Lo-Down Arts Contributor Ashlie Cotton recently spoke with the artist Tommy Hartung.
This past summer, while roaming around the floors of the contemporary show, Greater New York, at P.S. 1, I stumbled into a gem of a room. As I entered the darkened wonderland I was greeted by a koi that swam in sparkling waters of a tranquil fish tank, positioned near the room’s entrance. I began to watch the single video in the room, The Ascent of Man, by artist Tommy Hartung, and was instantly mesmerized. Hartung’s piece, which incorporates stop-animation, model toys, and a living mouse, was all at once surreal and poetic. It was abstract, and yet very emotional. I learned that Hartung is represented by the LES gallery On Stellar Rays, and knew I had to meet with him. Here’s what he had to say in a recent conversation: