Loc Huynh Interview - The Hopper Prize

Loc Huynh

The artist on memories as content, upcoming exhibitions, & the evolution of new bodies of work.

How did you get into making art?

After high school, I was hanging around tattoo shops and was actually going to do an apprenticship, but through the encouragement from the tattoo artists, I decided to go to college instead. I also used to do alot of illustrative gigs, like designing t-shirt graphics and posters for musician friends, as well as doing cartoons for my undergrad university’s newspaper. Although separate from fine arts practice, I feel all those early experiences with counterculture and illustration have been really informative to my work.

What are you currently working on?

I have a show in April at Martha’s Contemporary in Austin, TX. That show is centered around fishing. I also have a few group shows, fairs, and a couple other projects further into the year.

Memories of family and personal experiences serve as content for my work.

Loc Huynh

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

Memories of family and personal experiences serve as content for my work. I tend to look at old family photos, or reconstruct certain moments and scenes as I remember them. I often take liberties with my imagery. Although the paintings may not be a 100% accurate representation to how the events took place, the spirit of the painting is true to the content.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I take on multiple projects with specific themes in mind. I then develop those ideas even more the when I start making work for those projects. Even though my work is heavily planned out, contextually, they are a bit improvised. Bodies of work evolve out of one painting and continually revisiting the theme with different variations.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I tend to be a bit of a night owl, ever since college. I would come to the studio around 5-6pm and just work into the night. I tend to work on multiple paintings at once, it prevents me from getting frustrated or bored with a singular thing. I also come into the studio with small goals all the time. The goals can range from completing an entire painting, to just cleaning up around the studio. Often, I try to complete at least one painting or drawing a week, no matter how big or small. This helps make me feel productive.

Who are your favorite artists?

Peter Saul is my absolute favorite artist. I was introduced to his work during undergrad, and I’ve never seen anything like it since. Through that, I was also inadvertently exposed to the Chicago Imagist (Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, etc.) and Philip Guston. I also love turn of the century figuritive artists like Tamara De Lempicka and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as more contemporary artists like Nina Chanel Abney, Roger Shimomura and Trenton Doyle Hancock, who have a pop sesibility. Cartoonist and comic book artists have also been informative of my artistic practice. I’m particularly partial to a very angular aesthetic (ie. Bruce Timm, Genndy Tartakovsky, Steve Dillon, etc.) I could go on about artists, in both fine art and illustration, that I love and who’ve been influential to me.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

Instagram mostly now, but before that, I would go to the library or book stores and activley look for new artists all the time. Juxtapoz is my favorite art publication, so I am constantly learning about new artists from there.

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