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Apr 8, 2010

Interview with Shane Pollard - Artist (Project Ethos)

Tell us about your style and what influences your art?
I tend to value the relationship between intention and achievement and therefore believe that style can be a limiting term when used inappropriately - as I feel it often is. I feel style is a painfully inadequate linguistic convention which follows the artist and his or her work and quite often effectually estranging the artwork. I want to show others the world as I see it. What does a style lend to this endeavor? If anything, I feel it inhibits and hinders. Or, perhaps this mindset is my style. You see, the style of the result is irrelevant to me other than in terms of sheer beauty. Yet this is not to belittle the artwork whatsoever. I am merely saying that I am also quite interested in the combined style of artist and artwork and this is my influence…the distillation of experience into a single conduit of sheer life and beauty and passion. The process of how an individual can internalize and assimilate aspects of our existence that quite possibly cannot be understood intellectually is beyond fascinating to me and, to me, it is far beyond the beauty of the artwork by itself.

Can you tell me a bit about the materials you use?
I'm oddly conservative with materials so far. I keep meaning to change that but I always forget when I go to start a new piece. I guess it's because when I see a painting in my head, for example, I see it in oils on canvas so that's what I reach for. Or, I see it digitally with Photoshop or Painter or in pencils and ink. My photography ends up being shot with anything that will focus because my cameras tend to have it a bit rough with me. For sculpture I'm a fan of Super Sculpey combined with found items. Have you ever played with Super Sculpey? Ha..ha, I'm so amazed by the stuff it's stupid.

What has being an artist taught you?
The severity of the implications of people not being able to draw hands. It's scary actually. Why can't we all draw hands perfectly? I know I can't. We see them every day. We use them every day. Why can't we draw faces with perfection after having literally seen millions of them? But, people seem to have an easier time copying a face upside-down. It's not due to a lack of motor skills - that is a drop in the bucket of misunderstanding. When the average person draws a hand they draw five digits connected to a central shape. This is not a hand. It is what a hand is to that person. If you look closer…if you think on it…if you study it and question it and admire it you see joints and wrinkles and pores and curves and edges and muscle and fat and dirt and a ridiculous feat of engineering. Our hands feed us, we create with them, we communicate with them, we fight and defend ourselves with them. They are such a crucial aspect of our beings, and they get reduced to five ovalish shapes all generally connected at one end. They are the poster child for intellectual neglect. And, when our awareness and understanding of something so crucial to ourselves is so completely mutilated and skewed what does that speak of the infinite amount of external and more complex information we internalize throughout our lives? We must look at things as they are and not lazily fall into the preexisting ideas we have of them.

How do you feel art, fashion, and music influence each other?
The more I become involved in various forms of artwork I realize they are simply different manifestations of the same impulse. But, how amazing is it that they can be experienced simultaneously? It's kind of like eating…Pad Thai. It smells amazing, it looks amazing, even with a stuffy nose it tastes amazing, but put it all together? Good God...

What artists do you admire?
I'm sticking to the visual artists for this list. For me to include musicians and writers it would take days. Shel Silverstein, Frank Frazetta, Jack Vettriano, J. Scott Campbell, Tom Canty, Zhaoming Wu, Jim Lee, Masamune Shirow, Greg Manchess, and Doug Chiang. These artists… you can feel their work. There is a piece of them in every work they put out. It is an intensity that gives me the chills. The common belief among the people who knew Shel Silverstein was that his relatively early death was due to the fact that he simply lived life so intensely—his flame burned so brightly—that he burned through his candle quicker than others. I'm speechless.

What would you like to be remembered for?
I don't really care to be remembered for anything. What I want is simple. For people to feel the freedom from fear, the freedom from expectation, and the shattering, incomprehensible, devastating rush of the way life flows through me. I am beyond fortunate. I know that, and I know I'm weird but it is without even the smallest amount of conceit, pompousness, or egotism. I don't know why this point concerns me because there is so much I've already said that people would probably write off anyway… ha..ha…why would they focus on this? But, I feel quite a bit of what I do hinges on this point - on people truly feeling my sincerity on this. I am so painfully in love with the existence we've termed life. I just want to share that. You put it in a painting and people don't find you so crazy.

Where can people purchase your work?
My work is available for purchase by contacting me through my website at

Interview by Nikki Neil

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