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Noah Becker

Noah Becker interview with Leah Taylor, Research Assistant with the Williams Oral Art History Project on Tuesday November 2, 2010 at the studio of Noah Becker in Victoria BC.

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“I don’t think my work has changed so much in the way I think about painting. I think the way I think about painting is the same, I’ve just, instead of having a heavy kind of Francis Bacon post impressionist sort of thing happening, I’ve gone more towards artists like Hieronymus Bosch and Chagall and their painting methods are not, they don’t have as much to do as abstract impressionism and post impressionism and that kinds of things as say like, Francis Bacon would or I was even into Degas in that era, I’m into like, I’ve been interested in different modes of expression. I’ve taken on different stylistic changes to support my interests, because there are certain images that you can’t paint with certain techniques, so you kind of have to change your technique to fit the image you are doing. But I am sort of starting to revert now back to something closer to like a Brushier approach, but then like apply it to some of my more recent stylistic interests.”  -Noah Becker

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“There is a certain amount of a viewer looking at art where they feel like they are the voyeur looking in on something they shouldn’t be looking in, or wouldn’t normally be looking in upon.”  -Noah Becker

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LT: “A lot of people have a fictitious idea of who they are anyway, right.”

NB: “But I mean if I had like portrayed myself with a tan, totally white teeth maybe the painting wouldn’t have appealed to Michael Williams and he wouldn’t have bought the painting if it had a different kind of depiction. I think he had certain taste, and the other thing is that depending on how far you push it, a painting can transcend its original objective, so if you say you want to do a self portrait you can push it to the point where it just becomes more of a painting than even like an interaction between the artist and their image, but I was also into like looking in mirrors and doing self portraits in a mirror.”

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LT: “This is kind of switching gears a little bit, but does locality play a part in your work? Does specifically painting in Victoria, being from here, do you find that that plays a role….”

NB: “It places it more within the Canadian, not necessarily the Canadian arts, places it with the Canadian art scene, although a lot of the shows that I have been doing in New York lately its still, you still are placed as being part of Canadian art. But you are also very remote in Victoria, you are more far away from the mainland and far away from anything that is happening on the east coast usually it all kind of ends at Vancouver. It’s kind of like a long ferry ride out here, and then you have to drive and by the time you get out here it’s like trying to see something cultural usually the cultural things that happen out here are very local in their way, like paintings of wildlife or aboriginal work by local artists, because it’s a tourist town there are a lot of knick knacks, there are a lot of commercial reproduction of aboriginal work here.”

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