“My studio takes two parts. There’s the desk part and worktable part.
The desk I’ve had since high school, maybe junior high. I bought it with paper route money. I used to do my homework on it, pulling open the file drawer (since broken) and spitting tobacco into a large cup. I’ve taken it apart and reassembled it dozens of times. It’s lived in four different states.
Behind it is an old Harman Kardon tube amp my dad pulled out of a cabinet. It was going to be turned into an art project but it worked and sounded warm and lovely. It’s on when I’m not writing is currently tuned to Wake Up on 91.5. To the left is a stack of work, finished, in progress, and abandoned. I tend not to throw work I’m dissatisfied with; there’s always a shard of an idea. Behind the mantle holds a bunch of work that’s also in progress, done or abandoned. On the wall are a bunch of canvases in progress and a drawing I hang there when I’m not working on it. It’s almost done.
I spend a couple of hours here in the morning then scoot off to work another hour after the family’s in bed. I’ll write first thing and then work on a drawing or a painting. It takes ages and has that daunting feeling the water must be filled with when confronted with stone. But it’s also a wonderful way to be alive and curious.”
Craig Damrauer is a writer and artist living and working in Brooklyn. He graduated with an MFA from the University of Arizona in 1996. His work has been shown at the MCA Denver and has appeared in the New York Times, GOOD Magazine, Mother Jones and Adbusters among others. A version of his project New Math was edited by Ed Ruscha and published by CT Editions in London.
CRAIG DAMRAUER: The blue has no name other than I know it when I see it and I’m pretty particular about it. I’m doing two projects right now, a book of the complete set of formulas and a series of lovely prints with Jen Bekman’s 20×200 series based on relationships. That blue is the elusive partner in all of this. I’ve been looking at a lot of paper samples, let me tell you. Maybe we SHOULD give it a name? Darrin?
FYD: How you derive at your formulations?
CD: The formulas, believe it or not, are pretty hard to come up with. What it amounts to is fiddling with things in my mind and giving myself the space. It’s definitely a writing process. In other words, they don’t just float into the head. I sit down and grind them out much the same way I’d write a story. When they’re right they feel right.
The blue has no name other than I know it when I see it and I’m pretty particular about it.
FYD: You must have been a good math student. What type of grades did you get?
CD: I was a relatively good math student until I decided to stop doing my homework. I got to that second calculus class and for some reason thought I was cool enough to not do homework. The ship took on a lot of water after that decision. What a jerk! But I’ve always thought math is beautiful. It’s descriptive powers are incredible. Math can tell you about an undulating brick wall, about the way the seeds in a sunflower grow, about the ways colors mix. How cool is that? Answer: very.
Check out Craig’s more new math store. Sorry folks, the set of 12 New Math postcards selected by Ed Ruscha are sold out. There are still some goodies.
Also make certain to peruse Craig’s Assorted Bits of Wisdom.
And follow on Twitter @misterdamrauer