q)Introduce yourself, name, age, location.
a)Gary Goodman, painter and poet – I live in Worthing in the SE of England, quite close to Brighton
q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?
a)When I was very young (maybe 5 years old), I did a painting of a train in school –the teacher put it on the wall and I felt proud, and encouraged; and I’ve been an artist since then.
Eventually I went to University to study art (which wasn’t necessarily a good thing) but it gave me the feeling of being serious and made me develop contacts/get exhibitions etc.
q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.
a)I am both a visual artist and a writer (mainly of poetry.) I see the activities as both being quite specific and therefore different. However, they both come from a similar impulse, a particularly simple and usually autobiographical starting point. I claim to have not much of an imagination, so my poems are all true life events; things that have happened to me, things I’ve thought or experienced. I find it hard to ‘make things up’ when I’m writing, so I’d be no good at fiction. Within my painting, the imagery has evolved over a period of time, and although the figures are not always necessarily recognizable as family, friends etc., they are also triggered by autobiographical experiences (I have a daughter with a very serious incurable illness since birth etc.). This isn’t really answering the question; but if someone were to ask me if I felt I was more of a poet than a painter, I would probably say, I’m both. I don’t feel torn or compromised by being both – each of them caters to an identifiable and peculiar need to create.
q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?
a)I couldn’t imagine a world without music – I listen to it whenever I can. In the studio it helps me to stop thinking. Thinking is not a good idea when you are painting. Of course what I listen depends on my mood, or what is available. My CD in the studio is broken and I can only tune into a classical radio station which is sometimes good, often bad.
My chosen soundtrack varies from Arvo Part to Sex Pistols.
q) How would you describe your work to someone?
a)Simple, uncluttered, truthful, with blood.
a)It feels a bit precious to say it but, Life itself. I am not so much inspired by other artists or poets. I prefer to visit the cinema than an art gallery, and would rather go to a live gig than a spoken word event. If you forced me I would say that van Gogh has influenced me most.
q) Describe your process for creating new work.
a)It’s a mystery.
q) What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?
a)Be prepared to meet lots of people with little imagination or creativity, whose eyes are filled with dollar signs. Be realistic and have responsibility for your own success.
q) What are you really excited about right now?
a)My daughter going to university.
Taking my dog for walks in the countryside.
Having a choice to do nothing.
Reading my poems to people.
Going to my studio.
q) What do you love most about where you live?
a)Worthing is dull, uncreative and aggressive. However, it has helped me to write some poems about how bad it is. It is also easy to get to Brighton and I live in a nice house with my 2 daughters and my wife, and the dog, and 2 cats and some snakes etc.
q) Best way to spend a day off?
a)Drinking with friends
q) Upcoming shows/ projects?
a)Exhibition in September 2012 inCologne, Germany with Karen Betty Tobias.
Exhibition and poetry readings in November 2012 in AtlantaGA, USA.
Recording album with the band Milk and Biscuits.
Recording spoken word CD with Nick Hudson.
Various poetry reading shows inc. SuperNormal Festival, Oxford – August 2012