'Mephisto," by Charles Batte, of ChasBatte Studio
Click on the image above to visit ChasBatteStudio.com. Don't miss Charles' fabulous collection of Hallowe'en figures!
Friends, I've finally got an honored Guest Artist for my decrepit Guests & Links page. May I present the one and only Charles Batte: (a certain photograph should go here, but given its striking nature, permission must be obtained first...)
Now, having enjoyed that excellent program Inside the Actors Studio, and being particularly entertained by James Lipton's adaptation of Proust's Questionnaire, I've ventured to concoct my own version, Forest's Pseudo-Proustian Artist Questionnaire. Charles has answered my queries with irresistible Batte charm and wit, not to mention patience. Excerpts below:
Forest: What quality do you value most in your own art?
Charles Batte: Insight, when and if it should come.
F: What quality in a new artist’s work do you find most encouraging?
CB: A willingness to explore new things rather than repeating the tried and true.
F: What alternative typographical symbols best express the foul word you use most during your artistic process?
CB: My favorite foul word doesn't even require symbols: PIFFLE!
F: What piece of art are you most proud of?
CB: The one I am going to do next.
F: What is the most absurd object you’ve ever created?
CB: Slipcovers for Apollo's feet.
F: In Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen, Babette quotes Achille Papin: "Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist, 'Give me the chance to do my very best.' "
What is your cry? (It’s ok to steal Babette's, if she and Papin are right.)
CB: I am afraid she is right. What else is there?
F: If you were about to be irrevocably
changed into a mythological, fairy tale, or fictional critter or
character, what/whom would you most want to be?
CB: A phoenix.
And, what would you most likely be? Really?
CB: A house elf (Dobbie, and I would never get that darn sock)
F: If your visual art were transformed into literature, what genre, author or style would it be?
CB: French Neo-Classic Tragedy, with 5 Acts in rhymed couplets.
F: If you feel misplaced in time, in what era would you feel most at home (setting aside dentistry, plagues, horrid social injustices, etc.)?
CB: Eighteenth century Venice.
F: What is the very first piece of art that moved you deeply? Can you explain why?
CB: A portrait by Andrew Wyeth of an old African-American gentleman.
F: Assuming you arrive at the Pearly Gates (and not elsewhere), what would you like to hear God say about your art?
CB: Welcome. We have put you in the room next to Michaelangelo.
F: And if it is the Devil:
CB: Welcome. We have put you in the room next to Bosch.
That last question was added by Charles himself, and what a fine one it is. It shall be known as the Charles Question. You can read the rest of our questions on the guests page, Unexpected Figures, or much better yet, go see Charles himself: ChasBatteStudio.com