3 Questions with Joel Holmberg

3 Questions with Joel Holmberg

Throughout Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, we'll feature Q&As with several of the artists in the exhibition.

In advance of his talk with another Made in L.A. artist Guthrie Lonergan (of M&M's fame) on August 24, we spoke to artist Joel Holmberg about his work and relationship to L.A.

Hammer Museum: How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and what led you to move here?

Joel Holmberg: If you’re asking me if I first moved here 10 years ago after finishing undergrad, my answer is yes. Did I live here for 3 years during the mid-aughts? Absolutely. And did I move back in December 2014? Absolutely. And did it feel like I was moving back home? Absolutely. And if you’re asking me if I was ready to hole up and have long, uninterrupted days of silence and still get to see friends periodically, my answer is no.

How does your recent interest in painting relate to your earlier work in web design, digital image making, and sculpture?

If you’re asking me if I think it’s possible to truly express life's sadness without the use of symbols, my answer would be no. Do I think that when you go to express life’s sadness, it is helpful to turn to consumer access points set up by corporations? Absolutely. 

You have exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, as well as through other online portals. Do you feel there is a difference in the ways your work is received in a place like Los Angeles versus these other locations and platforms?

If you’re asking me if I think the idea of an audience is largely imaginary, my answer would be yes.

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Tags: made in l.a., exhibitions, artists