Friday, July 10, 2009

Out today: Q&A with Thomas Nozkowski in National Post

A funny thing happened on the way to the National Gallery of Canada—for Marc Mayer, at least. When he was heading the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, Mayer rhapsodized over the museum's upcoming survey exhibition of American painter Thomas Nozkowski.

Then, Mayer was named director of the National Gallery of Canada—and the Nozkowski show magically came with him.

In any case, after talking with Nozkowski over the phone about the national gallery show, which opened last month, I can see why Mayer wanted to keep this one for himself. The guy's really good at talking about and thinking through his practice, something a lot of artists are not so good at. Today our condensed conversation can be found in the National Post. Here's an excerpt:

Q Have you taught throughout your career?

A I've only been teaching the past seven or eight years. I supported myself for many years by working in publishing. I probably designed every sleazy book you ever saw! When my wife and I got out of art school, we said we would only work at day jobs three days a week, even if it meant eating beans.

I think the real trick in art is to love the thing itself, not the things that come from it. That's what will sustain you. If the art world gives you a great gallery it can take that away, and money too.

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