Kori Newkirk 2004: An Interview

2004 | 01:07:33 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Interviews, Single Titles

Tags: African-American, Chicago Art, Painting, Sculpture, VDB Interviews

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In this 2004 interview, Kori Newkirk (b.1970) describes his lifelong apprehension of being rooted in any one place for too long. Asserting that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was the fifth school he attended in four years, Newkirk begins by describing the fortuitousness of his relocation to Chicago following his expulsion from Cooper Union. Recounting how he fled from the fiber department in favor of painting, Newkirk details how it was a studio visit from Deborah Kass and an exchange program to England that crystallized his burgeoning ideas about “painting without making paintings.”

The artist discusses the ways in which his upbringing allowed him to develop a nuanced understanding of the relationship between the urban and the rural, as signifiers of both regionalism and racial identity. He now seeks to complicate this distinction through embedding biographical references into his artwork.  Throughout this conversation, Newkirk defines his practice through a compulsive desire to have his hands in everything, “to look in every direction at once,” while also anchoring his work to aspects that are uniquely personal.

— Kyle Riley

Interview conducted by by Dominic Molon in May 2004, edited in 2014.