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12 Questions: Damien Hoar de Galvan

Damien Hoar de Galvan was born in Northampton, MA in 1979. Graduating from Green Mountain College in 2001 with a degree in behavioral science he began making art soon after and in 2008 graduated with a post-baccalaureate certificate from the School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Since then he has been living and working around the Boston area and showing throughout the country. In 2019 he was included in 100 Sculptors Of Tomorrow published by Thames & Hudson and in 2020 was featured in New American Painters vol. 146 chosen by Jerry Saltz. He is ambivalent about most things but still pretty hopeful.

1. What are 1-3 books that have influenced your life?

I don’t read the way I used to when I was younger and so many of the books have sort of all blended together. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac was certainly an influence and I’ve read many biographies of people I admire that have definitely shaped me. Mostly biographies of musicians, artists and writers.

2. What are you currently working on?

I’m always working. It’s a continuation of the work you’ve seen of mine. It just sort of keeps on going. I don’t have a specific project right now, I’m always thinking about how I can change things up or do things differently but until that happens I sort of think about all my work as the same thing in a way.

3. How has failure set you up for later success? What was your favorite failure?

In some ways I probably think of everything I do as a failure. This is not me looking for pity or anything like that I just don’t think I’ve achieved any real success. Success probably means something different to everyone. I’m strictly thinking of career goals here, expectations continually change. Not being satisfied with myself is probably a motivation tool. I’m not sure I have any favorite failures but I do enjoy making art despite all the frustrations that come with it.

4. What is your most unusual habit?

I’m not sure, if someone followed me around all day maybe they’d be able to tell me. Lately I’ve been walking a lot and although that’s not very unusual it is a habit I’m enjoying.

5. If you could have any painter, living or dead paint your portrait who would it be and why?

Hmmmm, the first painter who comes to my mind is Alice Neel so I’ll go with her. And because she’s great! I love her portraits she makes things look so easy I think, I don’t get the sense it would have be difficult to sit for her. She was an early influence on me.

6. What is the most indispensable item in your studio/workspace/office?What is your studio like? Could you share an image?

My studio is in my basement, it’s pretty dark and messy. My most important tool and what allows me to do what I do would be my band saw. Without it I would be making something different.

7. When you feel overwhelmed or uninspired what do you do? What do you do to get out of a funk? What questions do you ask yourself?

Walking as I mentioned before has become pretty important for my mental health, when things aren’t going well, a walk will usually help. I also play soccer and that definitely helps get my mind off things. I guess just physical movement and exercise in general. If my non-art part of my life is going ok then usually the studio is running smoothly as well. As far as asking myself questions I think it’s the opposite, clearing my overactive brain is usually the key to moving through something.

8. Who/What influences your work?

I definitely get inspiration from looking at artists I admire. To see someone make something really great makes me want to do the same. Sometimes you get so involved with the way you work that seeing someone do something new or exciting reminds you that you can do that too.

9. Do you collect anything?

I collect art. Mostly small things, works on paper. I go through phases where I’ll buy work and then wonder what I’m going to do with it or where im going to put it. I like art, I think buying art is important and although I can’t afford all the work I would like, I buy when I can.

10. What words of advice would you give to your younger self?

Take better care of yourself!

11. In the last five years what new belief, or habit has most improved your life or studio practice?

Trying to make healthier life decisions as far as diet/exercise. And in the studio I try and be more mindful of how I construct things. Use better materials and methods of making so things will last longer. Are you sensing a theme here….

12. Share an inspiring image.

James May Gallery | 2201 N Farwell, Milwaukee, WI | 262-753-3130

The Architecture of Everything featuring Damien Hoar de Galvan, Ellen Weider, & Liz Rundorff Smith opens Friday Sept 1st 5:30-8:00

Exhibition runs through Oct 28th

Please continue to support us by visiting us in person at our new location: 2201 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee or check out our Artsy page. Feel free to contact us: 262-753-3130 HOURS: Tues-Thur 10:30-5:30 Fri 11- 5:30 Sat 10:30-5:30 INSTAGRAM


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