Peripheral ARTeries Art Review, Special Edition

Page 172




Special Edition

Contemporary Art

Peripheral ARTeries meets

Russell Metzger Turning the fabrics and other materials into dramatic skyscrapers, gigantic waves, cliffs, mountains, coves, clouds, and even towering flowers. Changing art as we know it!

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator

Hello Russell and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would invite our readers to visit in order to get a synoptic view about your multifaceted artistic production and would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as an artist and help you to develop your attitude to experiment. Moreover, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

acquired a new show-room and had nothing to put on the walls. I didn’t want vacuum cleaner posters, and I’d always loved Monet and van Gogh and thought I could afford their prints to put on the walls of my store. I was stunned at what the prints cost. There was an art supply store a block away from my store, so I had the idea of making my own paintings. I bought canvases and other supplies, and I took the materials to my warehouse and went to work. These creations used the same materials I used on decorative art floors. They were all abstracts. I hung them in my show-room, and within a week a lady came in and asked the cost of one of the paintings. I said a thousand dollars, thinking she was just having conversation, and she said, “I’ll take it!” I was truly FLOORED (pun intended).

My attitude to experiment and evolve as an artist came from my love for music. That was the first art form that moved my soul. I loved the visual arts as a kid but failed first grade art, because I colored outside the lines which was scorned. It wasn’t until my forties that quite by accident I found I had an aptitude for the visual arts. I owned a decorative concrete business and had

You could say my cultural substratum was originally a blue-collar Kansas farm boy. I always wore jeans and boots. I was born in Winchester, Kansas –- a very small town of a couple hundred people – and it happened to be about two miles from Dunavent, Kansas, a town that no longer exists. I was raised in Oskaloosa, a town about 7 miles from Dunavent, which happened to be the