May 24, 2019

Self Interview with Ross Caliendo

Name: Ross Caliendo

Location: Los
Angeles, California



Brief artist’s statement:

Like a night on the dance floor. Throbbing, moving, clashing.
It’s what you see behind the villain of your favorite movies bed post.
Television, street life, and your favorite comfort food’s after taste. The
images and sounds of radio moving through our bodies at all times.

How did you become an artist? Did you always dream of a life in the art-world?

As lame as it sounds, and it is probably a common answer, I did not have a choice. From my
first memorable conscious thought I have been doing nothing but solving puzzles
visually. It’s the only path I could ever realistically see for myself.

How has your education helped your career?

Without my education I would not be at the same place I am now. My time at art school gave me a playground of time to be
able to experiment and really truly find myself. Going into art school I knew
off the bat that I wanted to be a painter. My four years within the institution
gave me the ability to really find what painting meant to me. On top of gaining
an endless network of colleagues, as well as lifelong friends.

Do you work as an artist full-time? Describe your typical day. Do you have a routine?

I wake up around 8:30/9:00am regardless of how much I drank the night before. I paint for
as long as I can before I need to go to one of my jobs. I have a couple of
typical jobs, odd jobs, and “random” jobs at hand. So my schedule
after that normal routine is up in the air. It’s normally work of some sort,
paint, work, paint, paint, socialize, paint. And when I say paint, it doesn’t
mean literally brush to canvas every second of studio time. A lot of that time
is taken up by looking, thinking, and trying to solve the puzzle.

Which historical and contemporary artists do you refer to most often? How are you influenced by
their work?

Wassily Kandinsky, Cecily Brown, Jim Shaw, Elizabeth Peyton,
Phillip Guston, Marlene Dumas, Peter Doig, Lari Pittman, Andreas Golder, Martin
Kobe, Neo Rauch. The list could go on and on and on and on. Each of the artists
I named, influence me each completely differently (formally). But what makes a
good painting to me is this ‘essence’ of sincerity. You can look at a painting,
play, movie, book, sculpture etc and you can tell almost immediately if the
artist was making this piece because they needed to. I can’t really explain how
to formally point that out to you, but for me I can understand that transfer of
energy instantly. This transfer is what influences me. Knowing that others have
felt the same in the past, knowing that what I’m after isn’t a total loss.

What are the other influences on your work?

Knowing that we live in the information age.
Knowing that the history of man is changing every second of every day. Knowing
that we could both be gone tomorrow.

What was the last exhibition you visited?

I went to The Getty Villa to see some Chirico paintings.

What is your favourite art gallery?

Gagosian, Teams (NYC), Canada (NYC), David Kordansky
(LA), Blum & Poe (LA), just off the top of my head.

What are your experiences of the ‘art-world’ and the business of art?

That is a pretty vague question. So here is a vague answer: the art world is an amazing and
horrible place.

Do you have any tips or advice you wish you had known earlier in your career?

Be nice, friendly, and yourself. And everything will be okay.

Do you have a quotation that you keep coming back to and that keeps you going?

Have you a motto that gets you through? My mantra every day is “You’re going to
kickass today” and it keeps on playing over and over again. It works.

Which historical artist do you think is over-rated? Why?

Picasso. He did a lot of things first, and changed a lot of the game etc etc. But I am just sick of seeing a
lot of his work. I always have to remind myself that someone who made something
like, 50,000 paintings in his life is going to be everywhere. I’d say at least
10,000 of them have to be good. 500 of them have to be amazing.

Do you or would you use assistants to make your work?

No, I don’t. But if someone wanted to help me stretch canvases I would not say no.

Do you use social networks? If so, how and which ones do you find most useful?

Facebook, it allows you to connect with people you aren’t close enough friends to call on a
daily basis without being weird or to aggressive.

Which artist should we all look up immediately? What art magazines, blogs or sites should art
lovers be looking at?

WeAllDrankTheOoze.Tumblr.Com and your favorite
galleries homepage.

Finish this limerick:

There once was an artist from… Spain

Advice to other artists:

Don’t ask questions. Don’t ask permission.



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