It happens all the time. You become aware of an artist and quickly realize they have it all. Great name, amazing work, adoring fans, and everything seemingly going for them. Then you meet them and you realize they've paid for all their success by transforming themselves into a jerk. I became aware of Van Holmgren and soon wondered if this affliction would apply. Because let's face it, he's got the killer name, the work that lives up to it, and a bunch of people singing his praises. And then I met him, got to know him a little bit, and wouldn't you know it, the guy's a prince. If the success he's enjoying has gone to his head, he's a better actor than an artist. So, when you see him, stop and say hello, buy a piece of his art, and make a friend. He's one worth having.
Q1: How much are you willing to risk to find out if there are any more original ideas?
I would say it's hard to come by original ideas, I mean there are billions of people on the planet and they have ideas 100% of the day. It all depends how original the idea you have is to you and the world that surrounds you. I see plenty of people just capitalize on other's ideas while they sit right next to them.
Q2: Can you separate the journey from the destination?
The destination is always something different than you think it will be once you start your journey towards it. It's unpredictable out there, so [you can't] assume your idealistic destination will be exactly what you worked for. You know, choose your own adventure type of stuff.
Q3: Changing pace, have you ever used the "I'm an artist let me paint you..." line to pick up a girl? If so, how'd it work out?
I unfortunately, have not. It usually happens organically through hanging out with both my girl and guy friends. I imagine if i did use that line that I would come off a little sleazy since I've seen other guys do that and they are 'known' for that. [laughs]
Q4: Name the top 3 things you've ever laid your eyes on.
One would have to be the stars. It's quite insane to imagine the possibility of everything that is out there and what lies beyond our Universe. I gotta think on the the other two...
Q5: Why Des Moines, Iowa?
Well I was raised here, so there's that. I have thought that many times over the past decade and believe it's a nice lil' pocket of people and materials that you can work with and discover what you want to do and get good feedback from your viewers. Like a decent testing ground. I, however, believe that as an artist you can only be successful to a certain point and after that it's really just a same steady line. It's a really 'charming' art scene and is very hard to get people who don't regularly care for art to be interested in your work. But you have to keep trying. Big highs and bigger lows. It's a city where the only time they like to talk about art or artists in town is for a week when the DSM Arts Festival is happening and like 90% of the people showing at the main booths are not from Iowa. I'm not saying I'll be in Des Moines forever. In order for my work to do what I made it for, I want as many people possible to see it and when I have more people see it on Instagram than people go to one of my art shows for a month duration, that's not really acceptable. One day Des Moines may have a thriving scene, but I have also been hearing that for a decade, so it makes me wonder about that fact. But yes, Des Moines is a great city to work in, but certainly not an art mecca.
Q: You come up with those other 2 things yet?
I would have to say the two other things would be; the looks on peoples faces when they tell me about seeing the Grand Canyon. I've never seen it but I can tell they enjoyed it thoroughly. And the other would be a Basquiat painting in person. But both of those still cannot beat space and the universe.
For more of Van Holmgren's work, visit his site HERE.