Interview with artist Bob Ziller

Bob Ziller, photo by Bruno Dolan
Bob Ziller, photo by Bruno Dolan

Today, I welcome Bob Ziller on the blog.

A resident of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Bob is a renowned artist, poet, translator, singer, publisher, and curator. His artwork has appeared in over 100 exhibitions in galleries and museums in the United States. He has translated two books of poetry by African surrealist Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo; sung with Media Circus Extravaganza; and produced exhibitions in Pittsburgh and New York City. The member of the Bingo Quixote band owns Lascaux Editions, which focuses on poetry and art books, and is the founder of a very interesting project called 15 Minutes Art.

He is here today to talk to us about it.

Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Bob, thank you for answering my questions. What triggered your desire to become an artist? How would you describe your style?

Bob Ziller: I’ve been an artist all my life, I did the cover illustration for my grammar school newspaper when I was 7 years old. I’m on the folky side of fine art. You can see some of my recent work on Instagram, Facebook, the Pittsburgh Artist Registry, or Saatchi.

CM: You are the founder of 15 Minutes Art, a worldwide community-sourced public art project in Pittsburgh. What gave you the idea to create it? How much work and how many partners have been involved?

BZ: The idea for 15 Minutes Art came at the meeting where a public art call was announced. About 40 artists showed up. I just didn’t want to be in competition with everyone, I wanted to create something where everyone could participate.

I was lucky to have Clear Story do the technical aspect of it. Pete Milo of Clear Story created the website. Rob Long, an old friend, is the head of Clear Story, and he oversaw the physical aspects of it: the glass, projector screen, lighting, etc …

CM: Is there a particular meaning behind the title?

BZ: It’s a tip of the hat to Andy Warhol, who was born in Pittsburgh, and said, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” I’m just helping to make that happen. Lol

CM: The project features a wide array of art forms and pieces from artists around the world. What are some of your favorites right now?

BZ: I just received work from Veda Ng from Hong Kong, who mixes paint and embroidery. I started an Instagram account, so you can keep track of my favorites pretty much every day.

CM: What role do you think the 15 Minutes Art project will play in the grand scheme of things? And where do you see it headed in the next five years?

BZ:  I would hope that 15 Minutes Art will expand to other cities around the world. In the grand scheme of things, it would be nice to occasionally see something in public purely for art’s sake, that isn’t commercially driven.

CM: Any plan to export the project to other cities in the US or Canada?

BZ: People have mentioned Hong Kong and Boston as possible venues, but nothing has developed yet. It would be easy to set up on a digital display screen – it could go anywhere. It’s been suggested that airports would be ideal locations.

CM: Anything you would like to add?

BZ:  In the first month, we’re up to 24 countries so far, so we’re off to a good start!

For more information on 15 Minutes Art, visit http://www.15minutesart.com/

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