Artist and writer: An interview with my brother, painter Evan Kutz
This is one in a series of posts in honor of Denver Arts Week that salute some of our favorite people and places on the arts scene.
Sarah Cass Brother and sister in Olympia, Washington earlier this year.
I have watched my younger brother, Evan Kutz, build his artist's portfolio since he first got into trouble for doodling on a wall. Beginning with a now legendary (and possibly slightly inflated) tale of his expulsion from Catholic School in first grade for drawing a picture of a naked lady -- my parents supposedly declared it 'Picasso-esque' and kept the piece -- to a decade and a half later when we found ourselves working at Chili's and he would sketch monsters on the backs of fellow server's receipts, I have been fascinated by his imagination. For the first time ever, I convinced my brother to talk about his artwork, and why he does (or doesn't) consider himself an artist.
Westword: The pieces you have been showing over the last two or three years look like advertisements with your work sort of layered over the top. What inspired you to make those paintings?
Evan Kutz: Well, I used to work at the Gap doing shipping, as you know, and I would have to take out the trash. Those are old advertising materials from Express window displays. I use recycled stuff -- Not necessarily because it's recycled. Sometimes I think I do that, because I'm better at defacing things than actually making art. It's easier to fuck someone else's shit up -- plus, making giant prints is expensive. They (stores at the mall) throw away so much of that stuff.
Your last show was a few months ago at Yellow Feather Coffee. Do you personally solicit galleries?
I've been lucky in that other people are really motivated, and want to include me in their shows. I've had like, one real solo show. And that was because Blair Pascal (Former curator at City O' City) gave me, Kevin Hennessy and Aaron Nye a show at City O' City. After that show, she gave me a solo show at KAZE Gallery.
That's a big problem with my lack of motivation lately -- I work a lot better with a deadline. I haven't had any shows lately, so I haven't been making art. So then, an opportunity for a show might come up, but if it's too soon, I can't do it because I don't have any art already working.
That's an interesting way to work as an artist. But, it makes sense to me as a writer because that's the only way I do anything -- by deadline.
Yeah. Some people say they need to create. But, I don't know...
You don't feel like you do?
I don't know, sometimes? More often, I feel like it's self-indulgent. Even now, just talking about art. I feel so..
You feel weird talking about it?
(Laughing) Yeah. I have a desire to create and even if I wasn't doing this, I'd be doing something else creative. But it's not always the case.