Kunstprat med Martyn Reed

Kunstveggen begynner nå med en ny spalte, Kunstprat, hvor vi intervjuer kunstnere, samlere, gallerister og andre hurrafolk. Førstemann ut er Martyn Reed.

av Fredric Madsen

Martyn er den sosiale entreprenøren bak musikkfestivalen Numusic, gatekunstfestivalen Nuart og Reedsprojects Gallery i Stavanger. Ikke nok med dette, han er også å se bak platespillere eller som arrangør for klubbkonsepter som FALD (Fuck Art Let’s Dance). For å si hei, stikk innom Reedprojects Gallery i Salvågergata 10 i Stavanger for å se urban- og samtidskunst.

1. Martyn, how did you end up in the «oil capital», Stavanger?
I had a monthly residency at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art merging urban culture with contemporary art. Dj’s, Young electronic music producers, clubbers and new media/digital artists. One of our group was Norwegian and we were invited to propose a “festival” along the lines we were working in Stavanger. We flew over staged the event “Void”, for some reason or other, I fell in love with Norway and made the move permanent the following year.

2. When did you become interested in urban art?
I was politicised at an early age, arrested for writing my name on a wall at age 13, and was thus always interested in creative activism. I was in various activist based organisations and studied Fine Art at Uni-. To finance college I running club events and dj’ing on the side. I Dj’ed at Cargo in Shoreditch back in 2001 at the same time Banksy had his first solo show in the venue. I was immediately hit by the humour and the hard edge of its politics. Banksy’s “Laugh Now but one day we’ll be in charge” pretty much summed up and united all the strands I was working with, and from that time I was hooked again.

3. Do you have a favorite artwork?
Duchamp’s “The bride stripped bare” & Hirst’s “ the impossibility of death in the mind of someone living”.

4. And what about a favorite artist?
I have a love hate relationship with Duchamp & Damien Hirst, a lot of time for Joseph Beuys & Caravaggio and in Street/Urban Art, Banksy, Barry McGee, Bäst and David Choe. Choe is without a doubt one of the most talented painters of his generation across all genres.

5. What are the plans for Nuart this year?
It’s our 15th anniversary so we’re pulling out all the stops. Nuart Plus, the academic and industry conference will be bigger than ever, we’re planning the worlds largest mural (fingers crossed) and you can expect a few surprises in the artist line up. We’re trying to push away from generic Muralism and American graffiti and focus attention on the European tradition of Situationsim, Punk and Outsider based creativity. I’m hoping it creates some interesting discussions and we can get back to the dynamics and form of “Unsanctioned” street art rather than the safe sterile state sanctioned Murals that seem to be taking over the conversation.

6. The rumors say that you have an impressive Banksy collection, have you ever met the man himself?
Who knows 😉

7. How do you juggle the roles between a curator (Nuart) and a art dealer (Reedsprojects)?
I’m possibly the worst art dealer in the world, I have a bunch of talented friends who make really interesting and relevant art and a space to show it in. People buy it, or don’t. We can advise why we think you should, and that’s about as far as being an art dealer goes.

8. Do you feel Norwegians have good taste in art?
I’m not sure “Norwegians” can be grouped together as a singular mass, but for sure they’re opening up their hearts and minds to this culture and form of expression.

9. Why do you think urban art is looked down upon by the «art elite» in Norway?
Oh, this is far from being a Norwegian thing. The “Art Elite” tend to frown upon anything that challenges their own place in arts hierarchy , but these are a small minority. More and more are recognising the validity and relevance of this form of expression, from academia to industry. The art elite are a conservative bunch generally happy with the status quo, as a demographic they are the same group that frowned down upon Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism and Pop. And look how that worked out for them.

10. Whar are your plans for the summer of 2015?
Work and more work and maybe a quick trip to Venice Biennale to poke fun at the art elite.

Takk for praten Martyn, vi sees på Nuart!