Interviewsand Articles

 

Portfolio: Joe Slusky

by Richard Whittaker, Dec 26, 2009


 

 

Slusky is poised to retire after teaching for 30 years at UC Berkeley in the College of Environmental Design. I paid a visit to Joe to get a good look at his art and was treated to a tour of work stretching back over forty years. It was great fun. Best known for his colorful painted-steel sculptures, he also makes drawings -- most often colorful, like his sculptures. Near the end of my visit I asked about several drawers we hadn't opened. More drawings. In one there was a cache of small, 4" x 6" drawings. He does them while waiting, he told me, for a doctor’s appointment or in other situations where the wheels aren't turning. He saves cards he gets in the mail -- real estate pitches, exhibit announcements and the like--and always has a supply on hand for passing these delays pleasantly by drawing.

Such sketches, done purely for pleasure and with no thought of public consumption, have a particular quality that seems to transcend the dichotomy of outsider/insider art--studied work versus work done without one eye kept on some other agenda.
 

About the Author

Richard Whittaker is the founder of works & conversations magazine.

 

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