Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet David Rosenak

Our previous most fascinating person, visual artist Brittany Powell, says that David Rosenak is the most fascinating person she knows:
Mainly, I'm fascinated by David because he continues to create amazing paintings without input from others. His work doesn't sway with the trends of the times; it is just consistently stellar. He lives a good life--friends, animals, a beautiful garden, his studio, and a rather normal job.

Welcome David.

1. What motivates you to get up in the morning?
Can't nap, otherwise.

2. What keeps you awake at night? What obsesses you?
My art brain is active all of the time, though I'm usually not aware of exactly what it's doing. Even when I'm watching Love Boat I suspect that it's generating forms (and that the forms in some way correspond to the layout of my brain's wiring, which -- I know -- I probably shouldn't say out loud).

Most of my artmaking activity is problem solving. First, a ton of looking -- sometimes over a period of years -- goes into the development of an idea for one of my cityscapes. Then, in the studio, I try to figure out -- again mostly through looking -- how to shape it into a form that is unified, balanced, dynamic, and purposeful so that its effect might be vivid enough to seize your mind through your eyes the way my favorite paintings do mine. I don't need to force myself on these problems; they pull me in and won't let go. I have to get it just right, if I can. It's a slow process, feeling my way along, taking as long as it takes -- two tiny paintings in a good year, maybe. Slooooooow.

3. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned?
Adulthood turns out to be largely concerned with fixing things, most of them boring. I'm disorganized and I get overwhelmed and dispirited but I've learned that if I'm productive in what's most important I prevent everything else from driving me too crazy.

Actually, I always knew that. And it's a good thing there are benefits to pursuing my interests at the expense of other things because it's what I was always going to do anyway, valuable lesson or no.

Okay, what I've really learned is that I should try to make myself check my mail at least once a month and put the envelopes marked URGENT somewhere where I'll notice them....later.

4. What do you struggle with most?
I'm always fighting against, "Life's too short to spend cleaning the house; to hell with it -- I'm going to go paint," so my house looks like a museum of my character flaws. (Please give me a week's notice before you drop by. Thanks.)

5. What is your personal philosophy or motto?
Life's too short to spend cleaning the house; to hell with it -- I'm going to go paint.

David Rosenak comes from "a family of very determined people." His mother Carol and his sister Adrielle (Rose) were both hardworking artists. His father Ted is -- at the age of 78 -- "a professional international do-gooder with a tendency to paint flowers on his walls until there's no room for more (it's amazing how much more you can accomplish in life if you don't balance your checkbook or make your bed)." His brother Jake was persuaded to give up bull riding but he still breaks horses. David says "The most well-adjusted person in my family is my brother Max, AND HE'S AN ACTOR, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD." His hyper-realistic paintings were featured in the 2006 Oregon Biennial and are now displayed as part of the Portland Art Museum's permanent collection of contemporary Northwest art.


therese said...

I'd like to see some of his work, but don't have time to get to the Portland Art Museum. I've got to balance my checkbook and clean my house...

Seriously, is there a link or some jpegs to post?

Brittany said...

David. Hilarious.

Sue KuKu said...

Whenever I get in messy cars or go to messy houses of friends, I know they have babies/toddlers/many small kids. So what's my excuse for my house and my moveable junkyard that is a car? Dang, I'm not even working on art.

I did just take three boxes of candles and candle holders and spread them out all over my living room, categorized them, typed up a list of inventory, and repacked them in more and better boxes.

Of course, I haven't balanced my checkbook in months and my URGENT envelopes have 2 or 3 URGENTS on them . . .