INTERVIEW WITH GARRET KANE
Garret Kane is an artist based in Brooklyn (NY), who uses media mix to create his sculptures that develop the concept of Neo-Nauralism, which imagines a growth of "basic nature" through human technology.
After graduation he worked for a few years as an advertising artistic director, but with the aim of getting to know traditional and 3D sculpture techniques to devote himself to full-time sculpture as soon as possible. The goal was reached early and today he is one of the most appreciated emerging artists.
In your biography I read that you started working as an art director in advertising, but that at the same time you tried to learn as much as possible about the techniques of sculpture. Did you decided in that period to transform your career and dedicate yourself completely to art or it was something you always had in your mind?
I have always made art, drawings and sculptures in particular, since I can remember. It was about saving enough money to switch to full-time freelancing. So short answer: yes, it was always the plan to try to do it as an artist.
I know that you devote 10% of your work to environmental volunteering activities, showing an active participation in environmental problems. Do you believe that art should be an integral and active part in community problems?
Either you make something and retroactively try to attach it to meaning, or make something with the goal of calling attention to an issue.There ares a lot of reasons for this type of thinking in contemporary art, but without getting into the 'why' I think both way is somewhat ineffectual. Especially for emerging artists like me, who don't get the exposure of giant shows and crowds. If you can physically donate to a cause than, at least, you are doing something tangible to help as opposed to solely making convoluted or esoteric statements about issues you consider important. To be clear, there's nothing wrong with either, in fact they are both positive things, I just prefer the former.
Your technique requires a wide range of means and materials to express your work but how did you decide to choose sculpture as an artistic technique?
I feel like everything I'm saying is controversial, but this is just my opinion. Basically I saw painting as a sculpture that just limited the materials. I prefered to challenge myself to try everything there is in the spectrum of of world, from organic material to clay to 3D, to create works that show a unification of all matter. I just have always preferred sculpture, abstract or figurative, as a means of doing this. It's always effected me emotionally far more than other art forms. That said, I am deeply interested in time-based media as well.
It seems very interesting, what would it be?
My ultimate goal as an artist would be to incorporating 3D animation by puppeteering my physical sculptures to create an interactive, mixed media narrative.
Sculptures like Biophilia or Seasons suggest a context surrounded by nature, yet I see the installation of Mimicriin NY and I see how much nature and technology merge. Have you thought of a context in which to insert your works representing these semi-divine figures?
I have spent a lot of my recent time making smaller scale works, trying to hone my craft, my understanding of materials, my process. So as of late, I haven't considered placement too much. But, what I have hoped for, in general, would be to get large scale installations commissioned: indoor, outdoor, RFP's, lobbies, etc, in relevant and suitable places to the work. Maybe SpaceX or a CRISPR facility is looking for some lobby art.
It seems that the contrast is at the basis of your sculptures: starting from the inspiration from the cultures of Greece, Rome, Byzantium and the Americas that blend with elements of souls and science fiction; organic materials that mix with technological elements. Yet a strong sense of harmony arises from the contrast that your works convey. How do you create this result?
I think conceptual art can be wonderful, but in my personal opinion, ideas translate with more power if there is craft and consideration to overall form, color, and material as well. I spend a lot of my time considering how varied materials can blend together and in what ways. Both concept and the actual product should be strong, again, especially for an emerging artist.
Also the choice of the individual elements that create the works seems of interest to me. How do you choose the materials to use?
It started with organic material: found wood, roots, moss (base nature,) which I then wanted to integrate 3D into. I see 3D environments as our closest actualization of recreating reality. So by merging the two through 3D printing we demonstrate this sort of journey starting with nature then moving through the lens of human technology and into the new nature it is beginning to create. I'm also heavily interested in traditional and contemporary sculptural materials for their beautiful and classic qualities, so i incorporate many of those as well. The issue i tend to have is in limiting myself.
Is there an artist from the past that you feel particularly close to for ideology or medium of expression?
I've been inspired by so many artists, i think many artists pull bits and pieces from all over, especially in the post internet age. We are sort of an amalgamation of everything before us in a way we cant control. But to name a specific few deceased artists whom i love: Giacometti, Umberto Boccioni, Dali, Kandinsky, Hilda Klimt. Honestly there's so many I'm having a brain freeze, and there's so many amazing living artists as well!
Starting from this statement found in your site: "I tell the story of humanity's ultimate goal: to give our environment the necessary update. What do you think it may actually be in the future?
With the combination of technologies like Nano, Artificial General Intelligence, and CRISPR we are gaining all the tools we need to completely re-engineer not only ourselves but all of nature to be immortal and infinite. It is achieving this god-like state that I see as humanities ultimate fate.