Cultured Magazine

Fall 2014

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Fernando Mastrangelo: When was the moment you realized that you had found your niche? Nick van Woert: I'm still waiting for that moment! I've been trying to avoid finding a niche. Every day I'm starting over. A niche is a brand, and I don't want to brand myself. That would be embarrassing. Artists have the freedom to follow their own curiosity, do what nobody else is allowed to do, break the rules that nobody else is allowed to break. Brand yourself and kiss your imagination goodbye. FM: You often depict the process used to make the sculpture as part of the final product. Tell us about that. NVW: I trust the things that exist but are not made— icicles, rivers, erosion... The making of these things is an integral part of their structure and existence. They just seem to happen as the result of so many uncontrollable forces. These are the things that define reality. I want to make things that are governed by the same forces as everything else. Something being eroded by battery acid is more real than something cast or carved to appear to be eroded. That's trompe l'oeil, a façade; it's boring, it's fake and there is no reason to fake it anymore. Reality is always more frightening than fiction. FM: Has the pressure of making a living as an artist changed the way you think about your work? NVW: Yes. But it's always been changing. It's over if I stop. I don't make a living. I spend every penny. Money is made for spending. FM: Do you desire stardom? NVW: Do I want people to love me everywhere I go? Yeah. For a day. Then what? Cultural Exchange Two sculptors—Nick van Woert and Fernando Mastrangelo—discuss their craft, fame and the problem with branding. PORTRAIT BY LANGDON GRAVES Nick van Woert in his studio working on sculptures for his show, "Nature Calls," which was on view at the Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna this summer. 74 CULTURED "Artists have the freedom to follow their own curiosity, do what nobody else is allowed to do." —Nick van Woert

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