Armed with a Sharpie permanent marker and a newspaper, Texas artist and writer Austin Kleon redacts New York Times articles to create black & white artworks that are as fascinating for what they reveal as much as what they black out. So Many Places is part of his series Newspaper Blackout Poems and is exclusively available as part of west elm’s collaboration with 20×200.
So Many Places! by Austin Kleon. Frame: 12″ x 10″; mat opening 10″ x 8″.
ARTIST Q&A: Austin Kleon
Tell us about your work:
I destroy writing in order to create new writing. My Newspaper Blackout Poems are made by taking articles from the New York Times and redacting them with a permanent marker, leaving only a few choice words behind.
How do you live with art?
My wife and I work together in a home studio, so we like to surround ourselves with art by filling our walls with pieces from artists we love. Sometimes I’ll even frame and hang pictures of (mostly dead) artist heroes of mine — they’re like friendly ghosts, I can feel them pushing me on while I work. (It’s way less morbid than it sounds.)
What is a favorite gallery or museum that you particularly love or that inspires your work?
Here in Austin, Texas, I really like to stop by Yard Dog Art Gallery on South Congress and see the stuff they have up. Because I’m both a writer and an artist, my absolute favorite spot in town is the Harry Ransom Center on the University of Texas campus — their archive is massive and their exhibits are terrific. I’ve seen everything there from original Frida Kahlo paintings to James Joyce manuscripts.
Tell us about what it’s like to work with 20×200 as an artist.
It’s a thrill to work with Jen Bekman and the whole 20×200 gang. They love art, they love what they do and they do it well. I just feel lucky to be a part of it. Best of all, I’ve become friends with so many of the 20×200 artists and collectors. Making art can be a lonely business — it’s good to have a posse.
For more about Austin, visit 20×200.