We had the good fortune of connecting with Lawrence Gipe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lawrence, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
As an artist and an art professor, I’ve always said that “if you don’t risk being misunderstood, it’s not worth it.” Paintings – or any artworks – are stratified creations: part backstory, part technique, part communication, part mystery. The best never tell the audience too much – you have to leave room for the viewer to think, move and have their own anecdotal reactions. Once a journalist asked me: “Why do you make your work? – I’m trying to understand the WHY.” Making art, and particularly my large and impractical paintings, is a culmination of hubris, passion, and a need to express a story through painted images. Why? I have no choice. The main risks are financial…and that’s why ramen was invented.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After 35 years, I still don’t have a “brand”. I’m too restless and easily bored to run that way. My work has criss-crossed over many themes and image pools. Being an artist is obviously not easy. There are times you really wonder how you’ll get past the next bend. But, once you’ve established a practice, something more or less sustainable, then you realize you are doing what you want to do every day – and that is a great gift.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A little hard to visualize with COVID raging as we speak, but I always run, as you might imagine, to any art museum or gallery that’s interesting.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my parents who always indulged creativity; Barry Hamilton, my High School art instructor for immense encouragement; and to the University of Arizona for believing in my ability.
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all photos credit lawrence Gipe Studio