Torchlight Series: Exploring Color and Light in Art with Charlie Hudson

January 2018 - by SORAA

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During Art Basel, the world-renowned art fair in Miami this past December, we partnered with Superfine!—a fast-growing, hyper-curated art fair that spotlights up-and-coming contemporary artists. As part of our collaboration, we lit the exhibit from Apostrophe Gallery (an iconoclastic art gallery created in 2012 by two NYC-based brothers) and spent some time discussing their work, their inspirations, and how light impacts the way they create. 

Australian-American artist Charlie Hudson received his BA from the University of Vermont and currently works and resides in New York City. Hudson’s classical training created the foundation for his experiments in creating organically pixelated landscapes. His interest in the simplicity of natural abstraction has helped guide his predilection for finding beauty and inspiration in the intersection of art, industry and nature. 

Tell us about where your internal inspiration comes from. How does it influence the work you do? And how do you want others to view and experience your work? 

I always kind of felt like a painter. I was always painting on stuff, and I think that’s kind of where my inspiration comes from, just the sense of always wanting to be painting. My internal inspiration is walking around and seeing things and just wanting to take that abstraction I see in everyday life and put it on canvas. 

Tell us about light and color and how that plays into your work and your creative process. 

I try to limit color as much as possible. Sometimes I use a lot of color, but for the most part I like to explore all the different tones and shades you can get out of just one color. And then lighting—that’s the most crucial thing, because if you’re painting in a dimly lit room, then you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. And if you’re painting in a well-lit room, you can see the nuances of everything. I mean, that’s really the big difference. 

What other art forms and artists have inspired your work? 

I’ve always been a huge fan of Vincent Van Gogh. That guy was the ultimate artist. He sold one painting in his life and just painted because he had to. I feel that way. I feel like even if I wasn’t doing it for a living, I would always be painting. It’s just something I have to do. Most recently, I’ve kind of veered off into more abstraction; so, I’d say Louise Nevelson is a huge inspiration for me. She did a lot of installation work and I’m really into that, and just more sculptural pieces. You can kind of see it in this set. It’s becoming a painting, but it’s also very much three-dimensional.    

How has your art evolved or changed over the years? 

I wanted to learn to be a painter first, to learn every style of painting...or, not every style, but as many styles as possible. I wanted to get as technically good as possible and now I’ve kind of found my rhythm and I’m going more abstract. But it’s still the same style of painting, where I make a move and I react to that move — to balance off the painting.

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