Artist Interviews 2021
By Elizabeth Hazard
Grey Coutts is a versatile, LA-based artist who concentrates on collage and colorful work. He delves into the spiritual in many of his pieces. Here we speak to Coutts about his process and emotional expression through art.
Your work concentrates on the spiritual. How did you first begin to delve into this subject? Do you think it is something that one can find in any artists' work?
This all came about about 12 years ago. I found myself painting when I was going through some of emotional distress. I realized it was an outlet for me and a form of therapy. Channeling my emotions out of my brain and onto a canvas changed my life.
I think all artists have to tap into some sort of higher space to really let the magic flow, even if they are unaware of it.
Can you explain your process to us?
Lately, my process has been based on emotion. Something happens, good or bad and I start to feel the energy build up inside of me. Odd, yes but when this happens I know a painting is brewing.
I gather my supplies and wait for the moment to hit. Paintings can be completed in one session, or five sessions, one day or five weeks. It's all about the process and the development of the piece, and now that I think of it, the process of the emotion running through my body.
Your art has really evolved recently. What has changed and how do you feel about your most recent pieces?
I have broken a lot of boundaries with the way I create and I've also set a lot of boundaries in my personal life. I am very happy with the current work that I have been producing. I have become more conscious of choosing my color pallet and have introduced new techniques to help my work evolve.
Over the last few months, I have purged a lot of negative things from my life. Doing so I had to deal with the backlash and a lot of past trauma resurfaced because of it.
I think it was this that launched me into the new phase of who I am and how I interpret what I’m feeling to create. The lows create the highs and it’s all a growth process.
Do you have one piece of art that you think really defines you as an artist? And can you pinpoint why?
At the current moment, I would say no. Each piece is me in its own form. It does happen tho. When a piece defines me it's like I'm looking into a mirror.
Where do you see your work going in the future?
The crazy thing is that I can create a lot of different styles of art. For some reason, I always stick to my classic expressive abstract.
I would love to make more installations as I did at Art Basel 2019.
Although I think the fun part about making art isn’t to see into the future but to live in the moment. Every piece I make is part of me.
In terms of places, it is going. I hope all over the world. It's my passion and I work every day to make it more and more of my reality.
If there was another art form you could find yourself studying, what would that be?
I think it would be crazy to be able to produce some large-scale sculptures.
Either that or like I said above, more immersive experiences like installations.