SAN ANTONIO CURRENT | 5/26/2010
Visual Arts
Artist on artist action:
15 questions for Hills Snyder

by Gary Sweeney

Bryan Rindfuss

Hills Snyder is an artist, musician, curator, and director of Sala Diaz, one of San Antonioís premiere alternative art spaces. Last July, he curated the tour-de-force exhibit Lonely Are the Brave at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center.

On Apr 14, 2010, at 2:38 PM, SweeneyArt wrote: Just testing my interview skills. If you donít want to answer a question, then donít: you wonít hurt my feelings. Trust me.

1. What was the first artwork that made an impression on you? Peter Hurdís circular settlement of the South Plains fresco in the old Texas Tech Museum.

2. Should art feed the head, the heart, or the body? Itís a mistake to think these are separate.

3. Whatís the best piece of advice you can offer younger artists? Cultivate anything that contributes. Avoid what doesnít.

4. Talent: Do some have it and some donít? Yes, but there are all kinds of talent.

5. Why is the concept of originality so valued in the art world?It is generally recognized as valuable in lots of worlds. Itís an issue in the art world in specific ways because originality has been linked conceptually to imperialism. There are many artists who have demonstrated this ably in very original ways.

6. Do you believe in luck? Yes.

7. Do experiences tend to be idealized by the memory?Yes.

8. Why does the art world have an obsession with youth and freshness over wisdom and maturity?Theyíre so fresh mainly. Plus people want to be first a lot.

9. What do you believe to be your chief strength as an artist? I never stop creating.
As a curator? Playfulness.

10. Itís a popular theory that artists produce better work when theyíre in a state of turmoil. Do you think thereís any truth to that? I think its better to let turmoil and contentment be equal partners in irrelevance.

11. Some people claim to work more creatively in an altered state. Do you find the results reflect that? Or is it just an illusion? The state you refer to may not involve oral intake, but if you mean the cannabis-smoking writer, then yes, it can aid creativity. But if you mean the cigarettes-and-whiskey painter, I donít know.

Some examples that may shed light:

huachuma

The grandeur of your epaulet is inspiriní, Colonel. Please inform
the Quartermaster that Miss Lillywhite has got her underpants in
the mud. However, she does not require assistance as she has come
prepared with a pair of zircon encrusted tweezers. Her golden brow
is festooned about with thoughts becominí such a child. Later she
will join us on the veranda.

ďunalteredĒ

I was on the porch talking with my friend Jim. I said to him, the next time I do a show Iím going to call it If You Donít Like Dogs And Children Go Fuck Yourself.

No, he said, itís too long. Just call it Go Fuck Yourself.

12. What three things never fail to bring you pleasure? Only three?
ē examining plants closely
ē playing or listening to music
ē hiking in mountains

13. If you had to choose between making art or music, how would you choose? I never would.

14. What do you find hysterically funny? Pomposity.

15. Financial considerations aside (you couldnít sell the artwork), what work of art would you own if you could own any? Iíd love to have a Trevor Winkfield painting.

Thanks. Youíre one of only a handful of artists whose answers Iíd be interested in!
You are welcome. Iíd like to see your answers, too.

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