Discovery: Owen Schmit
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? In Los Angeles, in the valley and in Malibu and Topanga. I got into art when I was really little, when I first started experimenting, making blobby paintings with wet-on-wet watercolors and tempera. In some ways not that much has changed… ARE YOUR PAINTINGS EXPRESSIONISTIC? I think that I’m working out the spaces between childhood fantasy, teen angst, and earthly limits. HOW DOES WORKING MAKE YOU FEEL? The most like myself. HOW IS ART IN LA? There are few disadvantages to working here. I spend a great deal of time thinking about ideas for my work while I’m driving, and that’s pretty much all we do here. I lived in New York for a few years, and it was much harder for me to think things out because getting around is never a private experience. WHAT DOES JEFF KOONS MEAN TO YOU? I think because of his amazing success and household-name status he is, at the very least, looming in the periphery of most artists. But that’s pretty much all he does for me. I feel totally detached from his reality. INSPIRATIONS? Southern California and the experience of growing up here. Objects and places I used to regard as having magical or transformative properties when I was little. The sites of recurring dreams. Things that I’ve lost. Places that make me feel like I’ve been there a million times even though I know I haven’t. Religious devotional sculpture. Movies. Architectural Digest. FAVORITE WORKING CONDITIONS: My studio is currently in South Pasadena, but I live in Hollywood, and I love the 20 minute drive it takes to “get to work.” Having a studio at home has never been good for me, I end up watching TV instead.
WORK BY OWEN SCHMIT GOES ON VIEW TONIGHT AT THE RAYMOND GALLERY AT ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN IN LOS ANGELES, 950 SOUTH RAYMOND AVENUE. OPEN THROUGH AUGUST 7.