Rene Capone: Zebra Rising, 2017 (watercolour and mixed media)
I am always happy to let artists speak for themselves. This feature runs as a Q&A, with Peter Palmer asking the questions, and the artist Rene Capone providing the answers. Please enjoy Rene's words and artwork...
René Capone; “Reluctant Luminary” … An Agony in Nine Questions
1. What Made You Want To Be An Artist?
It was familiar as if I had done this as a journey many times before. Speaking personally which can be dangerous, I don't think it’s a secret that my siblings and I grew up being horrifically abused. I wanted to be more than that life sanctioned me for. I wanted to count, stand for something and for my life to have meaning beyond myself. As an artist on earth I’ve enjoyed having an awfully beautiful audience. Since I was immediately a working artist after I left art school, right from starting gate and I’m so appreciative of that.
Rene Capone: Monatomic Gold (Dream of Life), 2017 (watercolour, collage, mixed media, gold leafing)
2. What keeps you wanting to be an artist?
The connection I have with people. Being an artist is a difficult thing to explain but outside the studio is not so difficult to understand. Art gives people permission to express their own journey to themselves and hopefully others. After 20 years the connection I have with individuals and groups is stronger than ever and I truly love most people imperfections and all. Figure art in my opinion is the story or us and the figures in my work as in all figure art help us define the story of us. A child breaks the ice and stairs into the hidden depths … when people do this with me, I become charged …
Rene Capone: Blue Celestial, 2017 (watercolour and mixed media)
3. Where do these ideas come from in your work?
My imagery is a combination of philosophical concepts combined with recognizable iconography & figures. I like heroes, metaphors & mythology. When a piece of art speaks to the order of one’s own life I feel I’ve done my job. At times it can be very personal, the imagery. Other times it has nothing to do with me. Erotic content in my work fluctuates those who crave only this type of thing are terribly boring to me. I do think erotic art holds a very important place in art history.
To a certain extent I'm trying to touch the lightest most honest part of another human being …this sometimes works in astonishing ways. There a sincerity to what I do that I cannot hide for better or worse.
Rene Capone: Sorrowing Genius, 2017 (watercolour and colour pencil)
5. Do your emotions dictate how well a painting or drawing is produced?
I believe you to be speaking of “bad day paintings”, yes they happens, but less frequently with age. My lines & images have always been described as “expressive” Emotions are very important and always go with your heart feeling. Skip over your brain it will always betray you.
In our world emotions are considered dangerous, I say they are the keys to your car and you have a magnificent car.
Rene Capone: Rage, 1997 (ink)
6. Will you do this for the rest of your life?
I should like too yes. There is a feeling of responsibility attached to my work. My personal belief is that an artist must continue their work if not for themselves then for the world. If every time life threw curve balls at me I threw down with a resoundingly negative temper tantrum, it would do little help anyone’s future. Hold on to magic and give it the people. Give people permission to follow their dreams. Whatever the scope of you audience may be; twenty people to a twenty five thousand, it doesn’t matter; what does matter is that you give them permission to follow their dreams. Now, I must say however that I really love what I do it comes from a place of joy for me.
Rene Capone: A Boy Named Patience, 2017 (watercolour, collage, golf leafing)
7. How far as your work reached?
Far, I have work all over internationally and in the US, but it’s not something I speak of very often … I actually in truth a terribly shy person. But I will say if you make it to 40 years of age and sell everything you ever made your more than halfway there.
8. Have you ever had any unfavorable interactions regarding your artwork?
All I can say is that I do not blame people for living in a world that is ill.
Everyone want to love & be loved. I make art about the human condition so I have to meet others and accept them as they are … and I do.
Rene Capone: Coming Out (early drawing 1996), 2016 (watercolour and mixed media)
9. Future Plans?
I shall keep painting and drawing the figure. My ideas are reaching for the stars as I learn more and more about cosmic forces and quantum physics. Also I have a strange fascination with secret societies. I’d like to take their symbols and work with their believed meanings through history. A good example of that is the piece “Celestial Blue” which is in the collection of images here. It’s about the human race facing its greatest fear as the evidence of a secret alien infrastructure persists here on earth. What is our greatest fear you might ask? It’s our selves, always ourselves.
Oh, I’m working on a collaboration with Dave Russo, the poet from Long Beach on a theatre piece. It will happen - but is ok if admit that it’s difficult work. Theatre in a living breathing thing so I’m getting used to thinking in a different way.
PS Dave wrote this poem for me (attached) in regards to one of the pieces I was going to destroy. Upon completion of “Same Dangerous Desire” in December I had deemed in too erotic for most to accept or handle with grace. Last week I decided it would be better if I didn't not sensor myself.
Rene Capone: Same Dangerous Desire, 2017 (watercolour and gauche)