Martin Kuntz will be featured in our June gallery show (June 1, 2012 – June 22, 2012.) His work is a surprising mix of large scale paintings comprised of several pop and subversive influences. We at Primary Colours spent some time discussing with Martin the process, motivations and advice he has for other artists in the Indianapolis community.
What is your Process?
As far as my process is concerned, I typically work on large scale canvases using oils, and occasionally acrylic underneath. Most of the imagery is appropriated from childhood images, which could come from a variety of sources including coloring books, comics, movies etc… I never sketch and rarely do I have a canvas planned out prior to starting. I like to have an idea as to what I want to discuss, and go from there, allowing the images to find their way on the painting.
I don’t know if there is one particular thing that motivates me. It pretty much boils down to one thing, I can’t not paint. I’ll feel horrible if I just sit around and do nothing. I’ve had girlfriends in the past say they wished they were as important to me as my paintings were, and I can see where they are coming from. That makes me sound like a terrible person I suppose, but I have to make things.
I feel like a lot of people want to complain about Indy and it’s art community, and yes, there are plenty of things that could be better. Nonetheless, it is at a very interesting place where people are starting to take notice and there is a lot of possibility for some great things to happen. First Fridays are becoming something for everyone, and not just artists and hipsters. Sure, I would love to sell more, and be able to buy an El Camino and live off painting, but reality isn’t always glamorous. That being said though, I want people, and artists, to get excited about art, and for art to find a place in more peoples lives. I want public sculpture gardens in and around the city, with annually rotating work. Art vs. Art is an awesome event that really seems to get people out and excited, but I would love to see something similar to the free, three day festival-type event called Artscape, in Baltimore. I would love to have a space where people can go to use power tools and screenprinting equipment if needed. I would love to have more grants available to artists. All in all, though, if there is something you want out of the Indianapolis art scene, you can probably get it.
What are your goals?
The only goal I really have for my work, and my career, are simply to live off making art. I don’t have to be well off, I can eat ham sandwiches everyday, but I just want to be able to support myself and make good work that makes people happy.
What advice would you give other artists?
The best quote I ever received at my time at MICA was from a professor named Ken Martin. He told me, “People care for what is cared for.” That really stuck with me. If you truly care about your work, and dedicate yourself to your craft, then others with take notice.