Name: Michael Chomick
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Brief artist statement:
Being a contemporary artist for the past 25 years and counting, my works and exploration has primarily been focussed on the “Human Condition”. The works have been produced in a variety of mediums. This has kept the making of art for me fresh and exciting.
How did you become an artist? Did you always dream of a life in the art-world?
I became a visual artist back in September of 1986 after an eleven year career as a commercial artist. Becoming dissatisfied with the former career I felt the need to alter my artistic projectory to that of a fine artist. The need to express myself artistically out-weighed the need to do art for someone else. At first, right after graduating from high school in 1975, I ventured into the realm of commercial art in hopes of being a top-notch illustrator. As stated, this direction lasted for 11 years, immediately following the layoff in August of 1986 from the local newspaper where I worked as an editorial artist. The following month I ventured into a local arts center. There on view was a print exhibit. I became enthralled with this medium and subsequently signed for a printmaking workshop. That was over 25 years ago and it was at that point in time that I dreamt of a life in the art-world.
How has your education helped your career?
I never formerly went to school, except for that printmaking workshop at the beginning of my career. I am strictly a self-taught artist.
Describe your typical day. Do you have a routine?
Besides my “day job” as preparator at a world leading museum, I have been maintaining my 25+ year involvement as a contemporary artist. My typical day is working at the museum, and afterwards I am fully engaged in gaining more exposure of my works, i.e. entering art competitions, responding to artist calls such as this one, etc. There is no real set routine. Applying for art competitions, going out to art openings and meeting gallery owners, curators, other artists, is all essential to making a name for oneself and becoming a more visible artist.
Which historical and contemporary artists do you refer to most often? How are you influenced by their work?
As a visual artist that produces works in a variety of mediums I have artists of different genres and mediums that I am drawn to. Some of these famous artists are introduced to me after I have already produced my works, and have become a favorite of mine. Afew of these famous artists are: Heironmyous Bosch and Salvador Dali for their imagery, drawing and painting styles as well as H.C. Westermann, Edward Kienholz, and Joseph Cornell for their fabulous wood creations/assemblages.
What are the other influences on your work?
I think as an artist I am influenced by everything around me. As I go about my daily life being an artist, I am constantly confronted with visual stimuli that is later reflected in the works. A strong example of this would be the environment where I live, the colours of nature, etc.
What was the last exhibition you visited?
The Pacific Standard Time Exhibition at L.A.’s MOCA – The Geffen Contemporary by Little Tokyo.
What is your favourite art gallery?
So many to choose, but MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary by Little Tokyo is one of my favorites for the sheer warehouse size of the venue.
What are your experiences of the ‘art-world’ and the business of art?
I know that after 25+ years in the art-world that it takes a constant commitment to one’s drive to continue making works. Being that there are more artists than there are walls you really need to keep this drive as vigilant as possible and keep getting your works out there to gain more exposure for you and the works.
Do you have any tips or advice you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Don’t be so hungry for exposure that you fall victim to one of the many scam artists ready to take your hard earned money and works that you have already produced.
Do you have a quotation that you keep coming back to and that keep you going? Have you a motto that gets you through?
Quotation: Be Aware or Be Had.
Motto: Be true to yourself and make honest works, I mean, works about a subject matter that you are versed in. The art will reflect this.
Which historical artist do you think is over-rated? Why?
None really come to mind. I am more concerned about the exposure of my works than concentrate on what other artists are doing, or not doing.
Do you or would you use assistants to make your work?
No assistants. I make my own works. I might use assistants in preparing canvases, cutting something for one of my mixed media constructions, or to frame up some drawings, but I would not use them to help in the actual making of the art.
Do you use social networks? if so, how and which ones do you find most useful?
For the most part I send out annoucements of the art exhibits, followed by photos of the receptions that I am involved with on my Facebook account. I get an immediate reaction with this social network.
Which artist should we all look up immediately? What art magazines, blogs or sites should art lovers be looking at?
H.C. Westermann; Edward Kienholz; Roberto Clemente; Kerry James Marshall; Lyn Floukes -Just a few of my favourites.
Finish this limerick:
There once was an artist from Vancouver,
Whose works were known the world over.
They addressed matters of society.
Full of raw emotion and vitality.
Leaving the viewer running for cover.