We had the good fortune of connecting with Stan Kurth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stan, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born here in Phoenix and knew from a very early age I wanted to be an artist. My aunt was an artist and teacher and she gave me a small canvas, oil paints and lots of encouragement in her studio where I painted my first oil painting. I was four years old. I knew right then I wanted to be a painter. There has been some resistance between then and now but I have never wanted to do anything else. I worked in the graphic design field for decades, but eighteen years ago I had cancer and decided it was time to do what I’m here to do and quit messing around. I still have that small canvas I painted sixty plus years ago.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As I mentioned before there has been some resistance in my path. All of it emanated from myself, pretty much the kind of resistance many artists face, rejection, self doubt, worry, procrastination, etc., etc. I think the turning point came eighteen years ago when I battled cancer. It became clear to me “now” was the time to do what I’m here to do. So, most of the self imposed resistance was eliminated. My work has evolved over the years. During and right after college I was painting in a more classical sense, preliminary drawing, value studies, thumbnails and so on. Now my painting is more abstract and predominantly intuitive. Intuitive painting is the act of making marks and spreading pigment on a surface until it conveys a personal aesthetic. There is no predetermined finish or elaborate planning. My paintings are expressions of my life experience, everything which has touched and moved me along a path to the latest work. If the work fails to speak visually, no amount of esoteric rhetoric here will change it. Painting is a discipline which requires practice, passion, devotion, focus and a steadfast spirit of pursuing something which will never be attained. I’m not entirely sure what my paintings convey to others. Hopefully there is a feeling or sense of the existential, the human spirit.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t have a hierarchy of friends. I have many friends but wouldn’t consider any of them best. Is that like, “Best of Show” or something? Do I give them top prize? I’m pretty good with solitude but when I’m out and about my social circles can be found predominantly at art events or at the cigar lounge. If that was depicted as a venn diagram there wouldn’t be much merging. So, I guess a week of events would consist of days/evenings at exhibitions, openings or museums, and/or days/evenings dining out and relaxing afterwords with a Scotch and cigar.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many individuals, groups and organizations who have taught, mentored and encouraged me, it’s quite impossible to single any of them. So, I go back to the roots, to my aunt who was always so encouraging and positive when I was so young and naive. She made me believe things happen for a reason. I dedicate this Shoutout, posthumously to Barbara Peterson, my mother’s sister.
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