Carter Flachbarth: Self-Portrait (4)

Carter Flachbarth

Artwork’s Title: Self-Portrait (4)

Materials Used: Acrylic on Canvas

Year: 2019

Studio Based: Atlanta (Brooklyn next year)

Carter Flachbarth, Self- Portrait (4), acrylic on canvas 6’3″x4’6″, 2019

Art Verge

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

Carter Flachbarth

The work relies almost entirely on an App that I am currently developing. I feed the app perceptions of my life that I have drawn or written down. It then consumes that information and gives me back instructions on how to create an image based off of that data. I go on to reinterpret these written instructions into physical form with paint or collage in order to create a new perception entirely different than the one I began with.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Irreverent and loud, but also subtle.

Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘Self-Portrait (4)’ painting?

I would consider it violent, maybe celebratory.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

Like I mentioned, my work is dependent on perceiving and journaling, not journaling about anything particular, but mainly about life in general. However, this painting, in particular, kind of chronicles my grandma’s recent bout with cancer. I’ve spent a lot of time journaling about her and the people close to me and what those people remind me of, which is usually flowers or the things we enjoy together.

What colour is used the most in this painting?

An Eye-melting fluorescent orange.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

In a word: cluttered. You have to see the work together in relation to one another in order to connect the narrative of my journaled life that carries on throughout the paintings, however, the larger narrative has no particular order, so the closeness of the work for the viewer to see the connections would really be the only stipulation.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Avery Singer all the way. She has so successfully captured an extremely expressive and human language through the use of cold computing hardware. Although her paintings are usually conceived through a dissociative modeling software, they speak so much to her individuality and capacity for self expression.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

I don’t get the final say anymore, when the computer says that’s it, that’s it.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

Tape and paint floor to ceiling. The only place not covered in paint or tape is a small area on my desk for my laptop.

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

What I end up asking myself a lot in the making of these paintings is “where am I in this painting?” I think that question is in response to another question that I have always asked my self, but am just now realizing that I do: does my sense of identity come from my experiences or my actions following these experiences. I always think of the example of how loss can inspire greatness in some people but break others. This question becomes imperative in my work because I give up my ability for action to a stupid computer, and because of that I can no longer choose to be inspired or even broken from within the work.

What does your mum think about your art?

“OK… That’s interesting honey.”

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Most notably was Austin Lee’s Feel Good at Jeffrey Deitch.

Which are your plans for the near future?

Moving back to Brooklyn, planning a few shows right now, and just looking forward to more warm weather.

Additional Works

Carter Flachbarth, Self- Portrait (2), acrylic and collage on canvas, 24″x 30″, 2019
Carter Flachbarth, Self- Portrait (3), acrylic and collage on canvas 4′ x 3′, 2019
Carter Flachbarth, Self- Portrait (1), acrylic on canvas, 4’x5′, 2019

© All images are courtesy of the artist

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