for more of my art, go to WarrenKeating.com
For those that enjoy a look inside the artist's studio, this is a 10 minute video with audio from an interview by Ibarionex Perello from the Candid Frame podcast (used with full permission).
I've included a partial transcript, below:
Warren Keating is a painter who has based his popular overhead series on images that he has produced with a digital video camera. The result brings together the perspective of the camera with the nuance control of light and color that can only happen on canvas. I was definitely a kid that drew from an early age and never gave it up. I had a debilitating, congenital thing, and I couldn't walk for several years, so I took a lot of art classes and really relied on that to get me through it. That's when I really got to the point of no return, where I'm an artist, and that's just the way my life is going. I was not socially interacting with other kids. That's why I'm sort of anti-social today; I missed some of the classes (laughter). When you're a child artist, you have sort of an advantage, because people are amazed if you can make anything realistic. My first solo show was in '95, and it was these sort of drippy, dirty paintings of women in bathing suits in front of smokestacks and platforms, kind of an environmental statement. It was really hard for people to buy those and put them on their wall. I think these have more of a universal appeal, but, at the same time, it's a unique thing that no artist does. You know, I have been trying to make a realistic painting that is also abstract. It's not just an old-fashioned, pre-Impressionist idea, but it addresses all of the stuff from the Twentieth Century. Using this view point, by foreshortening the figure and whatnot, it becomes an abstract shape, that much easier to make it more of a Modern kind of story. When I first started painting people from overhead, from that first trip to Paris, I made smooth contours. It was more of a curvilinear type drawing. It was still pretty realistic overhead, but I used curvilinear lines to depict these foreshortened people. I didn't use the pixelation, I ignored that, and filled in the blanks with my mind and created a smoother, more realistic image. And, then, eventually, something happened, and I was, you know, it was a late night, and I let go (laughter), and I had a moment where things came together. I went "let me see what happens if I render what I'm seeing." Leave it be what it is. Pixel Impressionism I could feel it once I made that painting. I said, "Okay, I need to pursue this." And now it becomes the size of the pixel to the canvas. I'm really getting into it. You know, there's certain painting where it really works, and others that don't work as well. The mark gets too small in relation to the canvas. It's become this real obsession. It's a rectilinear mark; it's a hard-edged, rectilinear mark creating a blur. This is sort of an ordered, a planned, chaos. It all works together more than just slapping the paint on there, as skillful as one could do it and make it look fresh. You're trying to make every mark look nonchalant and extremely focused, both at the same time when you do this kind of painting. The work is inconsequential. That makes it easier to sell in a weird way. Even though I value my work. I put a pretty high value on my work, compared to other artists that sell online. I tend to be in the upper scale, but at the same time, my meaning, what quantifies me, gives me quality as a person, is the process that I've developed at the end of my life, the body. The individual piece is inconsequential, so that makes it easier, dissipates some of the pressure. At the same time, I understand where you're coming from. I usually do one painting a week, if I'm lucky. It's like a scientist trying to put together a formula, or cure. You're just in this pursuit, now. I don't want to be negative, because I'm a very positive person, but you look at the finished work and you think, "I just didn't quite make it." Some more than other, and those end up getting destroyed, but it's always just right there, right there beyond your grasp, thankfully though, because it's dragging you forward. It's the carrot that's moving you along in your aesthetic, making you evolve. You know, and also I'm a very hardcore, very simple business man about making art and selling art. When someone buys a painting of a blue umbrella, chance are, I'm going to make another painting of a blue umbrella. And, I don't have a problem with that. I love when people connect with my art. I have motifs that I repeat. If a painting is not successful, it doesn't get sold but, if it is, you know. That's the magic of making art. You can completely ruin something, and that's it. It's gone, and then, other times, you can do the same painting that you did two years ago, and it's brilliant, now. Something happened. Juror Katherine Chang Liu "This is the most expressive painting in the show, very gestural, yet the content is very fresh and interesting."