Artist Interview: Bill Brookover

What are you working on?

I’m a printmaker with a focus on screen-printing  which I teach at Fleisher Art Memorial, a community art center in South Philadelphia. My work combines traditional hand-drawn images with the new world of digital imagery. My prints use hand pulled layers of transparent ink, combining digital with hand drawn images to create densely layered accumulations of color. My recent work is inspired by music I love, an attempt to translate the way music unfolds through time into a visual image that is taken in all at once.

Staircase Variations #1 (Gray)
Staircase Variations #1 (Gray)

What’s your background?

I was trained as an architect where I learned to explore solutions to design problems without fear of failure. I started silkscreen almost 10 years ago in a workshop at Fleisher.  Printmaking shares several things with architectural design – lots of planning and strategic thinking, emphasis on process, thinking in layers, playing with visual elements to see what happens – as well as similar studio atmospheres. It’s very collegial and relaxed, so I felt at home the first time I came into the studio.

Is any of your work political?

No.  I don’t think art can create solutions to conditions that politics deals with. Art can’t solve hunger, social/racial/gender inequalities, religious hatred, or bring world peace. But I do think art can connect us to positive aspects of the human condition: our search for meaning and beauty in the world – light falling on the side of a building, clouds floating past an intensely colored sunset, moments of human connection.

Song - Staircase (Radiohead)
Song – Staircase (Radiohead)

Tell us about some of your recent exhibits.

In December I had a table at Book, Paper, Scissors, an art fair sponsored by the Philadelphia Center for the Book at the Central Branch of the Free Library. I was also part of the Second Annual Print Exchange at Second State Press, a communal print workshop in the Crane Building in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. I was also included in the Snowflake Solon: Biennial Winter Invitational 2012.

Are you involved with any organizations?

As a teaching artist, I’m actively involved at Fleisher Art Memorial with classes and volunteer activities. One of Fleisher’s coolest programs is Color Wheels, a mobile art studio that we can take to schools and parks to engage children in art making.

atmospherics #5 P1030591
atmospherics #5

What are you reading?

The Quality Instinct: Seeing Art Through a Museum Director’s Eye, Maxwell Anderson. Live, in Pictures, Will Eisner. Break, Blow, Burn, Camille Pagila. The Glittering Image, Camille Paglia. Mysteries set in interesting places (Donna Leon – Venice; Tony Hillerman – Navajo Country; Kinky Friedman – Hill Country of Texas & Lower Manhattan)

What websites do you visit regularly?

atmospherics #3 003 1200
atmospherics #3

What are you listening to these days?

I listen to non-commercial radio. The younger members of my family feed me lots of great music that I wouldn’t find on my own. I listen to indie pop, folk, country, rhythm and blues, world music, electronica, and classical.

What are a few of your favorite spots in your area?

I’m lucky to live in the suburbs just outside Philadelphia, one of America’s great cities. I love being in Center City, with its mix of 18th, 19th, and 20th century architecture, where lots of people live and work. I love being in the Italian Market in South Philadelphia with its specialty food stores selling meats, cheeses and pastries. I love being in University City in West Philadelphia with its leafy green college campuses filled with eager students from around the world. I love our world class museums and hidden cultural treasures.

Merce #1
Merce #1

Favorite artists and why?

Matisse for color and long career run; Sol Lewitt for conceptual rigor; Andy Warhol for color and restless curiosity; Paul Klee for expressive touch and color; Josef Albers for color theory; Rauschenberg for fearlessness and restless curiosity;

Your website(s):

Young Walt
Young Walt
Nolan Park
Nolan Park

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