I would have to say Martin Puryear. The way he is able to work with wood is astounding. I want to understand wood and how to manipulate it the way he does. Martin Puryear is the perfect blend of a man who uses craft to create gorgeous minimalist sculptures. I saw his work at the SFMOMA a few years back and it completely blew me away -- must have walked back and forth through that exhibit twelve times before I was forced to leave because the museum was closing.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I think the most interesting artist right now is Ai Weiwei. I try to use my art to help bring awareness about specific sustainable policies and the way Ai uses his art to comment on the Chinese government is very inspirational. I always feel a little bit guilty about being an artist, like I only create these beautiful things when I should be out in the world to help fix all of the chaos that seems to be around us. Ai's work reminds me that art can be a platform for social change and awareness. He seems like a very intelligent man with a good sense of humor. Ai's work is not just focused on a single discipline, he is a great sculptor, architect, installation artist, curator and cultural critic. For years people have offered me the advice to stick to one medium and master it, but artists like Ai Weiwei prove otherwise. It is incredible how Ai Weiwei is able to use one form of creation to bridge over and blossom into another.Continue reading for more from Eric Dallimore.