Our Artist Spotlight Series highlights the artistry of some of our close collaborators and clients. The nature of art and being an artist requires a degree of blunt honesty, both about one’s work and about oneself. With this in mind, we learned more about the intentions and process of Lincoln Schatz and he provided us with his raw answers about his style and projects.
How did you learn about Seaberg?
Seaberg was the place that “serious” artists had their work framed! I remember going to Seaberg and feeling like a magical transformation was about to take place in which one of my drawings would be encased and then become “Art”. The presentation of a work of art contextualizes it. Every decision is a statement of intent.
How long have you worked with us? Do you recall what we first framed for you?
I first started working with Seaberg in 2000. I had four drawings custom framed for the exhibition Out of Line-Drawings by Illinois Artists at The Cultural Center.
What is the range of work we’ve helped you with?
I have framed hundreds of drawings and photographs at Seaberg and, their sister company, Lamin-8 from small intimate pieces to extra-large (how in the hell are we going to do this) works.
Can you recall any unique past projects that you previously showcased and how they were framed and mounted with our assistance?
In the spring of 2017, I met with Lamin-8 to explore an idea. I wanted to face mount an 8’ high by 30’ wide photograph to acrylic. It was a first for both of us. We worked for hand in hand to prototype and execute this photograph.
What drew you toward becoming an artist?
Early and continuous exposure to art. Art made sense to me, art resonated with me. I could see and feel art in a deep way. It was inescapably my future.
What kept you going?
A boundless optimism, one that has bordered on denial at times. Art is everything to me: how I translate the world, express my ideas, confront my fears, and explore my dreams. It has enabled me to become myself.
How would you describe your aesthetic? How has your art evolved on that basis?
It is not so much aesthetically driven as it is based on two primary questions: Who am I? What am I doing here? From there everything flows. It is looking outward at the world to understand my place and simultaneously inward to examine what/why/how I believe. These philosophical questions have compelled me to create works in sculpture, drawing, printmaking, new media, video, photography, and installation.
Describe your current projects. How did you come to be interested in what you’re currently working on?
I am obsessive. In September 2015 I began the Lake Series, taking a photo of Lake Michigan five to six times per week in the same framing. It started as a thirty day project that I thought would terminate in boredom or, worse, banality. I am now approaching the three and half year mark in this project with thousands of photos in the series. There is a tremendous reward in looking at something over and over again. It is itself and everything at the same time. Lake Series has become a ritual that forces me to stop, look, and be every day.
How do you organize yourself as an artist?
My studio organization is based on architectural practices. It takes into consideration the need to create, scale for large projects, pay attention to detail, visualize ideas with models and renderings, hire outside consultants when you need them, and deliver the work on time at the highest possible quality.
Out of your past projects, into what have you poured the most passion?
In 2012 I did a portrait project entitled The Network that was exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The generative video is now in their collection and they published a color plate book to go along with the exhibition. This was the most difficult and most rewarding project I have ever worked on. In order to interview each of the eighty-nine sitters on camera, I did a tremendous amount of research. I had to be informed and conversant in a wide range of historical and current topics for each sitter in their designated fields. As there were multiple interviews per day I was quickly shifting between knowledge sets. I embarked on this project with the fear that I would quickly become disillusioned with Washington D.C., but the opposite took place. I met so many top games, committed, intelligent people from all sectors private and public. I would love to do another version of this project after 2020!
In addition to The Network at the NPG, I also did a gallery show in D.C. at ConnerSmith in which I showed the video and eighty-nine video composite images (that were framed at Lamin-8).
What’s next? Any long-term goals?
Make as much art as I can before they cover me with dirt.
I’m also working on a book of photographs from my Lake and Transformation series that will be out in February.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Don’t fall in love with the romantic idea of being an artist. Do it because you have to do it!