- Where are you from and where do you reside?
- Born and raised in New York City, based in Austin, Texas.
- How did you decide to move to Austin?
- I got into the architecture school at UT. Also going somewhere far away seemed exciting at the time.
- Did you have a mentor?
- All of my initial art training came from my dad who is an artist. Basically he would drag me to museums and do cool art projects with me, all the while reiterating his important idea, “never be an artist, don’t go to art school.” He is primarily a sculptor but some of his paintings are better than Guernica.
- Is there any artwork on display in your home/studio? Whose is it?
- The current artists on my walls include Melissa Brown, Ryan Thayer Davis, Steven Diamond, Sean David Morgan, Melissa Murray, Manik Raj Nakra, Katie Rose Pipkin, Andrew Riggins, Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz, Peter Shear, Taylor Smith, Kevin McNamee-Tweed, Ike Ude, and Jack Arthur Wood.
- What necessities do you require when making your art?
- A few large tables, water, 300 lb watercolor paper, a bunch of tiny jars, paper towels, 60% podcasts, and 40% music.
- How solitary is your art-making process?
- Making my work is quite solitary. As far as the works on paper go, collaboration is very rare. For me collaboration usually only happens in curation or in other multi-disciplinary projects, like installations or design. From an early age making things was a way for me to get ideas out and usually had nothing to do with interacting with others.
- What is the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?
- I think it’s really hard making the decisions about which pieces to make and which ideas to shelve for later, because sometimes later really means never.
- How do you incorporate chance in your creative process?
- Chance and randomness are very important. I have some old work that involved random color sequences, which were determined by rolling a dice. I have also written very simple Processing scripts that spit out random color palettes, which I still use sometimes. From a compositional standpoint, all of the wet on wet dot pieces are derived by chance due to the paper’s reaction to the process, which is different and unexpected each time, whereas the color in these pieces is very specifically chosen. Chance is also important for the rings, which start with a simple, quick gesture that is then adhered to by dozens of successive layers.
I think it’s really hard making the decisions about which pieces to make and which ideas to shelve for later, because sometimes later really means never.
— Alex Diamond
- How important is spontaneity in your art?
- Because much of my work is very procedural, any room for spontaneity is really important. A lot of these procedures could be (and some have been) digitally automated for research purposes, however the resulting pictures are unsurprisingly devoid of any kind of aura whatsoever. So any strength that my work may have depends pretty heavily on that zone between full automation and human spontaneity.
- Where do you find your day-to-day inspiration?
- I don’t really get that. For me inspiration is not a prerequisite for art making, or rather, it’s not something that I need to happen frequently. I can take a moment of inspiration and milk it for months, sometimes years. But I am jealous of people who get genuine daily inspiration.
What’s more important is just showing up to the studio everyday, and doing something. Also, My studio is on Bolm road with a ton of other studios, so the daily artist chit chat definitely provides some good fuel.
- Do you remember the first work of art that captured your attention?
- One of the earliest pieces of art that really struck me was a doodle that I saw in a classmate’s notebook in third grade. I thought it was really cool but could be done much better, so I started doing it in all my notebooks. In fifth grade I had another important art experience, but a negative one. A local artist called Chico painted a huge mural on the wall in our schoolyard at P.S. 41. It was wholesome, uplifting, and incredibly cheesy. Many students including myself were really upset about the fact that this mural was painted over a very cool and organic graffiti wall. In fact, one kid got suspended for writing “Fuck Chico” on the mural soon after it was finished.
Any strength that my work may have depends pretty heavily on that zone between full automation and human spontaneity.
— Alex Diamond
- What’s one of your favorite objects you own? What’s the story?
- Probably my baseball glove. Baseball was once my great obsession and I used my glove everyday. I hardly ever use it now but I would never give it up. It represents so much: the power of repetition, the delayed gratification of practice, the death of dreams.
- What’s next for you?
- I don’t really know, and that’s probably a big problem for my life.