Interview: Kevin Harman at 2012 Edinburgh Art Festival
Recent work on 24-hour consumer culture by graduate of Edinburgh College of Art
This article is from 2012.
What was the first exhibition you went to see?
It was in the national gallery of Scotland on a school trip. I remember a painting with a woman’s boob on a plate. I distinctly remember that painting as it done a sex thing to me.
What was your first paid job as an artist?
Designing a flyer for an awful cleaning company.
What kind of music do you listen to while you’re working?
It varies in my mood perhaps a bit Daniel Johnson if I’m feeling psychotic, maybe Primal Scream if one needs to take the T-shirt off and dive into graft, Golden Silvers if work nears completion but I do enjoy the sound of the room most of the time.
What are the best things about opening nights?
The best parts are looking at all the stunning people and what they are wearing, especially the women, they wear the most beautifully crafted garments. Getting to chat with increasingly important people as I make incremental rises in my career is fun. The art gets acknowledged but not fully engaged with as folk are busy schmoozing with a beverage.
Do you read reviews of your work?
I do. I suppose by the way my practice has evolved, it’s a curious reflection on what I’m doing, it’s good to get as much critique as possible so one can see what it’s doing.
Which living artist should be better known than they currently are?
Perhaps Cornelius Duprè, not only for his ever-strengthening art works but his character and beautiful brain. I have no doubt you will hear of him it years to come.
What has been your career highlight to date?
Being arrested for smashing a gallery window, being wined and dined by Honda and now having a show at Ingleby gallery.
What is your favourite work of art?
I have many works I like, Douglas Gordon’s Taxi Driver work being one of them, but one work that has really influenced me is Gustav Metzger’s acid painting and his auto destructive art.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Failure is great at times, embrace it, embrace it as warmly as success. Go about something with the aim for it to fail … It’s surprising how difficult it is.
Kevin Harman: 24/7, 169 Rose Street, until 2 Sep, free.