongest characteristic which immediately identify a painting as a "Dorland." Why have you chosen this signature palette?

C. Dorland A7 : I’ve never intended to have a signature palette or look. Perhaps I do but it’s not something I’ve aimed for. It would be the by-product of something else. Not an end in of itself. (Photo #2, Untitled 2006,ink/enamel/color mylar/photocollage on paper,30x40)

Chris_dorland_untitled_photocollage I work from both color and black and white sources. They each have their own specific qualities. For this body of work I tried to give each piece it’s own distinct color saturation. Most of the works are duo-chromatic. Each painting has it’s own color logic. I try to avoid decorative choices. I can’t just put a blue next to a yellow because it looks good. Instead I set up a restraint: like for instance the color yellow, it’s a given and a constraint. Then I do my best to work around the limitation it imposes. So even though each painting has one or two overwhelming colors, I try to break it up and use other colors to subvert or complement the dominant ones. But it takes time to see the other colors. It’s a slow burn 8.

MAO Q8 : In your new work as well as your last show, these rotunda's and plaza's have no clear people, with no faces or identity. The occupants seem to move and melt into your utopian landscapes. Why? Are you making a specific political statement, or do you have a specific social message you want to express?

C. Dorland A8 : Dedicating one’s life to making objects of little practical use is itself a political act. I am completely engaged with the world I live in.  What I make is a direct response to my dreams and disappointments. But I don’t have any clear political agenda or position. I don’t draw the line. It’s not my job. Activists and politicians do that. Artists observe. We are more like philosophers in that sense. My goal is to find ways of creating meaning out of seemingly irreconcilable contradictions.

MAO Q9: Many artists get inspiration from their friendships, cities, private lives and environments. Impressionist painters were inspired by Paris, Warhol from US Mass Media, Nan Goldin from her friends in the Village, Edward Hopper from his wife & Cape Cod, etc.. You now live in NYC, the home of museums, galleries, grand architecture, and tons of colorful people. What from your life here (people, places, hangouts) has inspired your work?

C. Dorland A9  : I live in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a dead end dirt road. I try to do good things. I listen to music all day. Richard Prince said that. Most days that’s how I feel. I like the Chris_dorland_untitled_color_mylar Internet. I like driving at night. I had dinner on the 72nd floor of the Time Warner Building but the battery on my camera died. Nothing is more inspiring than sunsets and rainy days. Sometimes they can be so beautiful it hurts and I don’t really know what to do with all that feeling. My friends and I like to go to a go-go bar in Queens called the Mermaid. (Photo #3, Untitled 2006
ink/enamel/color mylar/photocollage on paper,30x40)

Chris Thank You very much.

For everyone.. Chris Dorland.. he's one young artist who's keeping the tradition of Contemporary American Painting alive and well in NYC, keep your eye on him.

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You forgot #4: Be hanging in your apartment....


Hey MAO.. I think your right...
It certianly does look like Mr. Dorland's in one artist to watch. I like his hyper strong colors for these urban landscapes, it's already a great body of work. Very cool! Thanks.

Great paintings.. I hope to see some in person one day!
Maybe in a MAO Museum!!

Hey Kenny..
Oh.. You're right... your #4 is always another way to get a MAO Artist interview :-)

See you guys in MIAMI!

Thanks for sharing the interview, MAO. Hope you'll do others soon!

I've liked Dorland's work ever since I saw it in the 2004 Queens International, but did anyone else find that Art Papers article nearly totally incomprehensible?

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