Thursday, 2 June 2011

Courtney Formberg - From waste materials to Art

Hi everyone!
Today interview is with Courtney Formberg, a young artist born in Chicago and just moved to Hawaii, who creates his artworks using waste materials. Hope you like it!

The work "Holy Sail!"


- Can you tell us something about yourself? When did you discover your passion for Art?
I'm grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago and recently moved to Hawaii 10 months ago to start a life in the tropical weather to make art, surf, and study architecture in a graduate program at University of Hawaii at Manoa. I start the program in 2012 if the world doesn't end. Which it won't.
I discovered my passion for art when I saw what color could do and how well I could draw. When I was six years old, while painting with one of those little 10 color kids water color sets, I decided, "I'm going the be the best artist in the world!" I'm still working on that. I used to draw horses and copy them out of books. Looking back, I could draw a shaded quarter horse, rearing up in a 3-point perspective at age 6, - that's pretty good.

- How do you create your works?
I create works now going on sheer intuition. For an idea, I'm usually pretty scatter-brained - and I try my best to "go with the flow" - which is necessary if you live in Hawaii, I've noticed. Depending on what it is, a painting, drawing, or sculpture, I'll first find the inspiration, whether it's something in my daily life, (like right now getting pounded by a wave that I fall off of while surfing, for example) and then execute the idea. I'm a little obsessed with working with "garbage" or non-usable items in order to save the Earth, so currently I'm working on some paintings on broken surfboards. They're everywhere here in Hawaii, and they're useless. I think there's a nice history to them. There was the shaper who originally made them (which is a work of art in itself), then there's the story of that wave they broke on - which had to be pretty violent to create that amount of force. While painting them, I try to preserve some original integrity of the board- I'll try to find beauty in the torn off fiberglass, and the dirty surf wax still stuck to the board. I won't paint over the original shaper's signature or the dimensions. That exposes history, while bringing the newness forth.

- What would you like to communicate through your work? In particular the Holy Sail one?
Usually my works come out of some sort of day-dreaming dreamstate. I like the idea of dreams becoming a reality - I think they can- I know they can! And with Holy Sail!, I think that's what that piece is all about. I think Holy Sail! inspires the little kid in all of us- the one who wants to go out into the world and set sail for a big adventure. I want to communicate that importance of dreaming and thinking like that - tapping into that inner child, because it is in all of us and it's so important. The child in all of us is the purist in all of us. Sometimes I think if we all dreamed and thought like children the world would be quite the better place. Maybe we would spend more time creating beauty and fun rather than fighting war. We could spend our time sharing and giving. With that piece I also wanted to communicate our connectivity to the land and earth. The chart on the sail is a nautical navigation map of the Autumn star chart. The piece was displayed the same night as the date of the star chart. It was great to see the stars in the sky aligned with the stars on my sail.

- What are your favourite artists? Why?
Oooh, my favorite artists - this is always a tough one. Well, first off I'm going to say Walt Disney. The reason is because he was my first inspiration and he is the ultimate dreamer. I mean, look at all that Disney has created - magic worlds! Imagination! Freedom! Inspiration. He successfully brought out the kid in all of us. That is truly a successful artist. Plus, watching the hand of the artists who hand-painted each individual frame of all of those movies is extraordinary. Others: Da Vinci - if you can draw, paint, and be an engineer/architect, you are the Master! Dali- an excellent painter and a true showman and artist of life. Takashi Murakami- what a maniac! Alexander McQueen, Lee Bontecoe, and modern architect Vincent Callebaut. One of my best friends: Chan Mei Yu from Chicago- she dreams in neon colours- and will create lazer colour worlds for you. Last but not least, Buckminster Fuller- he was an architect/engineer who won a Nobel Peace Prize for creating infrastructure and distribution of goods solutions for the entire world. Why we don't have this set up yet is beyond me. I'd like to follow in his footsteps and keep his work towards that going.

For further information see also
All the images posted here are Courtney Fromberg’s works.

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