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INTERVIEW WITH TY CUMMINGS

BY SHELLY FOSTER

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

 

I’m an artist.

 

Q: What materials do you generally work with?

 

I generally work with latex, oil, spray and glitter paint, duct-tape, pencil, marker, pens, pastel, oil pastel, cloud-clay, canvas, paper, lights, resin, fog, water, glue, bottles, charcoal, puzzle-pieces and safety-pins. I also use digital-video and photography, film, the figure, statues, mannequins, figurines, taxidermy and stuffed-animals - in order to create tension between different realities - what you see and what’s really there. The mediums are not always easily differentiated.

Q: At what age did you realize you were creatively inclined?

 

After I realized I was a good at coloring, I got good at drawing, and by around 5 or 6, my friends all wanted my drawings. From there, I progressed technically and creatively through the years.

Q: In your words how would you define art?

 

I think art is an interesting way to communicate and show something to someone in an expansive way.

 

Q: What’s your background, would you say, artistically?

 

There and back (with some in between). As a kid, I used to go to the bookstore and look at art. Later, I was highly influenced by a trip to Europe where I saw lots of contemporary shows as well as older work. New York has had a big impact on my work, as well as Los Angeles.

Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

 

I would have X-Ray vision because I’ve always wanted to be able to do that.

Q: What is your preferred subject and why? What draws you to the colors you use? Why sculpture as a medium?

 

My surroundings, experiences, memories and tensions are all sources of subject matter. People can be a good muse, and sometimes environments, abstractions, words or symbols are needed, to get the idea across and move through it. Erasures, layers, space, gestures and mood can all be content. The colors enhance the physicality of the materials, and create memory of the experience through arousal. Using sculpture allows me the freedom to think in multiple dimensions while directly referencing objects in space - it also informs my other mediums.

 

Q: Have your artistic methods changed/evolved? How so? Did you always sculpt?

 

Well, over the past few months I have made paintings simultaneously with sculptures, after finishing some photo collage pieces. I was working in video before that. My artistic methods inform one another, free up the process and change over time. Sometimes, I will focus on a certain medium for a number of years, but usually, there are usually at least three mediums going at once.

Q: If you could live any other place in the world where would it be?

 

I’m always where I want to be. So for now, here.

Q: What is the best thing about being an artist?

 

Whats not to like? I get to do what I love, and it makes me and other people happy. It provokes thought in others, and offers understandings that can be far-reaching.

 

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Aspiring sculpture artists?

 

Go down deep and then come back up. If you’re an artist, then trust yourself and go look around. Make things and continuously work. Listen and speak. Have different speeds. Keep moving forward. Focus.

 

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