David Ohlerking — ARTIST

David Ohlerking

Interview with artist David Ohlerking —


1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is David Ohlerking.  I drive around in a 97 Crown Vic that has been painted on by children for the last 7 years.  When I find a good parking spot I pull over, set up, and paint the view from there.  And sometimes I do quick sketches of people who hold still for 15 minutes.







2. Why art?
I like painting because I’m fascinated with reality, and fascinated with the fact that we can make 2 dimensional estimates of it, that can sometimes ring true like the real thing rings true.



3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I saw a drawing my Uncle Damon Ohlerking did and wanted to be able to do that too.



4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
Buildings, trees, the desert, people, especially the naked ones.  I paint with oil on boards.



5. How do you work and approach your subject?
I set up in front of the subject and do a quick sketch of it, usually with paint from the grey leftover paint sludge jar.  Then I keep repainting it one color at a time, weaving the colors together.  I step back a lot to reevaluate things.  I talk to the people who show up, so as to distract myself from becoming too locked up inside the painting.  At some point all the colors and marks start to converse with each other.  When a painting is working, that conversation will have something to do with the experience of being in that particular place at that particular time, then I’m supposed to stop.



6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
My favorite painting is the Cy Twombly one about the “Anatomy of Melancholy” in the Twombly Gallery in Houston.  My favorite dead guy painter is Edvard Munch.  My favorite live one is Alex Kanevsky, who tells me what to do sometimes when I’m lucky.



7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I love it when people buy the paintings.  It’s like getting paid to be a 4 year old.  I like it when people who are local (for building/landscape ones) say that I got it right.  Or when people who know the person I painted respond with fondness (for that person) that was elicited by the depiction.  But the best response of all was when my teacher once told me that I did everything wrong in the painting but it still worked.




8. What do you like about your work?
I like that it can sometimes look both transcendent and transgressive, like a dirty homeless dude playing Beethoven well on the violin, in downtown Philadelphia.



9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Paint as much as possible.



10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Standing by the trunk of my car painting, and handing brushes to small children so they can work on my car.




David Ohlerking


Website: davidohlerking.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidohlerking
Instagram: instagram.com/davidohlerking
Tumbler: tumblr.com/davidohlerking
Video: https://youtu.be/x1jIPdLoA_I