When three ASU art professors get together to put on an exhibition of their own work, you can expect some high quality art. And probably some shenanigans to go with it.
This month, Phoenix art veterans Henry Schoebel, Anthony Pessler, and John Obuck are hosting an exhibition of new work at the Eric Fischl Gallery at Phoenix College.
We wanted to get the scoop on what the three artists are up to these days, so we asked them to answer some questions via e-mail. Their answers were submitted separately (but they might reveal why these guys are such good friends).
Where do you, personally, find inspiration?
Henry Schoebel: Inspiration is for amateurs.
Anthony Pessler: I will paraphrase Chuck Close here, who said, "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just get into the studio and get to work." Now that's a bit flippant, but it really does get at something. The work - that is subject and content, comes from all kinds of places - sources that are both internal and external. But the form - that is, what it ends up looking like (which is what matters, after all), comes from ongoing intimate contact with materials and processes - and paying attention.
John Obuck: I don't know. Sometimes it just strikes me like a baseball bat to the side of my head.
Does teaching influence your creative process at all?
Schoebel: Students sometimes do the darndest things, and keep you fully engaged in active problem-solving. They bring new insights to the classroom and by default to you. Above all, students remind me to be myself and see the world with a fresh perspective.
Pessler: Being a painter can be pretty isolating. Historically, it's been a pretty solitary activity. You spend a lot of time, alone in the studio, staring at your limitations. And, it can be difficult, especially in a city like Phoenix, to find a community of like-minded individuals. One of the greatest advantages of being an educator as well, is that you have regular contact with people who care (deeply) about a lot of the same things you do. They are enthusiastic and curious, and can be a great reminder of just how cool it is to be taking the road less traveled - for something you love.
Obuck: I believe that what I am thinking about in my own work probably gets filtered into some of the assignments for my classes. Teaching makes me verbalize about my work more than I am accustomed to because students want to ask questions.
In your estimation, what is the glue that holds this particular group show together?
Schoebel: We haven't quit yet.
Pessler: We're all old-school... and funny. Well those two are funnier than I am, but I'm kind of funny... sometimes.
Obuck: It's a crazy glue. I think we all have a individualized attention to detail. There is a humor in the work. There is a search for the iconic.
Tell two truths and a lie about each of the other two artists.
Schoebel: They both look good for their age, are really funny guys, and oh, did I mention they both look good for their age?
Pessler: On Henry -- He's the hardest working studio artist I have ever known. He is the theologian/philosopher of the Painting area in ASU's School of Art. He is an AMAZING salsa dancer. On Obuck -- Students LOVE hime - I have no idea why. He was awarded a prestigious "Prix de Rome" based on a one-sentence project proposal. He is an AMAZING salsa dancer.
Obuck: They are two handsome devils that I'm pleased to have as friends. I cannot tell a lie.
"An Exhibition of Recent Work By Henry Schoebel, Anthony Pessler, and John Obuck" is currently on view at Phoenix College's Eric Fischl Gallery. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building toward the northeast corner of the campus, near 12th Avenue and Earll Drive.
An opening reception will take place on Monday, August 26 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., and the exhibition is set to run through September 19. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.