FAD INTERVIEW: Gavin Turk - FAD Magazine

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Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair 2014

Q1: You seem to have been working up to a whole car – tax discs, exhaust pictures now a wrapped car – what’s next?

A: At the moment I’m making work for the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair happening at Folkestone. For those fairs I made cups; polystyrene for Liverpool and I’m Making paper cups for Folkestone. They’re used cups that have had tea in them. A cup of tea such a quintessentially English concept, something you might have at a boot fair, something you might have around the city. The cups have been run over, kind of flattened. They’ve got tyre prints on them and then they’re signed and dated, and I’ve made them limited edition with only 60 available of each.

Q2: Do you need a car, living in London?
A: We’ve got a white van that we use quite a lot for moving material around. I’ve got several different cars, but you don’t really need a car in London. I do try to get out of London as much as possible and cars are quite useful for that. I think that London is developed around a road system so there is a highly developed car network inside of London, even though it’s highly policed. There are a lot of traffic restrictions and lots of taxes that car owners pay.

I mainly use my car to travel outside of London and I think that we should try and do everything we can to make London more bike friendly.

I have a Vauxhall Ampera because I contacted them and said that I wanted to make an art car. I did one earlier on, maybe 10 or 11 years ago when they did the first Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, and at the end of the event the car was recycled and my work was taken off of it. Then in response to asking if I wanted to do a car I said I’ll do one but I want to actually keep the car. So we organised a situation where the car was going to stay as an art work.

Q3: Did it take a long time to wrap the car?
A: It was kind of awkward but not really. There are little bits I think could still do with a bit of wrapping. I’ve actually spent some time unwrapping the car as well, because initially we wrapped the whole thing, including all the windscreens and all the lights. So now I’ve opened up the windows and the mirrors and reintroduced the number plates and the lights so that I can actually drive it on the road.

I drove the canvas car to Liverpool and along the way some dirt, dust and bugs and what not got stuck onto the canvas. So the canvas takes on, in a way, the colouration of the road. It starts to look like it’s had the experience of being on the road.

Q4: Are you going to all the Vauxhall Art Cat Boot Fairs? Will you be driving to them?
A: Yes, I attended London and Liverpool and will be at Folkestone on the 30th August.

Q5: Have you ever bought anything at the fairs? And if you have, what’s been the best bargain you picked up?

A: I try and buy something every time I go to the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair. I go round and I try and get as much as I can from different people. I’ve bought work from Ian Munroe and some interesting collages from Ian Dawson which were a bargain. I think everything at the boot sale is a bargain and I think that that’s the whole part of it. I’ve got lots of Peter Blake’s and he does them every year, they’re a bargain. Generally, everything’s at sort of a special price.

Q6: What have you planned for the rest of the year (work wise)?
A: I’m taking the show over to Stockholm and doing a show in a gallery there and then I’m doing a show in Hong Kong. I’ll be travelling to do an installation there.

Q7: What sort of installation is that?
A: Each one is slightly different; they have rooms with different pieces of work, so it’s just a case of making the room work with pieces that are going in to the rooms. They are both traditional; pictures on the wall, sculptures on the floor.

Q8: Final question – if you had $49,000 to buy art from an emerging artist who would you buy from? A: That’s quite a tough one because for an emerging artist that’s actually quite a lot of money; it’s quite a specific number. The problem is that the emerging artists I think about have already emerged and are doing quite well. I saw something a long time ago from Laure Prouvost, who ended up winning the Turner Prize a few years back, and she’s exhibited everywhere now. The emerging artists I currently follow and support are Wael Shawky, Katie Patterson, Haroon Mirza and Yana Naidenov.

Q9: What do you look for when looking at emerging artists?
A: It doesn’t really matter, maybe there’s a point in which you might want to take the money and invest into the artist to actually develop them. It depends, if you’re giving me the money I may just want to pass the money onto some sort of emerging artist to help them develop and develop their work. At the moment there’s an interesting exhibition at the Barbican which is called Digital Revolution. They’ve teamed up with Google, I feel a bit nervous about teaming up with Google, but they’re investing into artists and helping them make work by using code as building blocks to make things using computers. And to make interactive pieces using computers, which I think is interesting and exciting and is where things will go.

I don’t know what the answer is to be honest; I think it’s more a technique to answering the question. You know like you’re giving me this money, but I want to know where this money comes from. You’re telling me it’s blue skies, blue skies is great but sometimes blue skies can give you the wrong answers, because actually everything is context driven.

Big Thanks to Elina




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