An Interview with Will Harden aka Grohl.
I went to Black and Blue on Thursday to see Will's latest show, titled "Internal Workout Volume IX". I have seen a lot of his work during my time at the Heights and his work is definitely interesting to watch, we have always talked about doing an interview so here it is. My first interview ever with one of my fav local Sydney artist.
You and I met pretty informally when you were a resident at China Heights.
We would always bump into each other at a few too many social gigs and gallery openings before we talked about all things art related and where free booze is ample.
J: Just out of interest, how did the name "Grohl" come about?
WH: About 5 years ago I was befriended by a group of young degenerate drunk turds. They alliterate all meaning to as much as possible. My name included. Apparently I look like Dave Grohl . Instead of being Will, of course I am Dave Grohl Featch. Featch as in features. Grohl being the abbreviation of this nick name. To rob the identity , as they would put it.
If you go to urban dictionary.com, about 25% of the entries would be from these guys.
I’m actually really tired of the nick name. I’m not going to use it from now on in shows etc.
J: How and when did you first decide art was going to be your profession?
WH: Since I was young it’s the only thing i’ve been deeply interested in. I was always encouraged to take that path.
J: From the first group where I have seen your work, I could see your style and art direction have progressed quite a lot from your initial influences, would that be an accurate assessment?
WH: When I started I didn’t know how to paint. I was figuring it out as I went along. I guess I started with a combined interest in low art, street art etc along with fine art.
Now I would say any influence from low art would be low or next to non exsistent. Over the years my interest and admiration for contemporary fine art has really blossomed.
J: I really like your new works...maybe it is just me but I see a lot of Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo and a lot of fluid energy fused with that richness in colour and sex….is that a personal reflection of your subconscious or something else?
WH: I adore Otomo’s illustration. I think that guy is a genius. I hold everything he has done as a staple for everything I would want to achieve visually but only to one day make it intriniscally more intense. I just want to make the most powerful works possible. My aim would be to make something shocking with brilliance. The colour and subconscious realm are tools employed to help this happen.
J: Who do you look up to as an inspiration to your work?
WH: Wols, Cecily Brown, Katsuhiro Otomo, Francis Bacon, are the main influences.
J: Where would you like to take your art this year, anywhere abroad perhaps?
WH: I’m going to start working on a new show on Monday. I don’t have any leads but I’m going to contact some galleries in Melbourne and try and get something booked for the end of the year.
You are an amazing dude, just chilled and positive.
It is a great attitude to have and I definitely share your outlook.
All the best with your future shows Will!
___________You can catch Will's show @ Black and Blue Gallery.
Show will run from May 15 - June 1 2008.
For more info on Will Harden, check out his website.