Jonathan Monk

Jonathan Monk

An Original Twist

“I’m sure even the cavemen copied the drawings of the guys from the next village and changed them a little bit.” Hear British conceptual artist Jonathan Monk’s view on the idea of originality: “Just embrace that you’re not. Or twist it so you can be.”

Jonathan Monk often applies the method of appropriation in his work, using other artists’ works as a jumping-off point to create new art of his own. The conceptual, he explains in this interview, partly grew out of necessity: as a young, penniless artist he had to develop other means of making art. “We didn’t have money to make things, so you’d take a few ideas with you and fabricate them wherever you were,” he explains. “Artists use material and whether that material exists as an idea or is in a tube of paint – you move with what you’ve got and try to change it into something you can call your own.”

Jonathan Monk (b. 1969) is a British conceptual artist who was born in Leicester in 1969 and lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow. His work has been shown at Palais de Tokyo and Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, France, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK, the Whitney Biennial (2006) and the 50th and 53rd Venice Biennales and elsewhere. He is the recipient of the 2012 Prix du Quartier Des Bains and his work is held in the collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, SMK, Copenhagen, Denmark, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA and the Tate Collection, London, UK.
Jonathan Monk was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at Galleri Nicolai Wallner in Copenhagen, Denmark in November 2016.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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