Sharon Butler: Interview

Sharon Butler, Stadium, 2014, pencil, pigment, binder, canvas, tshirts, 72 x 84
Sharon Butler, Stadium, 2014, pencil, pigment, binder, canvas, tshirts, 72 x 84 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Julia Schwartz interviews painter Sharon Butler about her work.

Butler comments: "I ultimately learned was that my best subjects are simply, and sometimes unconsciously, pulled from my immediate surroundings. Materials and processes as well often arise from everyday life. For instance, when I was working on W. 39th Street in the garment district, I first began thinking of canvas as fabric that could be folded, laundered, frayed. In DC, I made paintings that referenced public sculpture, primarily the Modernist pieces in the National Gallery of Art sculpture garden. At 117 Grattan Street in Bushwick, where I had an amazing view of the neighboring rooftops, structures like silencers, ducts, and ventwork found their way into the paintings. During Hurricane Sandy, I was up on the Connecticut shore, where several boats ran aground, sails were shredded, houses flooded, and propane tanks floated down the street – events that still have an effect on my images and use of materials today. Unlike many artists who stay in the same studio for twenty years, I prefer to move around. A new commute and a different view propel the work forward in unexpected ways."