Throughout this time of quarantine, I have found myself relentlessly scrolling on my phone each day to discover at least one new thing to satisfy my aggressive content itch. Recently, I stumbled upon the work of New York–based artist Dave Pollot. Known on Instagram as @davepollotart, he acquires thrifted and unwanted pieces of art and adds his own touch, ultimately bridging the divide between classic and pop art. I chatted with Pollot about where he draws inspiration from, how his worked has evolved throughout quarantine and more.
As an artist, where do you draw inspiration from?
As is probably the case for many artists, my work is essentially the result of the world around me — filtered, distilled and rearranged through my own perspective. I suppose that’s the long way of saying: almost everywhere. My wife would tell you that I spend too much time in my own head, but this is where most of the artistic process takes place — and since there’s a lot to take in these days, there’s a lot to process.
When did you begin creating this type of work?
I started in 2012. It actually just started as a joke between my wife and I, but after she brought home those first few thrifted backgrounds, I was instantly hooked.
What is the selection process for the paintings you reimagine?
I generally prefer to work with paintings that were obviously created en masse to be sold at tourist traps or “starving artist” sales. But I also enjoy matching a variety of styles. Ultimately, it comes down to whether I think I can make my additions and change the meaning of the piece without drastically changing the aesthetic.
How has the era of quarantine amplified and evolved your work?
I was just settling into a new studio when all of this began. My new space was in a non-commercial building, and since most everything was closed, I spent a lot of time working. I think it’s actually brought a focus — perhaps it’s just channeling nervous energy — to my work that I’ve not experienced before. I’m not sure that I’ve ever felt so productive.
How do you find yourself enjoying your time when you aren’t creating art?
Balancing my time has always been something I’ve struggled with, but as I get better at allowing myself to enjoy time away from the studio, I spend a lot of time with my wife and family being active in one form or another. I’ve recently become addicted to pickleball, a game that seems to be the love child of tennis and Ping-Pong. I also love to unwind at the end of the day with a great beer or glass of wine and whatever binge-worthy Netflix show I’m currently hooked on.
What’s the vibe for the remainder of 2020?
Quiet, calm and hopeful. It’s easy for us to get lost among the loudest voices, which tend to be the most extreme points of view. I’m slowly learning how to stay quiet and just listen, filter through the noise, and stay positive.