Interview With George Belcher

Zero, Selection From Zero Series

Zero, Selection From Zero Series

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I am an artist who works primarily in drawing, painting, and sculpture.  I did my BFA at the University of Arizona and MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art. All my work begins with drawing; it is my generator. I have always considering the word drawing in a both a physical and non physical sense: "to mark" and "to draw out from within." Intuition is important for my work, as I believe that the intuition is equally as valuable as the intellect. I have always been interested in the occult and mysteries of this world. I believe that art reveals in ways that science cannot. I believe that art creates information and ideas before words can express them. In that sense, I see art as our most direct communication with whatever lies within. 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Most of my inspiration comes from reading. I read a lot about art, science, mysteries, occult history etc. I also look at art heavily, and keep my image/artist database current. I love to see how information is being created. Images pass through culture quicker than words, and much quicker than beliefs. In this way, art is able to exist far before any belief that my be buried within it.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio
Time, organization, peace of mind!

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them?
The largest obstacles I encountered early on were belief systems established through Contemporary Art Theory, Art History etc. Many scholars believe that art has to mean something tangible or engage an establishment in some way to be valid (it must serve as critique or criticism of society). I have nothing against politically or socially charged artwork; however, I believe that there is infinite value in simply making and looking at art. Beyond belief barriers, all artist encounter the obstacles of financial support and time. It costs money to be an artist! You will likely have to work 40 hours a week and still be an artist! I know anything is possible, and never let any obstacles discourage me.

Zero, Selection From Zero Series

Zero, Selection From Zero Series

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
Lately: ghosts, holes, horizons, windows, waves etc. I choose these subjects because they deal with limits of visual perception. When visual perception reaches a limit, we must engage our own beliefs to create an understanding of that which we cannot see. The image of a ghost, the presence of absence, calls upon our beliefs relating to death and so on. In this manner, the visible engages the invisible.

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
There are many artists and thinkers that I admire. I have always had an affinity for Ugo Rondinone, and I respect his diverse and evolving work. Jacques Ranciere's books were also very inspiring for me early on.

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?
Figure out where your passion is. Look at art, lots of art, hone in on what you like. Read whatever you are interested in. Do not think that your work must align with current theories or engage society according to someone else's ideals. Art itself is enough. One person doing what inspires his or herself can inspire others.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

See more of George's work here.