“I think drawing is extremely important as a stimulus”
Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
Robert Fry, London, Painter
What did you dream of becoming, as a child and when did you discover art?
I always thought I would be an Artist or possibly an Actor. I started drawing people from a very young age.
Your style in 3 words?
Tell us about your work and its meaning…
I am interested in painting, the versatility of paint as a medium, colour and explorations into the human form. I try to paint partly as a means of exploring the human condition. There is an ongoing psychological content to my work.
You mainly use paint, has this always been the case? How do you feel about painting?
I was very interested in drawing which also led me on to print-making and after this, painting. I still practice etching. I think drawing is extremely important as a stimulus, or starting point, for a painting.
When I studied at art school several years ago painting was extremely unfashionable. So I had to work very hard to paint at all, and with this, invariably my understanding of why I wanted to paint was carefully considered. We are seeing today a huge resurgence in painting amongst contemporary art.
Do you like to experiment with other materials and techniques?
Only within in the confines of painting as a practice. However, within my work often five or six different types of material are applied to a single canvas, which I think in itself is an indication of experimenting with materials.
What about the colours you choose?
In my paintings the colour purple I seem to constantly revisit.
How do you start a new piece? Is there a recurrent process?
I tend to work in series. I find, as a painter, one learns so much from the last painting produced. Often, in my painting, it can be the application of a material or the composition of a work that can then generate a new painting, or possibly an entirely new series of works. I think what can be dangerous is extensive breaks in painting.
Do you have a favorite painting or series of paintings?
I have always been very interested in the abstract expressionists, in particular: William De Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. And there were some giants in British art who also influenced me: Lucian Freud, Frank Arbarc and David Hockney.
In my own work, I was quite comfortable with Purple Study 9.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Showing in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
What is your weakness?
What is your strength?
My intuition, which is also a burden.
Any new project coming up, you want to tell us about?
My current solo show with Gallerie Kornfeld which runs until 16 November 2013. I will also be exhibiting in Art Toronto this October with Beers Lambert Gallery, London. I have a number of exciting projects for 2014, but unfortunately they have to stay confidential for now.
Galerie Kornfeld, Fasanenstraße 26, 10719 Berlin from 7th September to 16th November 2013
by Cosima Bucarelli