O-A: What is art to you? Is creating an urge, necessity or maybe an incontournable, essential way of life?
Kurt Black: Art is an essential way of life for me. It is an urge, a necessity to express myself, to create something original that previously did not exist. It is a compulsion inside me to put a visual language onto this plane. I am a full time artist that treats my practice with total commitment and I know the importance of a simple fact – you have to just do it! There has to be that ‘putting the time in’ day after day and never be distracted from the necessary routine.
O-A: What is a vivid memory of a remark concerning your art that got stuck with you?
Kurt Black: Something that I strive for ever since a remark about some of my paintings, would have to be the presence of ‘Atmosphere’ in my paintings – that certain nuance that can be related to universally in all peoples despite their place, their culture, their religion etc.
O-A: How do you search for inspiration and themes for your work?
Kurt Black: I have many experiences, many memories inside me – memories of landscapes, of colours, of people, of places – all these are there to draw on. But I work mainly in a ‘vacant’ space, meaning I work spontaneously and through direct inspiration using intuition and ‘a quietening of the busy conscious mind’ so as to reach deep into that other place. I work, you could call it ‘in a trance state’ that involves being in the moment and following the ‘voice’ of the painting at hand.
O-A: How has your art changed over time? Why?
Kurt Black: Yes, it has changed in some ways but mainly in the materials – I used to paint on timber ply so I could create through sanding back areas different dimensional effects. But through lots of work I discovered I could achieve a similar result on paper – so I began painting on paper and have never looked back. Painting wise, I have also changed ‘what I paint’ – more colour fields and linemarking – basically extending the borders of subjects that arise to express. Through experimentation and commitment there has been a slow but definite evolution in my art practice.
O-A: What names do you give your artworks?
Kurt Black: I give my names and titles to my paintings that express the theme or emotion of the particular piece – sometimes the names come during the painting session and sometimes after. But I never know what I am actually going to paint when I start work.
O-A: What do you usually talk about with your collectors?
Kurt Black: I ask questions about the space where they intend to place the work at their house or office, what colours are in the room etc. I am very open with my collectors and generally have an ongoing relationship that allows good communication regarding future works that they may purchase. We talk about the inspiration of the particular work they collected from me and the materials used. We talk about exhibitions that I may have had or planned to have. I engage in conversation about their country or culture and the art scene wherever they happen to reside. Most of my collectors are international so I exchange differences in our respective countries.