Art, // June 24, 2021
Reuven Wallack — ARTIST
Interview with artist Reuven Wallack —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Reuven Wallack. I live presently in Raleigh, North Carolina in the United States. I have been a professional artist for over 20 years. Most of my career I have been an oil painter. Now, I am focusing on drawings produced with color pencils, pens, and markers.
2. Why Art?
Initially, I produced art to relieve my suffering. And of course from the get go art provided the enjoyment and a means of focusing my attention so that I would lose myself as time would sway by. As time has gone by, and more happiness has ensued, I guess I am automatically just drawn to create. The pure act of creation fuels me.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
Never as a kid did I want to be an artist. In fact, I wanted to be an investment banker. However, in college I developed a bad case of OCD. And soon thereafter I found painting to be one of the sole reliefs of my suffering.
4. How do you work and approach your subject?
Well, this is a tricky question. I have gone through so many transitions and detours in terms of treating my subject matter. Sometimes it’s as simple as setting up a still-life, looking into the mirror for a self-portrait or modeling a friend. Other times the idea is conceptual and I spend more time in planning and organizing my thoughts in hopes of achieving the best way to express my opinion on a chosen subject matter be it political, sociological, religious, technological, etc.
5. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
At first, which is quite trite to say, the Impressionists such as Claude Monet or the Post-Impressionists like Vincent Van Gogh. Both still remain two of my favorite artists, though as time has gone by I prefer Monet. I still can’t figure out his paint application techniques. I examine closely when I’m at a museum, but still I have no clue how he applies paint. However, as far as Van Gogh goes, I love his “Bedroom in Arles” and “The Starry Night.” I enjoy Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt and Pablo Picasso mostly during his Blue Period. Of more timely artists, it is David Hockney. He remains my favorite living artist, and has been since I was in college, over 20 years ago. His method of producing art and always changing gears—>polaroid shots, photocopiers, iPads just to name a few. His change over from acrylics to oils. His impeccable mastery of drawing.
6. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I produce very few conceptual pieces, though I would like to produce more in the future. But the first one I showed in a gallery is called “Homeless Gold.” A gold painted supermarket cart filled to the brim with aluminum cans, both soda and beer cans. I got a very special response to this piece and many said “Wow. What an original piece!” This piece can be found on my website under the COLLECTIONS page.
7. What do you like about your work?
It’s originality and my tendency to opinionate on my topics. Also the transition of different modes and mechanics to not only explore my creativity, but also to express thoughts and feelings.
8. What advice would you give to other artists?
Be original. However, I remember this one quote by Picasso which serves me so true:
Good artists COPY.
Great artists STEAL.
So I guess steal judiciously.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?
Truthfully, I have two loves. Creating art and Freudian psychoanalysis. So I hope that my art career continues to gain more momentum and that I have gotten a Licensed Clinical Social Worker degree which allows me to get liability insurance. With this I want to practice strict Freudian psychoanalysis. Sitting behind the couch and all. And of course, between clients, CREATING.