Five Questions: Timothy Buckwalter

November 20, 2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA visitors, artists, staff, or guests. Here's Timothy Buckwalter in the Koret Visitor Education Center.]

Timothy Buckwalter in the Koret Visitor Education Center

Name/Place of residence/Occupation/Hobby?

My name is Timothy Buckwalter. I live in Albany, California. I’m an artist and I’ve recently started curating and I also write about art. I have a blog about art. If I had a hobby, I think my hobby would be listening to music. I love music. Music is tied in real closely to my paintings.

Do you collect anything?

I collect art. Contemporary art. I like to collect art that I relate to. I’m not going out and buying Joan Miro prints or something. I want to have something in my house that I have an emotional or psychic connection to. The work that I have is often by people that are my friends, or just work of someone that I respect or work that touches me.

If you could invite any artist to dinner, who would it be and why?

It’s a tough question because I have so many friends that are artists that I see all the time. I guess it would have to be somebody that was a hero of mine. I can tell you who I wouldn’t invite; I wouldn’t like to have dinner with Andy Warhol. I think he would be incredibly dull since he’s so staged. Maybe Dorothea Lange. Her work has always fascinated me and her ability to just continue working. I would like to have dinner with her. You know who I think would be wonderful to have dinner with? I’ve always admired Joan Mitchell‘s paintings. I would love to have dinner with Joan Mitchell. It would be a really wonderful dinner.

What if I could invite a couple people to dinner? He’s my dream dinner: it would be Dorothea Lange, Richard Prince, Donald Judd and Joan Mitchell. To me that would be the perfect dinner party. There would be endless debate. Or endless chastising.  But it can’t be a friend? I would totally like to have dinner with my friend John Zurier who is a painter who I have lunch with a lot and we talk about art.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your house, what would it be?

How about we rephrase the question because as an artist I don’t want to steal someone’s art. But if I could have a painting in my house. What about that huge Pollock that was in Peggy Guggenheim’s apartment? I would love to have that piece. I mean, there are so many pieces. I would love to have one of those early Stella black paintings. That would be amazing. A Kline, a really big Kline, like Chief at MoMA or something. Or I would love to have a Barnett Newman. One of those big Newman’s. But then I would have to have a bigger house. I would love to have a big piece of art but then I’d need to have a bigger house. I would like to have something that I’ve always thought about. It’s funny, last year on my blog I asked people what their dream collection was. The other thing I would love to have is Duchamp’s Étant donnés – it’s the barn doors that you look in and there’s a naked woman. I would totally love to have that piece. Bridget Riley did this amazing painting that’s like a nautilus that you walk into, that you spiral into in the late 60s; I would love to have that piece. A Robert Frank photo. There’s that Frank photo of the flags and the matronly women that you can’t really see their faces in the window, that Frank photo is amazing. I would love to have everything. All at once. I would go back in time too. I would love a della Francesca one of those frescos that are on church walls. If it’s art, I would probably take it. Actually, I don’t like Yves Klein so I wouldn’t take a Yves Klein.

What’s your favorite tool?

You mean like George W. Bush? That kind of tool? Does a paintbrush count as a tool? Then I love a paintbrush. I would say the paintbrush is my favorite tool. In the positive sense of a tool.

You may have seen Tim before when he put together a music-filled  “Collection Rotation” in June.

5 Comments

  1. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    How come you don’t want an inexpensive Miro? Hmmmmmmmm? Richard Prince NOT! I could live forever and ever with the Resurection by pd Francesca. Wouldn’t you rather have had Klein instead of looking a pic of a nekkid woman?
    Sheeeeeesch…give it a rest!!! By the way, that Robert Frank photo is waaaaaaaaay gloomy…no thanks.
    Thank you for going on record and saying that because you’re an artist you don’t want to steal somebody’s art. That’s the stuff that counts.

  2. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    I forgot to say that I love those birdies you paint…VIVA!

  3. Timothy Buckwalter Says:

    Thanks Frank! Nice to hear from you again.

    Agreed, a della Francesca would be swell, but, really, I can’t stand Klein. To me, Klein is gloomy and a one-trick pony all rolled up in one . So, yeah given the rather limited choice you are offering, I would much rather look at naked people than nod off to a ham-fisted Klein. That said (with the acknowledgment that taste is subjective), don’t let me keep you from owning a cheap Miro or a Klein (like one of the Anthropometry series) while I drool over my Richard Prince car hood.

  4. Leora Lutz Says:

    i love the candid questions and sincere answers. more museums should engage in this fearless way!

  5. Frank Lostaunau Says:

    Timothy…how have you come to believe that as an artist it’s not cool for you to steal someone’s art? That means a lot to me….gracias!

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