"In The Studio With:..." is a weekly feature that takes us into the private creative spaces of emerging artists to discuss their work and career.
Bill Page has been living and working in New York since 1982. He has pursued his painting with a relentless matter of factness, always listening to the possibilities of what the materials are capable of telling him. His examination of the transitions of colors, textures, and shapes on a canvas are fundamental to the raison d'étre of his work.
Anthony Philip Fine Art: You are a painter and you do documentary video work about artists. How does each affect or inform the other?
Bill Page: When I was a college art-student senior, I just happened to see a short 15-minute black & white film of Frank Stella and Larry Poons just talking about being an artist and their work...they were just sitting down, talking, not showing any work. It was then I realized the immediacy of artists talking ON film and this importance IN film, and the power of the film language.
Foremost, I am a painter, not a filmmaker. Instead of being a painter also perhaps doing printmaking as an extended interest, I am a painter making films about artists; something I am interested in through my painting. And, it is through my painting that my filmmaking is informed. Even though filmic language involves many of the same aspects as the painting language, it doesn't inform my painting. If anything, filmmaking informs my taking iPhone photos. If I wasn't a painter, I wouldn't know how to go about making these films.
APFA: You have created documentaries on a number of fellow artists as Larry Poons, Herman Cherry, and Louise Fishman. What attracts you to a specific artist as subject for your documentary work?
BP: As with most artists, I have specific interests in art and art history, mine being 'Abstract Expressionism' and 'abstraction' around these aesthetics; not just any abstraction. And thisinterest me in my own painting and my filmmaking.
APFA: You have been witness to a number of historic moments in art since you've lived and worked in NYC. what would you say has been the most interesting development in art over the last 30 years?
BP: One of the more interesting things I have seen in the 35 years living in New York City/Brooklyn is the resurgence of interest in 'abstract expressionist' painting, and related approaches to this style of painting.
APFA: What inspires you to paint?
BP: I don't need to be inspired to paint, almost daily, it's one of things I do. I don't think 'I haven't any choice' or 'I need to express my feelings' rather it is just something I know that I do among the many other things in a day; sort of like brushing your teeth - now do you think about that or do you just do it?....Painting for me is another measure of how I see myself and helps me feel completion as a person; this is the primary reason for my painting.
APFA: When you decide to step up to the easel, what do you hope happens? Or, rather what do you hope to achieve through the process of painting?
BP: There are things that interests me in art, and there are things that interest me in my own paint making. What you see is what interests me. I do think about what I like in art, and where my own work can go, but I don't carry this around; it's just there. When I paint, I am searching these interests, then I find. This is what I want my own painting to achieve; finding what I didn't think of.