Q&A: Keegan Luttrell, 'Metro Pulse' Street Talk Artist

Where does the urge to create come from?

Much of my work stems with the physical make-up of the past, as a means for re-introducing a specific story, myth, or memory into the present state. I pull from my own personal childhood memories and question what happens to those memories beyond our existence. Most of my materials originate from natural sources and these materials reflect the same precarious construction of our collective memories. They aren't intended to stand the test of time, but represent that all is fleeting.

Who inspires you?

My two biggest personal inspirations are my parents. They both have selflessly been able to make art a part of their careers and still love what they do after all of these years. Artists that inspire me include Robert Rauschenburg, Rebecca Horn, Ann Hamilton and Louise Bourgeois. The list could go on and on for miles.

How did Apiology come about?

The word ‘apiology' means the study of bees and I used it as a play on words to describe what I was really trying to say with the piece. I found the bees outside of a friend's warehouse apartment in Baltimore that had recently been fumigated. The bees, although they look like they are floating, are meant to represent a cluster of suspended pain piercing a fur pelt. I am very allergic to bees and feared them growing up. I wanted to visually represent that feeling of being stung, suspended in time, in a room that posed a challenge as to how the audience viewed the piece.

Does art fulfill your very soul and complete you utterly?

Yes. It's sometimes a struggle, but if I don't create then I go crazy. Or maybe I'm just crazy to begin with and have to externalize it somehow and art is my best possible outlet. You can be the judge.

If someone were to rip-off your artwork, how would you respond?

I know in the art world everything overlaps, but I'm sure I wouldn't be to happy initially. I'd probably calm down and realize that I should be flattered instead upset.

Where did/do you get your art education?

I attended Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated with a BFA in art history and a concentration in photography. While I was there I was able to study in Aix en Provence, France through MICA's honors abroad program. I also was able to live in an array of different places after school such as New York City and Australia which helped me gain inspiration for my art work.

How long, after beginning to study art, did it take for you to call yourself an "Artist?"

I often joke that I was born with dark room chemicals in my blood. My dad is a photographer and my mom taught photography and studio art for years. When I was a kid, my younger brother and I would play ‘art gallery' and hang up crayon drawings in our living room. So the term ‘artist' has been used loosely in my household growing up. In high school I attended a pre-college art program in Chicago and that was a turning point for me and when began to explore art conceptually and refer to myself as an artist.

What are you currently working on?

Mentally preparing for graduate school. I will be attending Mills College MFA program in Oakland, California for the next two years and leaving mid-August. My mom (who is teaching in Switzerland next year) and I are going to be having a going away celebration/art show. It will be showcasing some new and old work but is really meant to help us clean out our art inventory.