Name: Charlotte Hopkins Hall
Brief artists statement:
Like so many painters before me I have a very real curiosity of man’s idiosyncrasies and relation to reality. From this I paint a form of psychological drama, shaped by a desire for my paintings to interact with the viewer by creating a strange rapport between the two. It is as though they were eagerly seeking attention and desperately trying to put sound to their irrevocable silence.
I achieve this principally with the intensity of their gaze. They may make direct contact by way of a look or quite the opposite deny with a refusal to acknowledge, lost within their own state of mind, within their own reality.
How did you become an artist? Did you always dream of a life in the art-world?
I have no memories of this but apparently I always was one. At the age of 15/16 I decided that this was the route I wanted to take. My mother, supportive but cautious, patiently sat me down and explained to me that it would be a very hard and difficult path. She was right, but I have no regrets.
How has your education helped your career?
I had a fantastic education and it helped my career by setting a rigor that remains with me today.
Do you work as an artist full-time?
Yes, when possible. I do part-time work when the money runs out.
Describe your typical day. Do you have a routine?
I work best in the mornings and my most productive timeframe is 10am and 4pm. I do have a routine and if it is changed it upsets my day. I wake up early, take an hour to read the paper with a coffee and set off to the studio. Once there, I have a cup of coffee sitting in my 1930’s club armchair looking at the work, thinking about the next steps. At this point I will start work. At about 4pm I start to crave another coffee and food. I have a 20 minute break and then start work again to about 6pm when I start to get tired. At which time I either stop or push on to 7/8pm (if I have a show on I will work late).
Which historical and contemporary artists do you refer to most often? How are you influenced by their work?
I have a very eclectic taste and most of the artists that I love have nothing in common with my work. They trigger a thought. I integrate the energy more than the aesthetic, if that makes sense. Matisse, Manet, Duchamp, Bacon, Kirchner, Byzantine icons, Louise Bourgeois, Thomas Hirschhorn, Neo Rauch, Banks Violet, just off the top of my head.
What are the other influences on your work?
Books are a vital component for me in understanding and directing my work. I read a lot of theory. Otherwise, everyday life, the news, small incidences, anything will trigger a thought process.
What was the last exhibition you visited?
Anslem Kiefer at the White Cube Bermondsy
What is your favourite art gallery?
Galerie Eigen + Art
What are your experiences of the ‘art-world’ and the business of art?
They were quite positive at first, but quickly became very cut throat. Bad payers, bad communication etc… Galleries sometimes forget that we, the artists, are the reason why they are making the money. It is a tough world with strong egos but when it works it’s great.
Do you have any tips or advice you wish you had known earlier in your career?
To be less naïve. The gallerist is not your friend, he is merchant and in the end will only have his interests at heart.
Do you have a quotation that you keep coming back to and that keep you going? Have you a motto that gets you through?
Louise Bourgeois “What’s in this space is under my control.”
I have a very deep commitment to my work and I am strong headed.
Which historical artist do you think is over-rated? Why?
This is a difficult one because there are a number that I could state, but when I launch into justifying my reasons I find that I keep finding redeeming qualities. I do get bored. For example Modigliani bores me, but imagining a whole room filled to the ceiling with his work, an obsessive quality of repetition would become interesting that would distract me from his tame paintings.
Do you or would you use assistants to make your work?
No, and I don’t think I ever will, or maybe just to do the paper work. I am a perfectionist and in any case my work is very much my own painting technique.
Do you use social networks? if so, how and which ones do you find most useful?
No I don’t. I probably should but there are clauses on the Terms and Conditions that I am unhappy with.
Which artist should we all look up immediately? What art magazines, blogs or sites should art lovers be looking at?
Francesca di Matteo. I like Art Monthly. I’m tired with the glossies where half of the content are Rolex or Mercedes adverts although I quite like Art Review.
Finish this limerick: There once was an artist from… Ipanema.