Wayne Propst - Artist Top 5

Artist Top Five Question 1/5

CG:  How did you come up with the idea to produce the sledgehammer paintings:

WP:  “We had been doing machine-generated art for a while, using all kinds of different tools and I had tried just hitting, I think it was a jar of paint with a hammer, and it was just SPECTACULAR, but it wasn’t very directed.  Then, in my shop I had a bunch of old-school dixie cup cone cups, and I thought, well if I put some paint in one of those, then the paint could only go in one direction.

 Eventually, I constructed a clam-shell device, to rapidly squeeze one of those dixie cups, and of course the paint came out pretty good.  Then, sometimes those dixie cups would burst and get away from me and so I started covering those cups with modified file folders.  At one time, file folders were valuable {but} right about the same time, the notion of files, because of computers, was becoming more and more obsolete.

Then we also experimented with using compressed air, and that is still in progress.  It works, but just not the way I want it to.  The contraption that is hanging in the gallery, you can control it a lot more, {there is} a lot more control over how much paint comes out, by adjusting the amount of paint that is in it…to describe how hard to hit it is…silly.

That’s what I think is so intriguing about it, at once it is seemingly just totally random, but of course it’s not.  It’s a learning process, anybody that has a bit of mechanical experience could get into it pretty fast.  The other variations are how viscus the paint is – if it is really thick versus really thin – all of those things come into play.”


Artist Top Five Question 2/5

CG:  What inspires the colors that you use?

WP:  “I don’t think the colors are random at all.  I choose the colors…I’m pretty interested in where it looks like it might be on fire…reads, yellows, things that suggest fire…they are the most interesting-looking ones, I think.”



Artist Top Five Question 3/5

CG:  What should the viewer keep in mind when looking at the sledgehammer paintings:

WP:  “I’m not trying to diminish myself, {but} everybody can make something.  It’s not overwhelming.  The point of it might be that everybody could make something.  That’s a sad part of our culture, people feel so unempowered that they look outward.  Whatever the mission is, you better be really really good at it.  {That said,} I hustled my ass off to get to this spot…”

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Artist Top Five Question 4/5

CG:  What is your favorite thing about The Bourgeois Pig?

WP:  “Well, my cronies.  That’s an easy one.”

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Artist Top Five Question 5/5

CG:  What is your all-time favorite location on the planet?

WP:  “At the moment, I’d say, right now, I love my screened-in porch.”

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