‘I’d like to see humanity place first in our decision-making process in terms of what’s best for America,’ says artist Juan Logan.
Juan Logan’s works have be showcased across the nation and worldwide in numerous solo exhibitions, including Beacon at the entrance to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture, and the piece Some Clouds are Darker in the collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Logan’s artwork includes paintings, mixed media and sculptures. His work is abstract, and addresses the interconnections of race, place and power. He has five works in the Mint’s collection.
Studio location: Belmont, NC
Who are artists that inspire you and your work?
Jack Whitten, Louise Bourgeois, Leon Golub, Adrian Piper, and Robert Colescott
What is your favorite piece or artwork that you created and why?
One of my favorite works of art that I created is a piece entitled Sugar House. It was made in 2011 and measures 6-by-16 feet. The piece was made using acrylic paint, glitter and lottery tickets. I worked on this piece seven to eight months primarily because of the many layers, along with the thousands of puzzle pieces. I was able to achieve everything I had hoped to, from the complexity of ideas to the subtle and apparent layers of form, texture and meaning. But most importantly, this piece riffs off of the historical Sugar House used in Jamaica in 1837.
How does race and place, and your environment influence your art?
I think race is always made a part of our lives as black and brown people in ways that others lack the ability to understand, as it is not a part of their lives. I’m interested in talking about my experiences without necessarily trying to make it understandable to other people. We live in a world where we watch things happen to black and brown people, not because they’ve done anything wrong, but simply because of the color of their skin.
Tell us about your new morning routine.
I usually get up for the first time between 4 and 4:30 AM. I spend time catching up on the news of the day, have a cup of water, catch up on social media and then go back to bed for a nap. After all of that, I finally get up between 8 and 8:30 AM, shower, breakfast, a double espresso, more news, and then off to the studio for the day.
Are you finding new inspiration for your art during this shift of perspective in the world?
Yes. My practice has always included a response to what is happening in the world around me. I have recently created a few works now that are related to COVID-19. They are looking at the structure of the virus itself and the notion of contact tracing.
Tell us about your afternoon. Are you working from home, going to your studio?
Afternoons into early evenings are generally spent in the studio.
What positive perspective changes in society would you like to see come from the pandemic?
I’d like to see humanity place first in our decision-making process in terms of what’s best for America, and hope for a cleaner environment.
How are you winding down your day? Have any recommendations for stress relievers to settle after another day done?
Relaxing at home working outside in the yard. Spending time with the family. Helping with our freedom garden, and catching up on the news of the day.
What are you cooking? What’s your comfort food of choice?
Chicken pot pie. Fried chicken (dark), grits, and collard greens.
What is your favorite music choice?
Blues and classical
What is your favorite podcast?
The PROJECT with Steve Rutherford