Achieving The “Wow” Effect

Some paintings are so powerful they resist interpretation and strike the viewer directly, here the Dublin artist, Guggi, explains that moment of “wow” and his method for creating a similar response.
  • Transcript


Question: Who inspires you?

Guggi: Yeah. I mean, if I'm standing at MOMA, or if I'm standing anywhere, and I'm standing in front of a truly great painting--just the power of a painting--or if I turn around and see a painting that's -- I just go, "Wow." Don't need to know who the artist is, don't really need to know but if the painting just speaks to me and if it moves me, it certainly inspires me. I don't know if it directly influences me. There are -- I mentioned Sean Scully. He's a painter that I would very much admire; another Irish painter. I love his paintings very much. They can really move me and affect me. But yet I don't know if they influence my paintings. But Sean Scully, the man, would certainly be an influence on me in terms of how he goes about his business, how he conducts himself, how he -- I think I have learned from Sean. But yes, of course, I have a lot of influences. I love the painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat. And I love -- you see a Matisse and you just go, "Wow."

Question: What is your creative process?

Guggi: I think that's -- that very process does fascinate me because I can always see a painting in my minds eye but you can't see it in a photo realistic sense and the thing that you see and it comes and it goes and you just fight for that. Generally, probably my best work has been following that thing and it turns into something completely different. So I would start with an idea and I would follow that idea as I saw it in my mind's eye, but then at some point in time, very early on in the painting, the paint itself would start dictating what came next and instinctive marks would start happening. I think it's one step of faith after the next and instinct. I think after awhile the paint starts dictating. And sometimes it can be very close to what I saw in my mind's eye and other times it can be something completely different, but that's generally how I would start

 Recorded on October 7, 2009