Leitner's work showcased
Art professor Alan Leitner at his opening in Chinatown. (photo by Carlo Cayetano).
By Dwight Relente
Leeward art professor Alan Leitner had a recent showing with longtime friend, Timothy P. Ojile, in “Works on Paper” at the Pegge Hopper Gallery in Chinatown.
“I kinda like the idea of the gallery being black and white, where my stuff is primarily white and his stuff is primarily black and I really like the way the gallery balanced it off that way,” Leitner, the curator for the show, said.
Of his partnership with Ojile, Leitner said, “The thing that we both share is, both of us are abstract artists and we have common appreciation and sensibility about art. He deals with spontaneity, personal abstract language. Some of the artists that influenced him are some of the artists the influenced me.”
Leitner delves further into art below
Leitner: The art opening, this kind of deal. It’s more of something that’s been around for a long, long time. Kind of an established way of inaugurating an art exhibit, but nowadays in the 21st century, so much is done online now …
Ka Mana’o: There’s no such thing as an opening in the online, because it’s a constant stream, 24-7.
Leitner: Right, and you can look at so much art online now, you know. There’s all these Web sites and you can look at so much art online now, you know. Starts off as Myspace, deviantart, it’s all these places and artists are always uploading their work.
Leitner has a Web site with four paintings on it.
Leitner: The thing about working online and the thing about uploading things, and the managing Websites and all that stuff … I can only speak for myself but when I really get into it, I start doing it, you know, a day goes by and there’s another day and I realized, you know, it’s three days sitting on the computers and those are three days I could’ve been in the studio painting, and so for me and you can even ask my family, the most precious commodity that I have and the thing I’m most selfish about and that I drive my family crazy over it: my time, because I don’t have much of it. When I’m not teaching, when I’m home if I have all of these responsibilities, you know like Saturday, you know I’ve gotta move over here, I gotta do this, I gotta do this, you know, by the time I get back home, you know, it’s 6 at Saturday night. Now I’m kinda tired so you know I’m always telling my family and friends, no I can’t go to the movies with you, no I’m not gonna go shopping with you.
Ka Mana’o: If the studio was your computer, how would you fare?
Leitner: Ok, here’s the deal. If I was 21-years-old today I’d be a digital artist.
Ka Mana’o: I see.
Leitner: There’s no doubt about it, there’s no question in my mind that if I was 21-years-old today, I’d be in that visual art program … Look, to me, I’m old school. You know, the thing that keeps me, at least, somehow grounded without being an old fart, an old fogie, is you guys. I mean, this is one of the things I like about teaching. I like to be at Leeward cause I get to be around you guys. I don’t think there’s a teacher anywhere that should say that they don’t learn from their students. Every teacher learns from their students and that’s what’s so nice about being at a school.
Leinter on his vision
Leitner: The thing that we (Ojile) both share is both of us are abstract artists and you know we have common appreciation and sensibility about art. He deals with spontaneity, personal abstract language. Some of the artists that influenced him are some of the artists the influenced me.
I think that’s how you partially get to be friends. Artists, when they develop friendships not all artists are friendly with one another. A lot of artists have arguments and they don’t get along at all.
When I first met (Ojile), I always liked him as a person, always respected him, and I’ve always liked his art, and many years ago we did a trade. I was so happy when I came home that day, so whenever you make a trade with an artist friend, that seals your relationships pretty good, too.