Interview with artist Noah Gould
SCW: Could you please give us a little background and describe some of the art that you have been working on recently.
Noah: Sure. I grew up in Santa Cruz and my dad has been involved in the art community here for as long as I can recall. Recently I’ve been working on an art series called Giant Giants. It doesn’t have and thing to do with the San Francisco Giants but perhaps I should do a piece on them. Basically they are large figures that embody different features of the human psyche and are a bridge between pop imagery and internal poetic imagery that I come up with.
SCW: Did going to Waldorf School have any influence on your artistic style?
Noah: Interesting question. Basically Waldorf is encouraging of arts of all kinds and did teach me a lot of drawing and painting skills at an early age. I was outside a lot in the beauty of the natural environment. I’ve been doing a lot of Plain Air Painting, meaning painting from life outside. I remember learning how to draw snow on a tree from Waldorf. I learned about the idea of negative space, leaving blank what would be light and not painting it. Letting the darks indicate where the light is.
SCW: Are you currently showing your art at any Santa Cruz galleries? Any thoughts on being in artist in Santa Cruz?
Noah: Well this town has really changed a lot. There was a time when I was very young, almost pre-cognate, where there was a big art scene in the 80’s. Then there was a long die off where there was not a lot of stuff going on. But in the last ten years there has been an emergence of new art galleries in Santa Cruz. Right now I have a gallery showing of Giant Giants on 2125 Delaware Ave at a place called Café Iveta. It’s upstairs. I’m also teaching a class at Art de Jure on Cedar Street.
Noah: Well Santa Cruz has been doing a First Friday art walk that has brought new interest to the arts in our town. It’s on the first Friday of every month. There are lots of new spaces showing artwork. It all started with a group of friends who were taking spaces that were empty and up for lease and turning them into art galleries on a temporary basis. The Cathcart Gallery was one of them, it doesn’t exist anymore but there are new places on the west side like the Blitzer Gallery.
SCW: The Cathcart Gallery was a pretty wild place. Do you have any interesting stories about that gallery?
Noah: Haha, yes. I was just telling this story at my last opening. Two ladies were critiquing my art at the Cathcart Gallery, unbeknownst to them that I the artist was standing right behind them. They were being quite critical and unappreciative of the art. I butted in and said, “I think you right, it’s horrible. Looks like a kid could have done it”. Then I took a sip of beer and spit it all over the painting! They were in shock and thought I was going to bet in trouble until I explained to them that I was the artist and we laughed it off. This story speaks to something about art that is important to me. At one hand it needs to be taken seriously, and on the other hand it needs to be taken with a light heart.
SCW: Today it seems like a lot of people are checking out art on their cell phones. Do you have any thoughts on how technology is currently impacting art?
Noah: Some people these days are having trouble seeing art. They are viewing a lot of it on slick screens and the textures on paintings are not something they’re used to seeing. They also see a lot of animation and pictures moving on a screen really fast like Instagram. I think it is important that people go out to galleries and into the studios where they can engage with the paintings. Art is a practice like building a car or a surfboard, it’s really reality based.
SCW: Do you have any shout out you would like to give?
Noah: I would like to thank the owner and curator of Café Iveta Lisa Bilanko, she is an amazing advocate of the arts. Art de Jure and Christine Curry. Dina Scoppettone who is a teacher of art history at Cabrillo Collage, thanks for letting me lecture at your class. Kirby Scudder and his program on KUSP highlighting the artists of First Fridays. Thanks to all the people who come out and see the shows! It wouldn’t be possible without all of you.
SCW: Great thank you so much, keep up the amazing art.
Noah: I will! Thank you too.
Be sure to check out Noah’s art at Cafe Iveta. Cafe Iveta webpage: www.iveta.com
Article by Jack Neenan
More art by Noah Gould