Laura Horne-Gaul: What made you decide to be an artist?

 

 

Robert Farmer: I've always been a bit of a loner throughout my youth. From legos to drawing, to pretending that the common yard­rock was a massive battleship and this twig a tentacled space slug, including acting out imaginary scenarios from favourite pop culture influences, to repeating grades five and seven, I've always ventured further into the intellect over what everyone else was doing. Having not witnessed culture unless you include hockey games, bible readings or car­ meets as significant, I managed to find friendship within myself rather than seeking external acceptance from my peers. Only during the tumultuous teen years and beyond did I begin to shape my intent as having a career as an artist. Having been influenced by similarly creative but musically inclined friends in my early 20's led me towards shaping my own motivated pursuits albeit without others pursuing a similar practice.

 

LHG: Can you expand on your process, why you work with the mediums that you do and why you choose the consistent subject matter (with variations?)

 

 

RF: My process of working can be made as a connection to my experiences. I invest an unbiased perspective into the theme I am working with. By removing politically correct behaviour I remain completely open ­minded during my studious passage to enlightenment. My experiences thrive on and seek out those challenges residing on the moral edge of society, taboos such as cannibalism, polyamory, and eating GMO vegetables. I find mainstream interests too plain and boring. Sarcasm plays a consistent role as a means to get my message across, but I am not interested, nor feel responsible of providing any solution. A wacky, distorted surrealist ideal always shares vivid insight and reflection better interpreted as compared to a landscape or some idyllic passage of generality. Religion, race, and gender stereotypes play a constant role in my work. Having grown up surrounded by the myth of Christianity, I am always reminded of it as this recent body of work illustrates. I use oils in my paintings, to some degree mixed media including latex, acrylic, and paper. Oils are politically incorrect, so obviously its the best one to use.

 

 

LHG: Because you have been involved in the Toronto art scene for so long can you give me one positive and one negative observation?

 

 

RF: The art scene here is beneficial as it has many opportunities to connect with art investors, and due to a strong connection with my other pursuit as a house painter, am successfully avoiding the concept of acquiring exclusivity. Since I no longer think like a starving artist and am slowly embracing capitalistic behaviour, the opportunities have also increased. Again, I am embracing capitalism as an experience, not as a decision to be one. I no longer find it as important to network with artists. My developing ability to grow as a business owner, smashing through the tired and sadistically uninspiring methods of averageness has offered a continued improvement and widened scope of the art practice not only within the community but globally as well. Having been ingrained with the responsibility of funding 100% of my own projects without assistance, I am not too fond of the granting system currently in place for individuals. It does nothing to an artists' motivation if one cannot make that investment on their own, having to rely upon a grant system to get funding, and furthering the stereotype of remaining a helpless victimized artist. A loss of responsibility has stunted too many projects that end up being the distracted apocalypses that remind me of buffalo jumping over a cliff.

 

 

LHG: What is your favorite exhibition that you have seen this year?

 

 

RF: I juggle two pursuits on equal standing. Awakening at 4 am every day, I tend to work on my art till 9, then do the 'colour field' painting till 5 or 6. Usually working six or seven days per week has my opinions on this query sorely absent. My favourite display I consistently visit is the Ancient Egyptian Gallery at The Royal Ontario Museum.

 

 

LHG: What’s coming up next for you?

 

 

RF: Currently being overwhelmed with interpretations of The X­-Files as commission ­based work on appropriated paintings, and an X-­Files themed group exhibit at Atomic Toybot in Autumn 2015. I am in the planning stages of the next series of Stormtrooper paintings aptly referencing the trilogy of the Star Wars films. I am usually posting new work on the web too robertfarmerworld.blogspot.com and robertfarmeroriginalsin.blogspot.com.

 

Laura Horne-Gaul: What made you decide to be an artist?

 

Ron Loranger: I'm not sure it was a decision. In grade 2 at Catholic school I had a nun tell me after seeing my drawing of tulips for Mother's Day , that I was going to be an artist when I grew up.i looked at her in disbelief and said "I know." Never looking back I started oil painting classes by 10 and was exploring abstraction by the age of 15 having grown bored of flowers and landscapes .

 

LHG: Can you expand on your process, why you work with the mediums that you do and why you choose the consistent subject matter (with variations?)

 

RL: The ink line drawings may be traced back to line drawing illustrations in teenage story and project books and french pocket books I loved as a teenager. They do not harken back to my high school major in architectural drafting I'm quite sure. My love of watercolour could be linked to a double grade 13 teacher who claimed I had no respect for the tradition of the medium or my artist boyfriend in my late teens who taught me many tricks with the medium. The marriage of the two , the visual language of it all certainly has a beginning in a maritime disaster of a long time ago with which I have grown use to and comfortable using  and exploring. The language that is. It's a bringing of two or three contrasting elements  to a balanced and poetic conclusion . One that seeks to makes sense of found images from the Internet , the everyday around me  and words and numbers that once interpreted on the watercolour paper loose their initial meaning. The result is loose and open enough that I was called both a Dadaist and POMO at the reception with one dude telling me my colour scheme completely came from early roman painting. Who knew?

 

LHG: Because you have been involved in the Toronto art scene for so long can you give me one positive and one negative observation?

 

RL: The positive would be how small spaces have made room for themselves in this town with smart strong people running them , taking care of them and making them welcoming . 8-11 and Video Fag pop to mind right away. It's nice to have a voice that is not identity or clique based. Which leads me to my negative which is the insular groups of people , almost cabals forged in art schools that roam our city and are just asking to be pushed in a big ol' water puddle during recess. I know I know every city has those .

 

LHG: What is your favorite exhibition that you have seen this year?

 

RL: At the Koffler Centre I saw a most poetic , minimalist exhibition by Kristiing Lande . She used common measuring implements ,like wooden folding rulers and chalk string (the blue one) and other tools assembled geometrically to occupy the space and walls. It was all fuzzy and homey feeling by the use and commonality of her material yet as formal as a Sol LeWitt -ish. The marriage of mathematics with the everyday in hyper tight arrangement made for a really really sweet juxtaposition .

 

LHG: What’s coming up next for you?

 

RL: I had a show in Geneva that I was pulled out of only to be put in a later one there. Next year I'm doing a 30 foot watercolour on site at the Galerie du Nouvelle-Ontario in Sudbury . Gotta love per diems and artists fees of public spaces . Thank you CARFAC!

ORIGINAL SIN by ROBERT FARMER

 

 

THE CODEINE CHRONICLES by RON LORANGER