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  • Writer's pictureThe Beverly Arts

LABA Interviews Joe Davidson & Jiannan Huang on Sculpture, Painting, and Design

Sculpture artist Joe Davidson, LABA Blue-chip artist Jiannan Huang (iPad), and LABA host Maxwell Gobbell

Pasadena, California, USA. 7th April, 2023. The Los Angeles Beverly Arts (LABA) International Art Festival hosted an interview with sculpture artist Joe Davidson and LABA Blue-chip artist Jiannan Huang on the topic of "Sculpture, Painting, and Design" at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California. Huang was joined to the interview by video conference from his studio in Beijing, China, as he was unable to attend in person. The LABA host was Maxwell Gobbell, who led the interview and connected the artists together for a discussion of their two different artistic worlds. Joe Davidson is a sculpture artist based in Los Angeles. His artwork often focuses on the themes of gravity and impermanence, ranging from small sculpture pieces to large-scale installations cast from unexpected materials. Davidson graduated in 1995 with a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) degree in Sculpture from San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, and in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 2009, he received the C.O.L.A. Fellowship from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, California. He has exhibited throughout North America and Europe, and has been reviewed by many publications including the Los Angeles Times, Artillery Magazine, Artscene, and THE Magazine.

Sculpture artist Joe Davidson

Jiannan Huang is one of the world's finest artists, specializing in Western oil painting and Chinese ink. He is a national first-class artist in China, renowned calligrapher, and former part-time researcher of Shenzhen Graduate School of Tsinghua University. He was ranked third on the 2020 Hurun China Art List and 19th on the Hurun Global List with sales of $29 million. Huang holds several positions - Director of the Chinese Traditional Culture Promotion Association, member of the French National Artists Committee, art consultant for the World Low Carbon Cities Alliance, and France Jiny City Gold Medal Honorary Citizen. He was awarded the title of "Earl" by the Indonesian Royal Family. In 2021, he was given an honorary membership into the Royal Society of St. George (RSSG), California Branch, and received the RSSG "Master of Arts" Award and the LABA Most Influential and Most Valuable Artist Award in 2022. Huang was the first blue-chip artist as awarded by the LABA, and is currently serving as the Rotating Chairman of the LABA International Art Festival.

LABA Blue-chip artist Jiannan Huang

The interview host, Maxwell Gobbell, introduced the first question asking how sculptors and painters can learn from each other and influence innovation into their own artistic works. "In what aspects can sculpture and oil painting learn from each other?" "How to get inspiration and enlightenment from the two artistic fields of sculpture and oil painting, and integrate their respective characteristics and advantages in their own creation?"

Joe Davidson responded, "Well, there's a long history, especially in Western culture of sculptors and painters, working together and influencing each other, but also sculptors painting and then painters start dabbling in sculpture. So I think there's always been this overlap that has been happening for centuries, if not millennia. Like Michelangelo, who was primarily a sculptor, but is probably most well known for his work as a painter. I am constantly looking to work with painters as they do have some influence on me whether it's direct or indirect, whether it's a certain color or whether it's a composition, or something else. It's about following ideas." Huang responded, "I think sculptors may pay more attention to the three-dimensionality of their works, while oil painters pay more attention to plane composition and color application. Therefore, sculptors can learn the skills of plane composition and color application from oil paintings, while oil painters can learn from sculpture. Space and three-dimensional expression methods. In addition, both sculptors and oil painters need to have a strong aesthetic ability and innovative vision. In artistic creation, innovation, and uniqueness are very important. Without innovation, there is no art. In terms of reference, I personally think that learning from other artists' innovative methods and innovative ideas is the most critical."

Sculpture artist Joe Davidson, LABA Blue-chip artist Jiannan Huang (iPad), and LABA host Maxwell Gobbell Huang further replied, "This is how I see it. In terms of creative themes, both sculpture and oil painting can choose the same or similar themes for creation, such as portraits, natural scenery, etc., and creators can express them in different art forms in the same theme. In terms of color application, oil paintings use a lot of pigments to express colors, and sculptures can also use pigments for coloring. Sculptors can learn from oil paintings to use colors to express emotions and enhance the atmosphere, and oil painters can learn from sculptures how to use materials and surface textures to express colors. Space combination in both sculpture and oil painting need to consider the combination and layout of space. Oil painters can learn how to build a sense of space from sculpture, while sculptors can learn how to use lines and shapes to express a sense of space and hierarchy."

LABA Blue-chip arist Jiannan Huang

Davidson brought out the concept of time and gravity, "Sculpture is something that exists in three-dimensional space and it's something that exists that requires like time to experience it. I always like to think of sculpture is something that always whether it's acknowledged or not, has to incorporate the sense of gravity, the reality of this is something that's in real space. So a lot of the work that I'm doing right now, I'm making these balloon sculptures that are just sculptures, but I'm using balloons as the mold for casting and plaster. And as I'm making them, the weight of the plaster creates the shape of the form. So the gravity is always part of it."

In regards to how to get inspiration and enlightenment from the two artistic fields of sculpture and oil painting, and integrate into one's own creation, Huang responded, "This question may not be the same as other artists who have different experiences and feelings. I think first, we can study famous artists of sculpture and oil painting, analyze their creative style, use of color, expressive techniques, etc., and get inspiration from them. In addition, multi-media collaboration can be considered, which is what we often call mashups, such as adding sculpture elements to oil paintings or adding oil painting elements to sculpture works. Third, in terms of expressive techniques, we can use lines and three-dimensional painting styles to express the sense of space and texture of sculptures in oil paintings, or use the color style and chiaroscuro of oil paintings in sculptures. Finally, the materials and techniques of sculpture and oil painting are constantly evolving, and you can get new inspiration and inspiration from them, and incorporate these new materials and techniques into your own creations. I believe there can be great surprises and gains." The one-hour interview passed by quickly, leading Gobbell to ask the final question, "You are both Top 10 winners of the LABA International Art Festival's Most Influential and Most Valuable artists in the world. In the process of creation, what ways and methods can you communicate with each other and cooperate to achieve artistic improvement? How will the two of you cooperate in the future?" Davidson responded, "I think it's going to be a really interesting and wonderful possibility to explore. I think it's very compelling imagery and Huang's use of color, I see him constantly changing palette. And Huang's paintings, it will be interesting to see if I add something like that to some of the work I'm doing. Just would love to have, some sort of direct or indirect impact but more of a direct impact of using this palette as part of some of my sculptures and seeing how it started to impact. The way I look at the work and how I see it affects the form. How it affects seeing the kind of sculpture coming together and whether it creates tension. Or, does it really create contrast making it brighter. I think it's going to be very interesting to explore."

Huang replied, "Although oil painting and sculpture have different forms of expression, many artistic viewpoints may be similar. For example, we can participate in the same exhibition to expand everyone's artistic vision and creative inspiration, so as to learn from and inspire each other and improve the level of artistic creation. I hope to collaborate with sculptor Joe Davidson this year. In fact, I would like to hold a joint exhibition on "Sculpture and Painting" with Davidson. Davidson, who is also a senior consultant for the LABA International Art Festival, welcomed the opportunity to collaborate, and invited Jiannan Huang to visit the United States this year.

LABA host Maxwell Gobbell, Joe Davidson, and TV host Joey Zhou

The interview was produced and directed by Joey Zhou, founder of LABA and international TV host.

The Beverly Arts News is sponsored by the JHSZ International Art Institute



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