"Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence - a reconcentration... tearing away the veils that fact acquires through time." - Francis Bacon
Interview: Tyler Scully about his art, gallerys and NFTs
Hundreds of internationally sold works and exhibitions on several continents. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Tyler Scully currently resides in Los Angeles. The artist focused on portraiture. He pushes boundaries and blurs reality and fiction. Minimal Expressionist. We are very happy that the US-artist was available for an interview!
My art is about humanity. Portraiture has traditionally been symbolic of wealth and status, but my work focuses on deconstructing portraiture to universal people that we can all connect with. Taking elements from multiple references combining them to a human form the portraits transcend race, sex, gender, identity, etc. All these borders and identifiers we place to label each other become irrelevant when the portrait connects on a universal human level. – Tyler Scully artist statement
Interview: LA Artist Oil Painter, Musician and NFT Artist Tyler Scully
You live and work in Los Angeles, the majority of your exhibitions also took place in California, but also presentations in Australia in your CV. How interesting is the German art market for you?
I’m definitely interested in the German art market and Europe, in general. I’ve sold a few dozen pieces to private collectors in Germany over the past couple years so I would love to do something that would allow more people to experience my work in person.
Do you work with a gallery or do you do all the work yourself?
I currently work by myself, but that might be changing soon.
Almost 50,000 people follow you on Instagram, numbers that many galleries can only dream of.. How important is a gallery really for an artist to be successful?
Galleries have access to collectors that social media might not get an artist, but more importantly galleries have the trust and respect of those collectors. Uniquely now though I think an artist can find an audience and collector base on their own without the gallery structure. But I think both can have a symbiotic relationship.
Let’s start from the beginning for those who don’t know your artworks. How would you explain your art to a blind person?
Well the beauty of my artwork is I use a lot of different painting techniques to create multiple different layers and textures. I feel a blind person could even just feel the different textures and have a compelling experience in the tactile nature of my work.
Otherwise I would say my work is bright, vibrant, distorted and disturbing versions of people that seeks to capture the spirit of people rather than objective reality.
Your focus will be on portraiture, an art form that used to be a status symbol and symbol of wealth. With you, however, the faces are surreal or hardly recognizable. You transcend race, gender, sex, identity – is there a message behind it?
Yes, my art is about humanity. I focus on combining different photo references of people into portrait forms so they become more like a universal person that anyone can connect with. Another reason for this is I’m half Hawaiian so it is sort of my take on the Tiki.
How did you get into art? or what/when was the moment when you decided to share your artworks with the public?
I’ve always been into art my whole life but I started to take it seriously in high school when I discovered René Magritte, Surrealism, and Dada. I connected so much with those works that I decided I should try my own take on it. While I wouldn’t say any of those old works were any good, they allowed me to start building my skills using oil paints and using multiple techniques of Surrealism and Dadaism.
I went to university and got a degree in Fine Art with a dual emphasis in Painting and Sculpture. Even still I wasn’t that public with my paintings. I was making a living as a musician, DJ, and music producer and really only used my art for my own music releases. But around 6 years ago I decided I should focus my effort on painting because that was what made me happy. So since that point I’ve been publishing my work on my own site and on social media.
Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
How many works of art have you created in the course of your career up to now?
Probably like 500 but most of those have been sold. The ones that haven’t sold I usually go back and paint on them to see what I can bring to the piece after some time has passed. I paint every day so I do have an ever evolving body of work.
In which price range are your works of art traded? And you ship worldwide – what is the average shipping cost for buyers?
My work is always priced by the size of the piece. So it really depends on that. I would say on the lower end it would be about $500 upwards to $3000. As for shipping it is just size based too. Smaller works can go internationally relatively cheap around $50 but larger pieces can be several hundred dollars to ship.
Do you also do commissioned work – or is it possible to have them painted by you?
Yes I do commission work. So that has ranged from paintings of specific people, album artwork, graphic design and advertisements. I really can work with clients to create something they will love.
Who should definitely not buy your art?
Well we’re all human so I think anyone should be able to connect with my work. But anyone that is looking for strictly a pure representation of reality probably will be offended by my work.
Some of your works are also available as NFT, how appealing is this market for you as a seller/artist.
I’ve done some NFTs that I’m very proud of that combine my art, animation and music to create something I couldn’t really do in a psychical form. That’s how I plan to utilize that medium, making unique works that cannot exist otherwise.
How can one imagine the process of creating your works?
On Instagram and Tiktok I have posted several videos and timelapses so people can check those out. But I usually have a dozen pieces I’m working on at any one time so I do a few layers on each piece and rotate them while they dry. It’s how I constantly iterate and expand my body of work.
The process I do I’ll start a piece either by drawing out a specific silhouette or I’ll make an abstract form and then scrape the paint off and start to work from how the paint is on the piece. So I utilize chance and have an open dialogue with the painting and try to figure out how the portrait wants to form. Then I use multiple photo references to start forming facial landmarks like eyes, nose, teeth, lips. This process can take days to weeks to months. I just keep on refining and adding and subtracting layers to create depth in the piece.
Which artist would you most definitely not want to be compared to? And which comparison would you be happy about?
Sort of a double edge sword on this one but it would be Francis Bacon. I love his work and his painting technique, but his paintings are very nihilistic so that sort of is the anthesis to my work. But I get a lot of people that say that but I think that’s really the only mainstream artist that could closely be compared with my work. Who I would be extremely happy with being compared to would be Rick Bartow, Fritz Scholder, or William Kentridge.
Can art do everything or are there limits?
Art can do and mean anything, but that is its own problem. I seek to create an emotional connection with the audience so that creates a focus for my work.
Is there anything you would like to change in the art market?
I think the art market is so broad that there is a place for everyone to form their own niche and connect with those that are moved by their work.
Thank you for your time and effort!
More about Tyler Scully? – https://linktr.ee/
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