107 Bowers Gallery and Art Space is highlighting Timothy David Lang for his show Blend - Recent Works in our November Artist Conversations. He is an artist who had his life changed forever when he took a trip to New York City and saw the work of one of his favorite artists. He believes in art and the power it has on our lives. His solo show is running from November 4 to December 2nd.
Please find Timothy David Lang's interview along with beautiful photos of the Grand Opening of the Gallery from November 4th by Andrew O'Beirne/AOB Studio below. 107 Bowers had the pleasure of being joined by Mayor Steven Fulop, David Diaz from the Central Ave SID, and family and friends from all over Jersey City. The owners Kristin and Matt have been huge supporters of Jersey City Heights for years and they have received an amazing reception for their new beautiful gallery since it has opened in September 2016. They are open weekends from 10am-3pm, so please go visit and check out the beautiful work of Timothy David Lang.
Photos by Andrew O'Beirne/AOB Studio
Who are you (Name) and where do you live?
My name is Timothy David Lang. I currently live in Morristown, NJ. I have lived in this area most of my life but I have also spent significant time in Maryland and North Carolina.
What was your pivotal moment in your life that drove you to become a professional fine artist?
The pivotal moment in my life came at twenty years old as a student at Salisbury University in Maryland. My professor and mentor, Jinchul Kim (Upper-level Painting and Drawing Professor at Salisbury University), took me to New York to introduce me to the major galleries and artists there. I told him that I was anxious over the past year to get there myself. Jinchul could see how fast my work was progressing and knew it was time to take this trip. The amount of galleries and work that I saw that day was mind-blowing. The quality of the work and size of the spaces was on a whole other level than I had ever seen before. I soaked everything up like a sponge and although I was nowhere close to becoming represented by one of those galleries at that time, I knew that one day I would be there.
The last gallery that we went to that day was Marlborough Gallery. The solo exhibition was by one of my favorite artists, Richard Estes, a photo-realist that practically started the movement. This was the moment that changed my in my life. I walked into the gallery and my jaw dropped to the floor. I had no idea how any human being was capable of creating paintings like this. They looked even more realistic than an enlarged photograph. They were so mature and sophisticated and offered so much visually to take in at once. I went to the desk to look at the price-list and the prices ranged from $200,000-$500,000. I said “This is what I want to do with my life.” I knew then, everything had changed forever.
Later I learned that his show had sold out. I’ll never forget that day in New York: a college student on the brink of the beginning of my career staring by myself at Richard Estes’s master works in silence. It was powerful!
Why do you think art is so important?
Art helps us to express our thoughts, ideas, and concepts that relate directly to society and other humans. Art creates a connectivity of a thought or idea that is manifested through the mediums of art to find a common ground and universal feeling in all of us. Art helps to enrich our perception of life by enhancing your daily routine; when you walk by a painting and it makes you feel a certain way or sway a bad mood into positive thoughts. From the beginning of time, art has probably had the biggest impact on communication before we could speak early languages. It is also the primary basis of documenting thousands of years of history. Art is vital!
What do you want people to know about your art?
Art is subjective and every artist needs to remember that their vision will be evaluated and translated into way different than they intended. I want people to understand that I strive to not only present an image that is aesthetically pleasing and sound, but an image that produces deep thinking. Also, one that is well thought out in terms of concept and execution. I want to connect with the viewer in a way that is simultaneously universal to everyone, yet specific only to them.
Do you have goals for your art?
The first and foremost short terms goal for me is to become completely self-employed. I want to paint full time; 5-7 days a week. I want to get my production rate down as far as humanely possible so I can maximize my time. In the long term, I want to become represented by multiple major galleries in major cities including but not limited to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. Eventually, I would like to have my work represented overseas in Europe as well. One day I would like have my work in museums; that would be a huge accomplishment. Lastly, I would like to write a book as well as produce a film based on my life as an artist showing multiple stages of the process. I think that would be powerful.
Many people think artists are only “right brained,” what else do you do well?
I like to think I use my left brain as well. Normally when I put my mind to something and practice I become very good at it. When I was younger I was a very good surfer, snowboarder, and skateboarder. I progressed quick because I practiced religiously. It takes discipline and drive to always want to be better tomorrow than you are today. That is how I approach my art and it has shown me great results. Practice, practice, practice … makes perfect.
The most challenging part about becoming a professional and successful artist is not the physicality of the work but the business side. This is where being “left brained” is essential. The aspects of pricing, marketing, branding, representation, contracts and agreements, social-media, websites, research, how to present yourself, etc. are not taught in universities. You have to learn along the way by trial and error. There are a lot of great artists out there that will never make it based on the lack of these aspects I just named. If their work is excellent and no one sees it or has access to buy it or the artist can’t relate or communicate with others, then there is no chance for survival there. If you want to be successful as an artist you need to use both sides of the brain, do all these things well, make high-quality work, stay consistent and disciplined, and get a little lucky, then you may make it. That’s what it takes.
Do you have an artist that has influenced your work?
So many artists to list for many different reasons. In no order of importance: Richard Estes, Davis Cone, Randy Dudley, Robert Longo, Chuck Close, Caravaggio, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, Gerhardt Richter, Jinchul Kim, Eric Zener, Jack Mendenhall, Ralph Goings, Rod Penner.