Brady Walker: Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Kyle Dunn: My name is Kyle Austin Dunn and I’m a visual artist working in Oakland, California.

BW: Tell me about the piece you’re bringing to Miami with MakersPlace & Transient Labs.

KD: The painting that will be exhibited in Miami is titled Testing Ground, and is 34″ x 34″ acrylic on stretched canvas. It is part of a series of works that explores unconscious cognitive biases that are constantly guiding our decision-making. The physical painting of the work is the most satisfying stage in some ways. I build up thick layers of acrylic linework using intricately cut stencils. The end result is quite sculptural.

Testing Ground by Kyle Dunn

BW: Is there anything special about this piece in the context of your body of work?

KD: This piece is unique in its intensity of color and line vibration. It stands out to me as manifesting the most obsessive or neurotic qualities that could relate to a person’s psyche.

BW: Can you share any specific rituals or practices that help you maintain your creative momentum?

KD: I have a writing practice that has been absolutely vital to maintaining momentum in the studio. In the last year especially, I’ve been more disciplined and focused on reaching for a particular mindset around making that is consistently optimistic. It can be very easy to be one’s own hardest critic, and this can be really good, except for when it gets in the way of actually doing the work.

BW: How much planning or preliminary thought goes into each painting?

KD: Preliminary thought is a requirement and basis for making all the work. Without some conceptual framework, the work doesn’t mean enough to me, so it’s pretty much a requirement. That said, I wouldn’t say that any paintings are planned. The process of figuring out compositions is very intuitive, though mostly digital experiments (for time and efficiency’s sake). Once I start the physical painting I stay fairly committed to the choices I’ve already made and labored over.

BW: How would you describe how your work is currently evolving? 

KD: I’m currently trying to learn new mediums, specifically basic animation. Many of my favorite artists are conceptual artists that work in new media, so this has been an obvious direction I’ve wanted to take for years because making only physical objects sometimes feels obsolete. So I’m pushing myself to explore other formats while still experimenting in the mediums I already know and have carved a niche in.

BW: What do you hope people feel when they look at your art?

KD: I hope that people feel inspired to ask questions when looking at my work. So… confused maybe? But confused in a way that sparks interest and curiosity, as opposed to ambivalence.

BW: What role does physical art play in the broader web3 art ecosystem?

KD: Right now, I don’t think physical art plays much of a role in the web3 ecosystem at all, but I expect that to change, and when it does it will do so rapidly. There’s no denying that we are physical beings even though society as a whole has divested from our bodies to a certain extent. I think the attention shift that occurred was largely unintentional and that we’ll see a movement to experience the physical world, art included, as humanity progresses. We’ll learn to use these tools that have been created by us rather than let the tools use us.

BW: Who or what else excites you in the art world (web3 or trad) right now?

KD: Simon Denny is an artist making absolutely brilliant work that has been inspiring to me lately.

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