Artist Interview: Darius Yektai

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Do you do something creative everyday?

Yes I work everyday.  I am either in my studio or going to look at art.  Painting in particular is one of those disciplines that you can do in your head.  Thinking about a painting that I am working on is the same as working physically on that painting, and much of the time the physical approach would be destructive without long periods of furtive thought.  I can think about changes in my head and picture what the results will look like.  Only the changes that nag at me in my mind that eventually get enacted.

Do you have creative habits besides painting?

I play music.  It seems that painting the way I have settled into it is a solitary endeavor.  It benefits from and grows from a place of peaceful meditative solitude.  So music is a perfect counter to that.  Music from early man gathering around the fire drumming to today's rock bands is in its essence a social event.  I have a band room in my basement and friends come around and the house shakes, it's needed sometimes, and it saves me.

Do you have fallow or less productive times? How do you overcome it?

There are times that inspiration and determination fight each other, but ultimately ebb and flow in a healthy life.  Sometimes one has to just surf an entire day to get their head straight.  Sometimes a trip to the Met will work.  But my studio doesn't just jump from painting idea to painting idea.  It is a consistent exploration of the idea of painting.  Each painting raises questions that the next painting will answer, and so it goes gaining momentum.  I am lucky that I have never looked at a blank canvas blank.

Why does artmaking matter?

Art in general and as a whole for humanity matters.  It is one of the last things that man can do alone with his hands.  It is an expression of life- a shot to immortality and a testament of mortality.  It is philosophy, and math, and science, it is personal, and also language that speaks to others, and if it is done correctly or incorrectly it can be poetry, and that is divinity.

How old were you when you made your first piece of art? When did you think you could do this as a career?

As all children I made artwork.  And it was good because it was honest.  It was color for color's sake, mark and form for mark and form's sake.  Then there is the inevitable period where information of other's work crowds the honesty with knowledge.  But knowledge is important, an artist must know what came before him and must develop their talents.  Then becoming aware of their limitations and strengths they can then regain that honesty and in that honesty they can speak.  All artists work within their limitations; there is no difference between Michelangelo and you in that sense, we are all within ourselves.  Being conscious of these limitations, being aware of how you develop within them and why you are doing something is the expression that can feed you for a lifetime.  I do not make paintings - the noun.  I spend each day painting - the verb.  The objects are moments from a subjective life of thinking. 


Painting is available to anyone.  Learning and honesty will help it along.  If there is a personal reason to explore something for someone's own reasons (so that it satisfies one's own desire or inner peace), then it can become valid for another.  If you make art for a market or to impress another, the work will not be able to come out from under that shadow.  The work must shine its own light.  Your light.


Be conscious of yourself, confident in yourself, and honest with yourself.