Latvian artist Harijs Brants (1970), who by using charcoal on paper succeeds to create a convincing, almost tangible hyper-reality along with its bizarre inhabitants, answers our “Daily Dozen” questionnaire. Harijs Brants is one of the eight candidates for the Purvītis Prize 2013, the most prominent art award in Latvia, which has been awarded biennially since 2008.
1. What’s the best moment of your day?
Before they used to be nights. Now I don’t know anymore.
2. Why do you work as an artist?
Notwithstanding all of its martyrdom, drawing still provides the most joy.
3. Which films, concerts, exhibits, or books have left a lasting impression on you?
An episode from the David Lynch series Twin Peaks, where the small man in the red jacket (actor Michael John Anderson) is speaking backwards and dancing in the rhythm of jazz.
Tove Jansson’s book Comet In Moominland.
4. Where do you currently get ideas for your works?
Possibly, in observing. If one observes plenty, it may be possible to behold something. Something that fits, as well as the many things that don’t and should be avoided.
5. Which work(s) of art would you like to have in your possession?
Pieter Bruegel’s The Triumph of Death. The skeletons in the painting would discourage me from wasting my time.
Candy Eater. 1020 x 610 mm. Charcoal on paper. 2012
6. What do you do when you’re not occupied with art?
I watch all sorts of films. Occasionally read some text.
Sometimes I hang out, with a gun or a sword, in the worlds of computer games. That has happened several weeks at the time. And then it’s difficult to return to the habitual reality.
By the end of the week I try to meet some of my likely minds, with whom to wrestle with the questions that seem interesting to me.
7. Do you sleep a lot?
As long as I remember myself, I have always had troubles with it. Because going to sleep, I believe, is the most uninteresting thing that I could be doing. More often, without even realising it, I try to resist it until I pass out. And then I sleep a lot, and don’t want to wake up.
8. Do you collect anything?
Photo images from the internet, which I could mimic in some way. They are multiplying so fast, however, that it has become unbearably tiring to arrange them. I hope one day the internet will break and this type of fidgeting will no longer be possible.
9. What is one of the most important things in your studio?
The computer is competing with the sketching board. But there is also a back antique cupboard that fits almost all of the drawing tools. He is also competing.
The back antique cupboard
10. What do you like to eat, and what don’t you like?
I don’t really pigeonhole food. It could be the doing of the Soviet time canteens.
Once, when reading Chekhov’s stories, it seemed that the language, in which they were written in, could be described as tasty.
11. When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
At about the age of five, I wanted to be the driver of a black Volga automobile.
A few years later, in a childish frenzy, I yelled out that I want to become the best draftsman of animations in the world.
12. Name three creative individuals, from any era, with whom you’d gladly spend an evening.
Many times it has already happened with these: Arns Rītups, Ivars Jēkabsons and Henrijs Preiss.