Steve Legg’s not the type of artist who makes art to draw attention to himself; instead, he electrifies viewers with conceptual ideas that take jagged shape using manmade materials. That’s what you’ll remember about his work: not his face and not his name (he prefers to go by “s. legg”), and perhaps that’s more memorable, anyway. You’ll remember its meaning, hard-wired in stark assemblages, aimed at reminding us that humans don’t always live up to their reputations. Get a handle on Legg as he shares his thoughts succinctly via the 100CC questionnaire.
Steve Legg: The social, political and historical context in which I live. We are all products of it, and everything an artist makes comes from it.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
Vincent van Gogh — so I could let him know how it all turns out.
My soul dog, Oscar — because I miss him every minute of every day.
Donald Trump — so we could stick him with the bill.
What's the best thing about the local creative community — and the worst?
The best thing is that there still is a community. A feeling of support and camaraderie runs strong with artists here. The worst thing is the lack of support from outside the art community, the decimation of "art districts" and the stripping of financial support due to political short-sightedness.
How about globally?
Artwork from all over the globe is now accessible by simply opening a laptop. There are over seven billion people in the world, millions of whom are artists. Of those millions, there are hundreds of thousands (if not more) who are creating truly great artwork. Realizing all this can be very humbling....
Trends are the cotton candy upon which small minds feed.
What's your best or favorite accomplishment as an artist?
My best accomplishment as an artist is the creation of artwork that is far greater than me.
I would like to see all things with complete objectivity – to be able to see everything from all points of view. I don't want to be male, female, white, black, Catholic, Buddhist, American, Japanese, homosexual or heterosexual. I strive to have an open mind about absolutely everything.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
The support of friends keeps me here. The cost of living slowly pushes me out.
Who is your favorite Colorado creative?
Valerie Santerli of Rule Gallery. If it wasn't for her, no one would ever see the stuff I make. She has given me unconditional support since I arrived here.
Make more stuff.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
I think Alto Gallery will continue to make a name for itself. Ray and Anthony are great people, and their gallery consistently supports the innovative "outsiders" of the art scene. They show artwork that may not look good over your sofa, but will linger indefinitely in your head.
S. legg: Animals opens on Saturday, December 16, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. at Alto Gallery, 4345 West 41st Avenue, and runs through January 27. Learn more about s. legg and his work online.