Once again, this is the original transcription of the interview in English. Seldon Hunt is an incredible Aussie artist living in New York, whose artwork has graced covers and prints of musicians such as Sunn 0))), The Melvins, Neurosis, Isis, Wolves In The Throne Room, among many others. It is an honour to have him profiled here. His website is a good starting point to be acquainted with his work.

You are quite a prolific artist, being also referred as a photographer, filmmaker and writer, what is your favourite medium?

To be honest I love photography these days. I used to be obsessed with my heavily geometric shapes and layered works, but over time they are tedious in both time and patience! I find doing that sort of work more of a challenge these days, as also I sometimes feel I have exhausted a lot of options in terms of form and style. Being involved with other mediums, means that i also find myself being focussed on one particular method, which can be a curse. I find photography really expressive, and personal, for me, I find I can find something really unique and special in a particular place and capture it in a way that feels perfect in some way. And i love that sensation when I can see that it worked.

Why are you an artist, or when did you realize you were one?

I feel being an artist is not really a choice. Its all some people really can do, other wise they will be doomed to misery in the world of employment!! I never knew what i wanted to be for a long time, growing up, i just knew I didn't want to work, in the traditional sense. I just wanted to make a living by not having to do anything but be me, do what I like to do and that's about it, and in a way I think that is what an artist does. Its permission to publicly display your internal thoughts, feelings, motivations etc. I had no particular medium or skill growing up, I wasn't into drawing, or making things, so i guess when I enrolled in art school, I kind of knew what i was heading into, in a more defined way.

What made you move from Australia to New York?

It was a crime of passion....

Which artists have you been influenced by?

It's hard to answer that. I have never been really obsessed with any particular artists. I loved Robert Crumb when I was younger, and an Australian painter, Brett Whitely. Later years its really just a matter of what I see around me, but I don't feel like I'm influenced to be honest, in some way I try to avoid that, as especially with the geometric work I REALLY wanted to create a form that was utterly original. Also, as weird as it sounds I'm not really into art that much, i tend to be way more interested in books, film and music. I rarely go to exhibitions or even bother looking at art magazines. Perhaps i might learn something!!?

Your images are usually used around the circle of Isis, Earth and Sunn 0))), and their labels, is that the music you enjoy as a fan? How did the collaboration began?

I certainly enjoyed that music as a fan a few years ago when I first started. It was exciting to meet all these guys who were playing such amazing new music. I met all these people when I travelled in the US in 2000 and had a good time and shared a lot in common. Overall, it just came down to mutual respect. I'm probably less a fan than i was....its hard to be a fan of people you hang with, it comes down more to having enormous respect for their output, and continuing the tradition we have of creating great packages of music and art.

What are the best and worst parts of being a full time, working artist?

Working by ones self. It has great advantages like not working when you are hungover. The disadvantages being that it can be a little boring with no one to talk to. And plus I am indoors way too much and I am in fact very much an outdoors person, which is why a lot of the photography involves landscapes. The idea of being a full time artist is a fantasy when you start out with the seed of a thought that it is your vocation to do that, but the reality is that, as the Australian painter Brett Whitely succinctly put it, 'Its a difficult pleasure'. I think that sums it up, its always difficult, it never feels like its great fun, it is always challenging, and the reality is you have to keep producing work for real, not just after hours as an experiment. Everything you do pretty much ends up in the public arena, and that is a bit of pressure to live up to. But the reward is the sense of overcoming that pressure as a challenge and that doing great work as a matter of course is something to aspire to and maintain.

Could you describe how is the usual process, are you contacted first by the artists, are you suggested by friends, how does it happen until you reach the final product?

I am contacted usually by bands. Then the label contacts me to work out the logistics. Then I chat to the band, online usually about what sort of aesthetic or concept they are looking at in their cover. Usually I just send them pretty much a finished cover. I'm usually pretty okay, at getting it right first time, people do come to me for a certain type of result, so i can usually come up with something that fits the bill. If there are any issues I work back into the art until the band is satisfied.

You have a strong presence on the web with your blog, myspace and the website, do you manage your career all by yourself? How do you perceive the importance of the internet for an artist nowadays?

I manage my career all by myself, yes. Many cover artists and I are mystified about the idea of agents and managers. They must be hiding from us as we all could certainly benefit from that kind of professional assistance!! Well the internet is important for any business, but I do know VERY successful artists who have no web presence at all, so I cant really say anything about whether the internet is of any use at all.

How do you spend your time? Do you travel around? If so, what are some of your favourite places to be. What other interests do you have (besides painting)?

I would love to travel more, but I'm always working. I live in Brooklyn, and like a lot of people in New York, its hard place to leave unless you have a lot of cash, or friends with a car. I know no one who owns a car, so we never actually leave Brooklyn/Manhattan, it can get a bit much, but this city is awfully consuming so you're never bored. I read a lot, I walk a lot.

If you want to promote some companies you are associated with, and that make your work available, or any shout-outs, feel free to do it here. Any solo shows coming up, in the US, Europe or anywhere else?

No solo shows happening this year. I am in discussions with a gallery in Paris for a photographic show for next year, there will also possibly be a group show in L.A. later this year. www.shirtsanddestroy.com

Comments (2)

On 24 de junho de 2009 às 21:12 , WALKtheWALK disse...

gostei de ler. desconhecia o trabalho dele, pareceu-me interessante e vou checkar melhor.

On 25 de junho de 2009 às 01:31 , Timóteo de Azevedo disse...

Mega nice, adoro este gajo!