Will Hutnick

Who are you and what do you do?

Will Hutnick, artist in Brooklyn.  My current body of work is mixed media abstractions composed of acrylic, ink, oil, spray paint and a ton of tape, on paper.  The emphasis on process, color and gesture enables the work to have a very organic, spontaneous and playful quality to it, which is important.

Who/what inspires you?

Creating a mess.  Chance.  Texture.  Unpredictability.  Organized chaos.  And of course COLOR.  The first thing I am drawn to when I look at new work is the color and its relationship to its environment.

I am a cellist so music definitely plays a role in my work, whether directly or indirectly.  There are definitely a ton of parallels between my work and rhythm, intonation, pizzicato and classical music.  It's in there - you can feel the energy and structure even if individual notes and musical phrases don't necessarily come to mind.  

I am also interested in games and activities from my childhood such a dominoes, marble-works, original Nintendo, Jenga, Connect Four and my sticker collection (fuzzy trolls were the most valuable).

What themes do you pursue?

Usually the work has some sort of time/temporal component involved - a lot of the work is created in a single sitting, maybe even a few minutes.  It becomes an event, a challenge, an experience.  I like how DeKooning would refer to his work as a "glimpse" - I use to contend that my work would physically change form when I looked away; that the elements and shapes and colors were only in that specific configuration for a limited amount of time...And once the time passed, the image would be gone, or at least completely different.  The physical act of painting and creating enables me to capture that moment. 

I am definitely interested in ideas about impermanence and failure in relation to painting, as well as playing with 2D and 3D, and the relationship between materiality and chance operations.  I get frustrated when the work becomes too safe and predictable - then it's just boring.  Why create work if you already know the end result?  Where's the fun in that?

Why art?

It's something I feel compelled to do.  One of the best things about being an artist is visually responding to your surroundings and experiences and creating something completely new and exciting.  Art welcomes and encourages that discourse.  Art is possibility.

 Name some artists you would like to be compared to.

I am definitely excited when being compared to certain contemporary artists, although whenever a name gets dropped in my studio, that's usually a "red flag" to push myself more and see where the work can take me.  Through continual experimentation and play, I intend to discover new forms and images.  I want to let the work unfold and reveal itself to me, as if I'm just tagging along, and hopefully keep progressing as an artist.  Although whenever someone says "Franklin Evans", I'm not complaining.