January's Artist of the Month at the Chicago Studio
There’s a real treat in store for visitors to the Arts of Life during January. Work by the 2017 Artist of the Year is on-view in our gallery. Dave Krueger (DK) was picked by fellow band member Kris Schenkel (KKS) for his compelling characters, action packed paintings, and mesmerizing linework. Studio Manager, Catherine Norcott (CN) sat down to discuss the installation with them both:
CN: How do you feel about being Artist of the Month?
DK: It makes me feel wonderful. I am the Artist of the Month. It makes me very happy, and it is my first time getting picked. Other people have been Artist of the Month, now it is my turn!
CN: How do you feel about the work on display?
DK: It makes me feel motivated! To me, I work real hard to do all my paintings and comic books. It took me time to finish it.
CN: Tell us about what stood out to you about Dave’s work. Did you notice anything when you were curating the show?
KKS: The style in his artwork, that drew my attention. His work is abstract and realistic, he puts them both together. It stands out because of the colors he chooses. Yeah, it is quite different. Some of the colors are very bright. Each piece tells a story. It makes you feel good and happy to see those stories. Each one is different but some things are the same. He’s expressing himself, you can see it through his art.
CN: How would you describe Dave’s art to someone who hadn’t seen it?
KKS: He has a lot of humor and feelings in his art. He tells about what he has seen and where he has been and where he wants to be. He uses a lot of black Sharpie for his outlines and around the border. He puts multiple pieces within each piece, so the lines are on the outside and inside.
CN: How long have you been an artist? What is your favorite part?
DK: I got started in 2007. It was wonderful to start. I didn’t know anyone yet. I was nervous at first because everyone was a stranger. I watched all the artists to see how they did their paintings. Then I got my own ideas. It comes from my own mind and my own heart. I put how I feel in my paintings and comic books. I want to see them come to life.
CN: Tell us more about your practice. What inspires you?
DK: I get ideas from everywhere, TV, newspapers, National Geographics. I look at all the pictures and listen to the radio. And then I get inspiration for my art. I use acrylic paint and canvas or canvas board. I want my characters to come to life. I did a painting a couple months ago called Finding Nemo at the Gates of Hell. I made an ET painting a long time ago too. I made one of Johnny Cash.
I draw out my idea with pencil. I like to trace it with Sharpie markers. They are good for lines! After that I can paint it. Painting feels like a million dollars. I’m doing really good work! Ariella helped me with writing down the words, getting them right. I do all the pictures and then I write the words in. I like comic books. I would never stop painting, not for another 2,000 years.
CN: What do you want people to know about your comics?
DK: They are amazing. I did one of Smokey the Bear, the Forest Ranger who stamps out fires. I’ve done comics with Ben Marcus before. We made a comic about love (Love Man) and the cover for an album (Melkbelly/Nothing Valley). And I work on my own comics too. I want to make my comics like me, myself.
CN: If you could see your work on exhibition anywhere, where would it be?
DK: In Tokyo, Japan, because I want to make sure everyone can see my paintings. I want everyone to see how wonderful it is! I work almost every day of the week, Monday through Friday.
CN: What are you working on now?
DK: Right now, I’m sketching. I’m sketching birds. I like birds a lot and I’m going to put them in my paintings. I feel like working with animals. I want to keep on going, going and going until I finish up all my art and comics. I want to be like the Energizer Bunny. I will never give it up.
CN: Do you have a favorite piece? What makes it stand out to you?
KKS: Out of all of them, it would be this one. The title is “The Comics Come to Life”. I think that is true, that when you make comics the rest of the work that you are doing will follow. I enjoy the color. I enjoy following the flow from the middle, all the way around. Dave fills the whole piece, and when you look at it, you look all around. I tried to look at all the colors, there’s yellow, that’s a warm one, and pink, but then some darker colors too. I thought about that when I was setting them up. About how you look at all of them together, so that you can see all the stories.
CN: Anything else to say about the show?
KKS: Dave goes straight into his art. He’s a hard worker, and he works fast too. He does a lot. And he’s a very sociable guy too!