Excommunicate.Net has once again had opportunity to interview another fantastic artist, James Naccarato. James a Californian, is married and has three fantastic children. Where he finds the time to do his artwork and help take care of his kids; is nothing short of amazing. However he does succeed, it is with great pleasure and honor that I present this interview with James Naccarato.
JackDirt: Have you always been artistic or did that come later in life? Did you have any formal artistic training?
James Naccarato: I was drawing the world around me at a very young age. I was definitely addicted to coloring books for quite a few years, eventually graduating to copying comics and various photographs. I became more serious about art in high school and about 6 years after high school I decided to really get serious. I enrolled at Laguna College of Art and Design and studied fine art and illustration and thus my 60 hour work week began.
JD:What is your preferred medium and why do you feel you are drawn to it?
JN: It’s all about oil paint! I am seriously addicted to it. The richness of color, the luminosity and transparency – I love the science of oil painting. It’s amazing how versatile a medium it is. I have worked with it for 15 years now and I am still discovering things constantly. Since I paint wet on wet I can manipulate the drying time from hours to years. I do like to jump back into acrylic to keep me honest every once in a while though, but usually only for collaborations or mural work.
JD: Do you find that your ideas come from experiences or emotions or both what do you want to convey or say with your work?
JN: Most definitely both. I am trying to convey my experiences and emotions and the world around me. My ideas come from all over the place, but I would say experience and emotions play a heavy role in what I create.
JD: Many of your pieces depict floating eyes. Eyes present an initial representation of sight and vision. Are you trying to see something with these eyes or is it a representation of what you want others to see?
JN: I admit it I am obsessed with eyes. They really are a window to the soul! That said they definitely represent different things in my paintings. I call them watchers.
JD: Many artists experience a bit of reverie when they create a piece, do you ever find yourself getting lost in the creative process? Can you describe what it is like for you when you are painting?
JN: I aim to get lost in it everyday. Some days are more successful than others! When I paint I go through an entire range of feelings. There are times when I am almost in a trance, painting furiously. Sometime it’s tedious. Sometimes it actually feels like work! But not really. I just love creating things.
JD: How does your family, in particular your children react to your paintings? What do you think it is like for them to have a father who is an artist?
JN: I couldn’t do it with out the love and support of my wife Sarah. She is always there for me when I need to paint for hours on end and everything else. I think she generally enjoys my paintings. Vinny is only 8 weeks old so he is not into it so much yet, but give him time. Sofia our 19 month old thinks I paint every painting we come across. 6 year old Isabella used to call people Eyeball Heads and has a tremendous propensity for creating things. We expose them to so much. We take them to openings, museums, other artist’s studios not to mention our house is completely covered in art. Working from home allows me to really spend a good deal of time with all of them. So I hope that can be something special for them.
JD: Your paintings depict a world in which you are the creator and story teller, do you feel like you are a part of the world you create? Do you think that just maybe the characters you develop know about you too?
JN: I spend many hours a week in this world so I would have to say I am definitely part of it. I think my characters and I have a mutual understanding, yes.
JD: Your piece atmospheric pressure is particularly evocative of an individual being overwhelmed by stress, and outside influences. What does this piece represent to you and do you find your paintings often serve as an outlet to release your emotions?
JN: I painted this painting shortly after I found out we were going to have our third child. It’s about the vulnerabilities of bringing a life into the world. While the figure is almost overcome with her negative surroundings, she is able to occupy her peaceful space and hold the forces at bay.
JD: Are there any paintings in particular you would like to expand upon in more detail?
JN: I think art is a personal thing and what it means to me might not be what it means to you. I like to provide a platform for you to dive off and take with you what you want. That said I thought I would expand a bit about the world I paint in general. My work is about man and machine and environment. Every organic being I create is somehow mechanically augmented or possibly even impaired. The worlds they occupy either have been devastated or are close to being devastated. The sad place where most of my characters live is an allegory for what we face as a civilization with our own environment.
JD: Is there anything else you would like to say? Do you have any upcoming shows?
JN: I am in the process of putting together my solo show at the Corey Helford Gallery in October and working on a 4man collaborative show with Jophen Stein, Tim McCormick and Blaine Fontana at Limited Addiction Gallery in November.