- Contemporary Visual Art for Human Rights -

Lane Last

Posted on June 09 2017

In this interview, Lane Last talk about his artistic past, present and future and he will present his series of digital and visionary works based on technology, images and colours: each of these artworks is a dis/harmonic..

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The artist occupies a strange position in regards to our visual culture and contemporary society as a whole. We can aspire to be visionaries or to be commodities. We can find meaning in devoted and challenging artistic practice or in developing an innovative personal brand.. – L. Last

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American artist and filmmaker based in the U.S., Lane Last also works as a professor of Art at the University of Tennessee. As suggested by these few information, it is clear that he has a strong, versatile personality, since his main interests concern paintings, graphics, installations, but also music. As contemporary artist, in the last fifteen years and more he has been able to exhibit in the U.S. – from New York to Los Angeles – as well as internationally.
During his studies (BA and MA in Visual Arts at the University of Wisconsin) he was influenced by some of the protagonists of the Avantgardes, from Abstraction to Minimalism, and with this inspiration in mind he has been able to create his professional path that is still ongoing and evolving.
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In the following interview, Lane Last will talk about his artistic past, present and future and he will present his series of digital and visionary works based on technology, images and colours: each of these artworks is a dis/harmonic composition able to tickle the memory and the imagination of the public.

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Author Silvia Colombo

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L.A.: Lane can you tell us about your artistic carrer? What characterized your creative evolution?
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Lane Last: I was always making things and music, which took me often in different directions. I still make music today. My visual art career began with two teachers who recognized my creativity in very different media and encouraged my pursuit of a Masters in Fine Arts. Playing music professionally while attending art school was a dream, but it could not last forever. I eventually found myself working in both abstract painting and with various forms of new media which I found very exciting. I opened a studio practice and began exhibiting nationally and internationally for a number of years. As time went on, the allure of new media and technologically driven work convinced me to pause the work in the painting studio and focus on the electronic media. It definitely has some affinity with my musical sensibilities and the instinctive approach to a piece of technology or process suits my internal psychological state.
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L.A.: Who were the first artists that inspired you and who inspires you today?
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Lane Last: A couple names come to mind. I first encountered Wassily Kandinsky in a gallery in Germany before I even attended art school. They were very impressive in person. I am also a Hans Hofmann fan, Frank Stella and early Elizabeth Murray work. Mostly colorists. I am inclined to say that today I am more excited about exploring new technological approaches to art more than anything else.
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Uncertainly Blue │ Buy it
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L.A.: Can you discuss your process for making these images or your creative process more generally? How long you work on a single image?
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Lane Last: Iterative works like this series are by their nature process driven and demand attention to both data and visual determinants. There are three different technological steps in their making. My creative process is impatient at some stages and playful at best. There is always a little bit of improvisation in the tweaking and refining which I immensely enjoy. There is something satisfying in using a machine or piece of technology do something it wasn’t created to do. I would guess an average of 2-3 hours for each piece, not counting the periods of experimentation without any results one is happy with.
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L.A.: What do you hope people see, feel or understand when they look at your images?
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Lane Last: I am certain I do not have a good answer for this question. My psyche is very internalized and I do not often wander into the world of others conceptions lightly. I do hope they might see beauty, potency, spirits, and desire. The work has dance and trance like qualities. When I look at them I often hear music in my head. I would hope the visual experience is contemplative and provocative at the same time.
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Uncertainly Red │ Buy it
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Uncertainly Violet Buy it
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L.A.: What is the role of the artist in contemporary society?
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Lane Last: The artist occupies a strange position in regards to our visual culture and contemporary society as a whole. We can aspire to be visionaries or to be commodities. We can find meaning in devoted and challenging artistic practice or in developing an innovative personal brand. Post-modernism freed the artist indeed, it also untethered part of our mythology. I believe the value of the artmaking has always been about creativity visualized, the act of creation rather than the base habits of destruction so common in humanity. Truly I think perhaps the role of the artist is to intentionally stand a little bit outside of the bubble of their times and focus on the challenge doing what you believe matters.
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L.A.: Hopes and projects for the future?
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Lane Last: I might have 20 years left of artmaking left and I hope to explore a few different avenues beyond this Fusion series. I am currently working out video versions of these kinds of images for outdoor projection. I am also working with 3D modeling and want to work on some large scale fabrications of these pieces in a range of materials. Lastly, I would love to build and fly a hot air balloon I have been designing over the past few years.
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Uncertainly Green Buy it
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Uncertainly Deep Blue │ Buy it
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