Interview: David Jacobson
Luca Curci talks with David Jacobson during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2022, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Born in 1951 in Namibia to Jewish parents, growing up under the racist apartheid system. Two weeks after graduation, after two years at boarding school in South Africa, he travelled to Australia only to find it had the White Australia Policy in effect. In Sydney, he experienced his first exposure to modern art. He returned to South Africa after a year and went to drama school in Cape Town interspersed with obligatory national service. After a year, he dropped out and returned to Windhoek and a holiday job turned into a year-long stint as a reporter for the Windhoek Advertiser, the only English daily in Namibia. But he could not stay there and a year later went to Israel, where he became a chicken farmer and fisherman on a kibbutz. He began making sculptures on the kibbutz. To remain there would have meant going into another army and the identity crisis became a breakdown and the day before, he was to be committed, he was driven to the airport and bound for London. He continued making sculptures in his bedroom and eventually was fortunate to get a place at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts and the rest is history. I continue to make sculptures and various 2dimensional works. In 1981, with his wife, he spent a year in Camaiore and he found studio space at Henraux in Querceta near Pietrasanta. He was a well-known studio, where the ‘artigiani’ who were teaching him to work stone, also made the work of Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, Marino Marini, and other famous artists some of whom he had the good fortune to meet. Now, he spends six months of the year in Italy and six months in London and they continue to travel as often as they can usually to see the stonework around the world.
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
David Jacobson – The moment I’m working on a series of boxes containing the last drop of water in a glass bottle and a clock. This work is part of my ongoing concern about climate change and specifically WaterAid.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
DJ – Simply I have been primarily a sculptor but also I worked with multimedia for the last forty years.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
DJ – Inspiration finds me.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
DJ – Making sure that less is more.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
DJ – I would prefer to think of it as a development. I do not proscribe to the notion of a style in art.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
DJ – I do not think a single vision of art is a valid concept. The theme of the exhibition is all-encompassing.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
DJ – The content of the artwork is directly related to the exhibition’s theme.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
DJ – I think is laudable.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
DJ – I think the organization was excellent.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
DJ – You provide a good service for artists, the more exhibitions the better for artists.