Brent Hallard

San Francisco, California, USA

With names like “concrete phone,” “phoning in the concrete,” “Jots and Jags,” and “phone ins and other gadgets” as blog titles, it’s probably not hard to guess what my operation is about and how I go about it.

I often make things at one scale and send them out at another. There are many occasions where I do not even get to see the final work. But in the studio/my workplace, I tinker. I tend to not like categories. And this is a great place to start, while being quite reflective about what I’m doing. Perhaps I’ve done something that one person will comment on saying, “It’s a nice hard-edge painting.” And while I intentionally went that route, I’d immediately respond to myself saying, “Do I want to be a hard-edge painter?” And the answer is, “No, I do not want to be labeled a hard-edge painter.” And so the person’s response was great because I’d then go on and move the work out of that categorization. Not because I need to or have something against the label, but more for the simple pleasure of being flexible.

I came to a realization long ago that what I do is me, and when it saddles up close to what someone else has done, it is just that—a relationship and a dialogue.

Dialogues are good. The more the merrier.

The things I make are simple. And I like it to stay that way. If anything, I work towards making the language I use say things in even simpler terms.

Challenging the labels is fun, looking for simpler and more effective or immediate ways in which to present the challenges requires work.  And for me, working with that balance is fine.

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