Five Questions For Michael Krumenacker

Michael KrumenackerName: Michael Krumenacker
Title/Occupation: Artist
Organization/Company: Self
URL: Chinati

1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?
I grew up in very rural New Hampshire, completely ignorant of anything considered “high” art, although also far away from any suburban sprawl, cable, fast-food restaurants or malls too, so what has become “low” art (cartoons, pop-culture, comic books) also escaped having any profound affect on me.
I’m now in Austin, TX. Long story in how I ended up here actually, but I drove from Brooklyn to Marfa to be the AIR at the Chinati Foundation and spent some time here along the way. I fell in love with not only the city, but with a life-long friend who relocated here years before. New York had become uninteresting to me and a move here made perfect sense.

2. Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you and why?

The Palace at 4 AM by Giacometti. I first saw it reproduced in a slide during a class my freshman year of college and it felt like a cinder block had dropped on my head. I still have no idea why it REALLY has such an effect on me. I’ve thought about this sculpture for years now and dragged it through every theoretical and conceptual and philosophical and formalist framework out there and I still don’t know. It’s magic perhaps?
Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night (LP) is another work of art that has never become uninteresting. Richard Burton’s and Liz Taylor’s performances in the film of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf always kicks my ass no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

3. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?

I play some guitar, bass, drums… can sing and write a little… but I’m no good at any of them. I’d kill to be even a “jack of all trades” when it comes to music. I’m presently more like a 4 of clubs of all trades.

4. What do you do to make a living? Describe a normal day.

I’ve been doing all sorts of carpentry (house construction, renovations, unique furniture) for years now. I’ve been lucky enough to work for projects that are interesting and challenging and I have never just been part of a crew. I’m currently constructing a big solar powered studio for an architect here in Austin that has been having a pretty interesting affect on my own work.

5. Have you ever had to make a choice between work and art? What did you choose, why, and what was the outcome?
Well my art sure doesn’t support me and I had to take out loans to go to school so having a job is just a part of life now. I used to get pissed about having to work 5 days a week at a job (with no benefits) and then come home tired and try to get some work done, but at some point a few years back I had this sudden realization that I was always working on my “art”, whether I was actually in my studio or hanging drywall or cooking dinner. It also hit me at the same time that I was always experiencing “art” whether I was in a gallery, museum or looking at a street, a house, some trees, a mountain, a pile of garbage, whatever. This has triggered a move away from art in a way and closer to being an artist.

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