Creative Quarantine: Artist Randy Regier

© Randy Regier

1. How are you holding up?

We’re holding up better than I’m comfortable acknowledging to. Prior to this event I was working two part-time jobs and maintaining my studio. I was going seven days a week but arriving, really, nowhere. In the last 17 years I think I’ve only made a “living” three of those years, from art, and that last occasion was in 2016. When this shit hit, my two part-time gigs were gone like dandelion seeds, leaving me with seven days of studio time to create works for vanished opportunities and markets that at best had prior existed only as speculations upon the yet unknown.
Immediately after I lost my two day jobs I got on full-time at the local grocery store where my wife works as cash-office manager. I became the guy who ferreted out all the grocery carts before they came back into the store and sprayed them down with a three-part germicide/fungicide/mildew static. On average I was doing 12 miles daily running carts, disinfecting baskets, helping elderly and infirm people load out who frankly, shouldn’t be out of their homes but have no one in their lives to aid them. Spring in Kansas City has been stunning, just beautiful. I’m outside in it, acting in a meaningful capacity, making more regular money than I have in years. Next week I attend the USPS Postal Academy to complete my training to be a mail carrier in Mission, Kansas. Going forward will be the best money and benefits I’ve had yet, in over 40 years of employment.
We’re holding up better than I’m comfortable acknowledging to.


© Randy Regier

2. Has COVID-19 had any effect on your work? If so, in what way?

Years ago, don’t recall the origin or context, I read about a family that didn’t know the father was an alcoholic until one night he came home sober. This whole “art world” thing just came home sober for me. I read Tony’s essay this morning, he basically said most of the things I have been wanting to say, but better.
I feel, well, liberated. I was in a bad relationship with the art world for a long time, and then it was revealed for the fiction it was, or at least for the unsustainability that I had refused to acknowledge.
The absurdity of our current situation, and I say this with all due respect to the very real trauma and loss that real people on the ground are suffering, the categorical upheaval of norms has freed me to just make whatever the hell I want.
Better put perhaps, it’s not so much the absurdity of the current moment but the white light this situation has thrown upon almost all that preceded it. I no longer pay a penny of mental rent to any type of market, audience or personal career status that I might have considered prior. It’s scarce to be in my studio these days, but it feels like I can be authentic there, authentic as a child with a full Saturday and their own direction. I didn’t think I’d ever feel this again.
I’m holding up better than I’m comfortable acknowledging to.

The absurdity of our current situation, and I say this with all due respect to the very real trauma and loss that real people on the ground are suffering, the categorical upheaval of norms has freed me to just make whatever the hell I want.

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

I don’t think I’ve added anything to my practice, but I have absolutely seen three things emerge forefront that previously I had allowed to be oppressed by the aforementioned mechanisms: absurdity, play and experimentation. “Stop Making Sense.” One of the OED definitions of the word ‘play’ is “…to move or operate freely within a bounded space, as machine parts do.” It’s really hit me what a sacred, free and necessary space is my studio and practice, and no matter if I only have a few hours a week to activate these spaces I hope I really don’t forget this. My art practice has been handed back to me, I only hope I do not surrender it again after we come to the new abnormal.



4. Of the artists you follow, who’s handling this particularly well?

Mike Miller of Towanda, Kansas is handling this situation with as much elegance and dignity as anyone I know. Prior to this ‘storm’ Mike would walk his rural acreage each morning, noticing patterns, colors and seeking portals to the great mysteries in the plants, animals and weather patterns that surround and encompass him. Every day Mike sees beauty and mystery as worth his attention and his time. Every day he still does.


Born, Omaha, Nebraska 1964 and moved around a bit through the Midwest and then to Barcelona, Spain, and back to Kansas and then to the Pacific Northwest in 1971. Youth and early adult years lived in Oregon and developed careers as a cartoonist and professional auto-body painter. A subsequent awakening lead to the attainment of a BFA in Sculpture at Kansas State University and subsequently, after walking the Camino de Santiago with his family, a move to New England to acquire an MFA in Studio Arts at Maine College of Art. Randy’s life has been spent in the company of family, cartoons, toys, cars and tools but his mind has always wandered towards narrative, the power of childhood and questions about purposeful living via aesthetics and esthetics. In the realm of the Arts, he can continually become, as that is revealed through work. Home and studio are now centered in Kansas City Kansas. He is represented by Jim Kempner Fine Arts of NYC.

Instagram randy.regier, Facebook and www.randyregier.com are his social media platforms.



© Randy Regier

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