We had the good fortune of connecting with Brant Ritter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brant, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
I’m not sure that I have a clear vision of what my end goal is. I don’t think that as a creative, there is necessarily an ‘end’. Artists don’t retire, voluntarily anyway. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life creating, following some drive to articulate and reify ideas and abstract notions that hold my interest. I work in a variety of ways. Furniture, architecture, sculpture, and drawings are all ways that I use to give voice to what I am seeing and thinking about. When I first started making art in an intellectually serious way, I didn’t have a singular voice, ideas came from all over, I was aping work that I admired for reasons that I didn’t fully understand. As I, and my work mature it becomes more focussed, the picture becomes clearer. I’m more excited about the work that I am making now then I have ever been, I keep getting closer and closer to understanding my motivations and ideas. I don’t believe that this journey ends, there is always more to discover and I intend to keep looking. What all of this means professionally is an entirely different matter. I have the same impulses and desires that other artists have. I want my work to be seen by as many people as possible, I want gallery shows and museum shows, and to be included in the best collections around the world. But I want it done on my terms, with work that drives me. I’ve turned away from series’ of works simply because they were not nurturing, while aesthetically beautiful they offered me no avenues of exploration, they were intellectual dead-ends. I want collectors, galleries, and patrons that are interested in joining me on this journey of discovery wherever it takes me, with the faith and belief that the work will begin to reveal itself over time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As someone that works with a variety of methods and materials, I am constantly juggling projects. Currently, I am working on a design for a restaurant in Malibu (keep an eye out at the old Malibu Country Chicken location across from Nobu), designing and building an outdoor bench and small demilune table for a couple of clients as well as continuing the series of graphite on mylar drawings that have held my interest for a couple of years now.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Prior to the demolition of LACMA, on the second floor among the greats of 20th century contemporary art, there was a bench in front of the Mark Rothko. This was the best seat in the best room in LA. Once we are done lamenting about the current state of design for the new LACMA I’d suggest: The usual museums + galleries, The Getty, MOCA, Geffen, the new complex of galleries anchored by Susan Vielmetter, Francois Ghebaly, Nonaka-Hill, and not least of all, The Museum of Jurassic Technology Night + Market Song for the best Thai in town. Bar Stella for a weeknight cocktail, it gets a little overheated on the weekends. And if you know the right people, I highly recommend a visit to the studio of the late, great Robert Therrien. It fully encapsulates everything that he was working on. It exists as an extension of his art practise.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If there is anyone to blame for all of this it’s Berrisford Boothe. Much love to the duo at soft.coreLA, Megan St. Clair and Alexis Hyde for graciously including me in all of their wonderful exhibitions. Finally, to LB whose support and encouragement can never be paid back.
img_0001.jpeg courtsey of Alexis Hyde all other images courtesy Brant Ritter