Pin It

Javier Peres Selects Brent Wadden

While working on abstract geometric paintings in his studio, the Canadian artist likes to listen to Black Sabbath and Grimes

Dazed & Confused's former guest art editor, Javier Peres, has choosen a trio of upcoming artists to be profiled on Dazed Digital. The first one comes in the shape of Canada-born Brent Wadden. In keeping with Peres' no-guts-no-glory attitude, he describes Wadden as "expanding the world of abstract geometric painting into the realm of humility and human-ness". Currently based in Berlin, in the fall Wadden is showing at Paris art fair FIAC, and is working on a book with Colour Code Printing in Toronto.

I'm more adventurous than brave. I'm generally not the kind of guy who bets it all but I'm also not playing by anyone else's rules

Dazed Digital: How have you come to make the work that you make?
Brent Wadden:
I grew up on a fairly small island on the east coast of Canada where folk art was quite prominent. I later studied at the Nova Scotia College of Design which is known as a breeding ground for conceptual art in the 60s and 70s. I feel as if some people don't have a choice of being an artist or not. I knew from an early age that It was what I wanted to be. I didn't fit in with anyone around me. When I was a little older I naturally surrounded myself with all the other people who didn't fit in.

DD: What are you working on at the moment?
Brent Wadden:
I just prepared 13 new canvases of various sizes so it's looking like I will be painting for the next few months. I've also been considering building a floor loom. It's weird to think about doing such strenuous work in the summer though. Weaving is such a warm winter activity for me. Who wants to be sitting behind a loom all day when it's warm out?

DD: What remains consistent throughout?
Brent Wadden:
That have a sense of history, slightly weathered, natural looking or a little busted. I like the mishaps or oddities that can arise when making something. Like if you run out of a specific color of paint or wool I just switch to a different one and keep on going. 

DD: How do you know when it's time to run with an idea?
Brent Wadden:
Personally, for me it all depends if I'm ready to stand behind it yet or not... I'm always making lists of possible projects and if they don't come back  to me in the next months or make it on the next list then It wasn't meant to be. That's probably a good thing.

DD: What gets you hook line and sinker every time?
Brent Wadden:
The obscure and unknown - or at least if it's new to me and seems original.

DD: Is it important to make work from the heart, gut and groin?
Brent Wadden:
It's obvious when someone is making art from the heart or not.

DD: Would you say you're brave?
Brent Wadden:
I'm more adventurous than brave. I'm generally not the kind of guy who bets it all but I'm also not playing by anyone else's rules.

DD: What are you into at the moment?
Brent Wadden:
Hanging in the studio as much as possible, listening to Black Sabbath or Grimes, going on daily bike rides and watching the sunset with an ice cold beer in my hand. 

DD: Best artist of all time?
Brent Wadden:
There are too many to name but I'm interested in anyone who was in it until the end and/or did something completely original that changed the game.