On the cover: Dishonest by Scott Albrecht
What’s the idea behind our cover art, Dishonest?
It’s part of an ongoing series in which each work represents a different personality trait or characteristic, centred around using the hand as a canvas. This one is more literal, with the crossed fingers, while other works mix symbolism and iconography to represent the idea that people are defined by their actions.
How did you set about making the series?
I’ve been working with hands as a symbol in my work for a while. Early on they were more focused on the idea of comfort (like the feeling you get from a hug or handshake), but over the years I’ve been evolving the direction into other narratives and ideas. I usually work in pen and ink first to create a study of the piece, and use that as a guide to making a sculptural work later on.
Is it important to you to work in the real world, rather than just with the click of a mouse?
Yes, definitely. I studied graphic design in college and a large part of what motivated me to get back to creating artwork was that I wanted to make more tangible things because I was always on the computer.
And you’re now getting into street art?
Yeah, that’s been really great. One thing I didn’t expect when I started doing it was the kind of interaction people have with the piece when it’s in a public setting. If I put a piece in a show or in a gallery, people will usually comment on the aesthetics of it. They might say, “That’s nice,” or “I don’t like that at all, why did you do it?” But what I found was that when it’s in a public setting people’s connection to the work changes because it’s part of their community or their commute, and the conversations shift from merely aesthetics to excitement about having a piece in their neighbourhood. Some people have thanked me, which was unexpected. It’s been super fun and I’m looking forward to doing more work outdoors.
Do you see your art as being political?
I don’t really view it as political but I think it tends to communicate and focus on human or personal connections from people dealing with or processing situations, some of which are political. We’re in a time of scary, defining moments – continued racial prejudice, Brexit, North Korean aggression, a potential Trump election – and at the centre of these things are people dealing with those situations. Finding a way to cope or understand has always inspired me.
You can check out more of Scott’s work at scottalbrecht.com: in November he’s got a solo show at Subliminal Projects (subliminalprojects.com), the Los Angeles gallery originally started as an art collective by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin
Slow Journalism in your inbox, plus infographics, offers and more: sign up for the free DG newsletter. Sign me up
Thanks for signing up.