Charlie Boots on finding unexpected mentors at MOA and the joys of collaboration in art
Editor's note: Artist Charlie Boots is part of the inaugural pair of PAIR residents at Denver's Powerhaüs Studio. As part of his residency, he and his fashion-designing counterpart will be reporting from the real world via Show and Tell, as they learn the ropes from studio mentors Mona Lucero, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and Jimmy Sellars. Applications are now being accepted for the second PAIR residency; visit the website for details. Here's the next report from Charlie Boots.
- Charlie Boots on the vagaries of sudden fame and wearing the mask
- Charlie Boots on his artistic process, Internet romances and why logos inspire him
- Charlie Boots on light-rail adventures, being a poor artist and why he is like Jesus
Katerina told me that I think too much. She's probably right.
There are things I've done my whole life as little games to keep myself entertained. Some of them are the basic games kids play: Stepping on only certain colored tiles when in a store. Kicking rocks. All the things kids do when they are bored and have no one around to play with. I never stopped doing these things, but have only found new ways of entertaining myself.
Wearing costumes in public places. Singing and dancing without regard to my current situation. Analyzing the logic of Mutually Assured Destruction. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking as if I'm on some political talk show, having to desperately defend my stance. Thinking as if people who radically disagree with me are breathing down my neck.
There is a reason why one of my paintings is titled "Perpetually Bored, Mildly Ashamed."
So much of my time has been spent in my own mind because of difficulties finding people with shared interests and corresponding personalities. I'm pretty sure there is nothing special in all of this; we all have some degree of difficulty relating to others. It's been a life-long pain in the ass. This experience is, I think, responsible for such blessings as the ability to develop the images in my paintings. You have to cultivate a certain peculiarity that is only borne out of seclusion to make the kind of work I make. You have to be really good at being your own source for conversation.
Photo by Elizabeth Wong. Setting up "Cloud Walk" at the Museum of Outdoor Arts.
Still, I realize the value in mingling with others, which is one of the reasons I apply for programs such as PAIR. My first blog post described the way this program helped me become acquainted with members of Denver's art scene, and it is well known by now that I've been spending my summer as a resident at Powerhaüs. What is less known is that, when I'm not in the studio developing my body of work, I'm at my internship at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, helping develop a show as part of this summer's Design and Build Program.
Organized by MOA, Design and Build offers a group of student artists an opportunity to work together on every aspect of a show centered around a pre-established theme. I applied for this internship with the knowledge that we would be working with the theme of "abstraction," a challenge for me, as I usually do figural work. On the first day of the internship, it was revealed that we would be abstracting concepts of "weather," specifically. This was an added challenge, as my personal work has little focus on "weather." This kind of challenge is another reason I apply for these sorts of things.
While many of the ideas for the pieces to be featured were provided for us on arrival, one aspect of the show includes each individual artist's abstraction of a chosen weather term. I chose the term "lightning," as I feel a more personal connection to that weather phenomena than, say, "sunny."
I am anything but "sunny."
Of course each artist's selected term was equally well suited to his or her personality. My fellow artists, as well as the weather term they chose to abstract, are as follows:
Olivia, repping the Iron Man mask.
Alex Huninghake- Drought
Jesus Palma- Frost
Label Siler- Hail
Katerina Kapodistrias- Humid
Elizabeth Wong- Hurricane
Mallory Meisner- Monsoon
Mickey Boyd- Overcast
Bryce Johnson- Scorcher
Madison Markel- Spring Rain
Olivia Martins- Sunshine
Bre Nielsen- Thunderhead
Continue reading for more from Charlie Boots.