1xRun Thru Interview
Signal Flare + Original Artwork by Adam Caldwell
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Adam Caldwell: This is a painting of one of my favorite models, Victoria. I painted her in front of a vintage photo of a railway signal man swinging a lantern at night. He’s sending information to the conductor of the train by moving the light in different patterns. There are also elements from an architectural model, a receding yellow fire hose, and some backwards 50’s ad copy.
1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Adam Caldwell: This was one of a series I did for a show at Thinkspace gallery in July 2013 called “New Generation” with Ekundayo and Joram Roukes. I used ad copy, historical photos, and female figures as elements in most of the pieces.
1xRUN: When was this piece created and with what materials?
Adam Caldwell: This piece was created in early summer 2013 using oil on stretched canvas.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Adam Caldwell: I did a photo shoot a few months before with ace photographer Shaun Roberts. I had tons of great reference to choose from and this pose really caught my eye. Its simple and kind of monumental and statue-like. Then having the swirling lights behind and the strong perspective lines helped frame the pose and add some depth.
I also loved glazing the colors on her tattoo’s over her fleshtones!
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Adam Caldwell: 10 days or so.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece compared to some of your other work?
Adam Caldwell: It’s a bit simpler than most of my compositions. The figure is really centered as well. I usually push for a more asymmetrical placement. I like how it came out.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Adam Caldwell: It looks good on a wall.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Adam Caldwell: BOOM!
1xRun: Along with Signal Flare we have a few pieces of original artwork, give us the lowdown on some of these pieces, were they created fairly recently?
Adam Caldwell: Most were created in the last two years. These paintings were mostly done from live models. I usually paint from photographs and find that without constantly working from life I get lazy and sloppy. Each one was then taken to my studio and altered somewhat. Some have the measuring marks under the painting reapplied on top, Some have obscured heads or limbs. I find that if the surface of a piece is too transparent, if the depth is too realistic, I get bored. Most of my practice involves playing with the tension between the illusion of 3-D and the fact that this is really a flat surface with pigments smeared on it.
1xRun: You’ve been staying crazy busy lately, bring us up to speed on how your 2013 wrapped up?
Adam Caldwell: I had a pop-up show at Thinkspace gallery right before Christmas. Then I visited my family on the East coast. I got out right before the Polar Vortex hit.
1xRun: You have painted lots of beautiful women, how do you choose your subjects and do you use a model or are your pieces usually a combination of various references?
Adam Caldwell: I try to use my own photography for most of the main figures in my work. But I often use old magazines or the internet. Sometimes I see an image and I know immediately that I have to put it in a painting.
1xRun: You are also a full time fine arts teacher, how does that play into your work and what have you personally learned from your time teaching so far?
Adam Caldwell: Teaching is amazing. I get so much energy and fresh ideas from students. It’s hard to get into the studio at 6PM after teaching all day and summon the energy to paint until midnight or later, but I usually manage somehow.
1xRun: Who are some influences that you have that may not be so apparent to viewers when first looking at your work?
Adam Caldwell: Abstract painters like Robert Rauschenberg and Franz Kline were huge for me. Also, Moebius, Robert Crumb and Frank Miller were also huge influences on me.
1xRun: What is on your schedule for 2014?
Adam Caldwell: I am so booked for 2014 that I am terrified. In February POW! WOW! show in Hawaii at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, Scope New York in March, a solo show at Shooting Gallery in San Francisco in March, in May a Thinkspace curated show in Berlin with Strychnin Gallery as well as a show with ArtMrktSF, October I’ll take part in the Juxtapoz 20th Anniversary Group Show curated by Thinkspace and Copro, November I’ll have some work with Spoke Art, and in December I’ll wrap things up at SCOPE Miami.