Drawing Desk in Warwick, New York. “This is an aluminum table that is a throw-back to my mom’s catering business. I sometimes paint at this desk as well. The rotary phone in the photo still works.”
Drawing Desk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “This is actually a painting studio but sometimes I draw on this desk. The little leather pencil case is from Florence, Italy. The blue vase is from Newhards in Warwick, a department store I worked at in high school. It was the first place that cultivated my interests and talents as an artist.”
Writing Desk, Warwick, New York. “This desk is a luan door with saw horses. I always thought my mom invented this sort of desk. It wasn’t until grad school that I realized this was a normal thing to do.”
Writing and Computer Task Desk, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “This was one of my great-grandfather’s desks. His name was Thomas S. Marvel and he was a shipbuilder in Newburgh, New York.”
Timothy Hull has an MFA from the Parsons School of Design in 2006. His first solo show in New York was at the Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery also in 2006. He’s had shows in New York, Los Angeles and Milan, Italy. His work has been reviewed or written about in Artforum, The New York Times, Flash Art, Art in America, The Huffington Post and Flaunt Magazine. (His full c.v. can be reviewed here).
FROM YOUR DESKS: What motivates you to work?
TIMOTHY HULL: I am motivated by time immemorial also perhaps by the necessity to become lost and then found through art making.
FYD: What time do you work?
TH: I can work at any particular time, although I prefer the pedestrian working hours of 10-6. I am flexible with time.
FYD: You maintain various spaces; does it make sense to have a few worlds to enter; keep things fresh?
TH: I find it’s just the way my life is at the moment. Maybe I like it that way, or maybe it’s a result of a scattered semi-peripatetic lifestyle? I really don’t like ONE space. I keep things fresh simply by actively living in the world.
Blue is very important. It is the color of sky and water.
TH: Old fashioned apples like McIntosh and Cortland. it’s nestled into the rolling hills of the Warwick Valley. (left: entry to house at the orchard)
FYD: Outside your workspace, how much time are you out in the field, researching, at museums, travel, et al.?
TH: TONS. I spend a lot of time at museums, on the internet, at galleries, traveling, visiting sites, etc… I just took a weekend exploratory trip to Dublin, as I’ve been studying the Irish language and Irish revolutionary politics.
It’s provisional. As is life. Which is the message of the title.
FYD: In Cover Version, you curated two dozen artists. Did any surprise you when thinking about the artist and their re-imagined cover?
TH: There weren’t all that many surprises which was strange seeing that the conceit of the show was to get artists to work outside their usual conceptual parameters. A few artists declined precisely for this reason, they are unable to work outside the strict parameters they have set for themselves. So, that was interesting.
FYD: Did you have an idea of who you wanted to participate?
TH: I knew exactly who I wanted to be in the show for very specific reasons, which is why as many people who were included were also left out. One must also remember when they are curating that you simply can’t include everyone and that is perfectly fine.
FYD: Do you still listen to LP’s. If a today band asked you to design their cover; who would it be; say top two?
TH: Of course! I own three record players! I dive through all the old opera and old world music records at every shop I go to, they are always the cheapest and most interesting. I think if I could do a record for anyone it would be Lyle Lovett. Or maybe an Alice Cooper re-issue.
FYD: Your upcoming May show “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” is an adage that rings right up there with “You Can’t Go Home Again.” What themes will you explore?
TH: Gosh I’m not completely clear on that yet… it’s provisional. As is life. Which is the message of the title.What will the show focus on? Honestly, I’m still working on the core theme. It will come together soon though… oddly, the image on the gallery’s website isn’t even going to be in the show.
One must also remember when they are curating that you simply can’t include everyone and that is perfectly fine.
FYD: I obviously note the presence of blue in your work; does that color appear for a reason?
TH: Blue is very important. It is the color of sky and water. It is a feeling and a metaphor. It is under control while being mutable. It is bossy and acquiescent. I love the color, it means the world to me!
FYD: You explore Egyptian motifs and mysteries; what do you think of the recent upheaval there?
TH: I think any revolt against oppression is good. I think it was Mark Twain who said governments are like diapers, you know when they need changing.
☛ Don’t miss the New York Times T Magazine piece on Timothy here.