Adam Caldwell studio visit and interview on his latest work for ‘Discovery’ at Rook and Raven London – written and photographed by Michael Cuffe
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Artist Adam Hunter Caldwell continues to evolve as an artist, and his latest works featured in “Discovery” a group show at Rook and Raven gallery in London is perhaps the best example of his work to date.
Caldwell seamlessly blends imagery together, creating visual poetry that itself has a much deeper artistic message. The paintings pull the viewer in, allowing them to explore the subject matter further, and tell the story of inner contrast within each of us.
We sat down with the artist to discuss this latest body of work, his past, and where he’s headed…
WARHOLIAN: Can you tell us about the more recent work you’ve been painting, and some of the symbology behind it?
ADAM CALDWELL: I decided last year that I wanted to paint figures in interior spaces. As I sketched out compositions and ideas I began to see the rooms as a kind of body or the interior of a head and the figures as the self or mind inside. This sparked the idea of a series based on the mind body problem in western philosophy. Descartes was the first modern philosopher to really articulate the concept that the body/brain is purely mechanistic and that the mind is a completely separate non-physical substance. The “problem” stems from how these two systems can interact.
WARHOLIAN: How has your exploration of the mind body dualism in your work affected you personally, and your overall aesthetic?
ADAM CALDWELL: I have been reading a lot of philosophers work on dualism and I see better how the concept has a direct influence on government and legal systems. I personally don’t believe that the mind and body are really separate, I feel that the problem boils down to the inadequacy of language to describe mental events in physical terms. My aesthetic has changed a bit from the actual painting I’ve been doing more than from the ideas, different colors and compositions are coming up in the process.
WARHOLIAN: How do you go about picking the individual imagery in your work? Are there any colors or palettes you prefer to work in?
ADAM CALDWELL: Once I have a general scheme for a series I sift through images from a huge collection of photos I have been taking myself, cutting from magazines, and pulling from the internet. For this series I have lots of tubes, ducts, gears and electrical chords that represent the mechanisms of the body. I also have a lot of text from Descartes books. Most of the interiors in my pieces are from abandoned and decaying mental hospitals. I love pushing black and white or sepia images against strong colors, trying to get them to work. I always use the same palette of colors but I’ve been moving from really warm, brownish hues into more blues and grays.
WARHOLIAN: You come from artistic roots, can you explain again who your grandparents were and how they continue to affect your art?
ADAM CALDWELL: My Grandfather was Erskine Caldwell. He was the best-selling author in the United States for many years. He wrote over 50 novels and hundreds of short stories and essays. My step-grandmother was Margaret Bourke-White a very famous photographer. I’ve used many of her photographs as reference in paintings and I’ve always been influenced by my Grandfathers commitment to realistic depictions of social conditions.
WARHOLIAN: Do you have anything new and exciting coming down the road to tell us about?
ADAM CALDWELL: I have a show up in London right now at Rook and Raven gallery. I have a show coming up in August with Brett Amory at Thinkspace in LA that I am working on right now. In November I am having a solo show at The Shooting Gallery in SF. This year is pretty packed and I am so grateful to have all these amazing galleries showing my work.
‘Discovery’ runs from April 13th until May 2nd, 2012 at Rook and Raven Gallery in London.
- Interview and Photos by Michael Cuffe for Warholian
For more on ‘Discovery’ visit: rookandraven.co.uk/
For more on artist Adam Hunter Caldwell: www.adamhuntercaldwell.com/
Follow Adam Hunter Caldwell on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adam-Hunter-caldwell-art/163629696984640