PROLOGUE | PERSONAL
Juan, imagine we could meet in your home or in your studio. Where do we talk together, where do we meet you? In my studio. Maybe we are sitting at your favorite place? In my studio because it is open, spacious and inviting. It’s about 659.6 sq meters.
Studio Juan Logan (Wide Shot), Photo credit: Craig Anthony
Where do you come from, where were you born when? I was born in Nashville Tennessee on August 16, 1946. How and where do you currently live and work? I currently live and work in Belmont North Carolina which is where I grew up. Which stations and people have shaped you? My mother and my grandfather. Being a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and working at my grandfather’s farm. Which writers do you currently find exciting and which books are on your bookshelf? A Question of Painting: Rethinking Thought with Merleau Potty by Jorella Andrews.
Juan Logan, portrait, Photo credit: Melissa Alexander
Which books have influenced or shaped you? A Question of Painting: Rethinking Thought with Merleau Ponty by Jorella Andrews. Jack Whitten: Notes From the Woodshed by Jack Whitten. What are you currently reading and where do you keep the book? Jack Whitten, Notes From the Woodshed, and I keep it in my studio. Seeing Differently, The Phillips Collects for a New Century by Elsa Smithgall. What music do you listen to and when? Jazz and Blues almost always while working. If you would cook something for us, what would it be? Gumbo. What do you like to eat most? A really good salad. What do you think about breakfast? A double espresso and a bowl of cereal—it really gets my day going. Raisin Brand Crunch cereal if you really must know. What kind of sport or counterbalance to your work do you practice? Researching art and artists. Do you have special passions (hobbies) for which you are burning, and if so, which ones? Collecting art. What personality trait defines you?Empathy, creativity, loyalty, compassion, imagination, friendly. Do you have a concern that you would like to share with us or a certain question (that we did not ask), which you would like to give an answer to? I don’t have any.
Juan Logan working in studio, Photo credit: Carey King
INTERVIEW | ARTIST + POSITION
To begin, please tell us about your artistic vita in a few sentences.
Well, I have participated in over 300 exhibitions both nationally and internationally. During the pandemic years 2020- 2022 I have participated in twenty three exhibitions
Briefly explain your current project / the upcoming exhibition.
The elegy paintings explore our inability to retain the details of the experiences of our daily lives; particularly the experiences we deem as important. It’s almost as though we are existing in two worlds, today and everyplace else from yesterday and the day before and the day before that, and remembering less and less as we move forward. I paint the fragments of what remains of those memories, a color, form, a person but not the face. I paint these for myself, occasionally for the children being held captive on our southern border, but more often for those who share fragments of memories of what was once a full life.
Elegies For Lost Souls, an upcoming exhibition opens at Gallery Kremers in Berlin on April 20th, 2022.
Juan Logan, Elegy CXX, 2022, acrylic on Fabriano Artistico 300lb hot press paper, 22’x 30”,
Photo credit: Mitchell Kearney
What are you currently most concerned about; what is on your mind?
The state of global affairs.
How did you come to art? Why art?
I was introduced to art many decades ago. Art gave me opportunity to develop a visual language that was my own, it allowed me to express myself in ways that the written word never could.
What makes you happy at the moment?
Feeling as blessed as I do everyday.
What is currently scaring you?
Many of our political leaders around the globe.
Do you believe that art has a social responsibility? And what do you think it can do?
I believe art does have a social responsibility, but it doesn’t always have to. Art has the ability to make people aware of complex issues happening around, and in so doing, occasionally art can bring about meaning changes in our communities. I also believe artists often functions as a shaman might, he/she has the ability to devine the hidden and to show us things that we would otherwise not see.
Juan Logan, SFPL 7, 2021, acrylic on Legion Stonehenge Aqua Watercolor, 140 lb hot press paper,
10’ x 14”, Photo credit: Mitchell Kearney
What makes your art special? What is it about – what are the central themes of your work?
I try to be as honest and compassionate as I possibly can. Responding to others with empathy allows me to make work that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to. …
Read the answer of Juan Logan about his work further in THE DEED | DAS WERK.
How do you protect yourself from too much inspiration these days?
I don’t. I think I leave myself open to feel, to experience, to know and to not run from the opportunity to understand events on a much deeper level. It comes with the understanding that inspiration is neither positive or negative—as we are moved by both.
How much in your works is planned beforehand – how much is created intuitively?
Most of my work is created intuitively. I work with studies and the studies are done in an intuitive way. Its the opportunity for me to grasp and to better understand the concepts or ideas that are driving me in that moment.
Juan logan, Elegy LXXIII, 2020, acrylic on shaped canvas, 67 ½”x 83 ¼”,
Photo credit: Mitchell Kearney
What are your (next) goals?
Thus far I’ve created about 150 paintings in my current Elegy series. So with that in mind, I will likely continue making work for this series until it evolves in a very natural way into something that is no longer conceptually a part of it.
What is your opinion about faith? Do you have principles of faith or is there a motto?
I think faith serves to ground us and provides us with the belief in something that is more meaning and larger than ourselves.
My principles are God, goodness, prayer, and with most of those things they require us to act—depends on what we are seeking.
Which project would you still like to realize, if lack of time, courage or financial resources would not play a role?
I think I would like to make more sculpture on a grand scale. I think that would be a lot of fun.
Juan Logan, SFPL 18, 2022, acrylic on Legion Stonehenge Aqua Watercolor, 140 lb hot press paper,
10’ x 14”, Photo credit: Mitchell Kearney
What do you consider to be attributes of good art?
Art that is compelling, that pulls you into it for one reason or another. Art that demands that you stop and consider what is actually taking place in it. Art that requires that you give it more than the casual glance as you go by. Art that excites and moves you.
Is one born as an artist? Or is studying art compulsory in your view?
I think many people are born as an artist and that the studying of art does indeed help develop certain skill sets that allow you to produce more meaningful work, again, it really depends on your objectives. It is compulsory? Not necessarily so, otherwise we wouldn’t have all those wonderful outsider artists who didn’t study art at all.
To whom do you show a new work first?
I show it to my wife, Jonell, and to my assistant, Irisol, and then to the galleries I work with.
What does the first hour of your day look like?
The first hour of my day is calm with time to reflect on what is in front of me for the day. While enjoying my first double espresso, I like catching up on what happened around the world while I was sleeping.
In times of the internet of things, are galleries (from your point of view) still necessary? If so, why and what for?
I think that the internet has provided a great service in terms of getting images around the globe quickly; however, brick and mortar galleries function in similar ways as museums in that they provide those who are interested the opportunity to see the actual work.
Social media – a blessing or a curse?
Social media has been a blessing because it provides the public the opportunity to view art being made around the globe and it allows us the opportunity to connect with artists and other who are interested in art.
EPILOGUE | CURRENT
The exhibition Elegies for Lost Souls by Juan Logan can be seen from 20. April bis 11. Juni 2022 in the Galerie Kremers, Schmiedehof 17, 10965 Berlin-Kreuzberg. Opening: 20. April 2022, 7:00 pm, the artist will be present.
The written interview is an important medium to introduce artists, to spread their messages and to get in touch with art lovers. The interviews are not edited or shortened by our editors and are always reproduced in original sound. Therefore, we do not translate the interview into English or German unless the interviewee submits a translation.
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