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Meet Adam Hinterlang of Hinterlang Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Hinterlang.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in 1975 in Pittsburgh, PA, where I had a working-class upbringing that was pretty typical of the area. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something. I was particularly drawn to graphic arts and spent a lot of time collecting independent comics and studying the drawing styles of my favorites really closely (Chris Ware, Robert Crumb, Fiona Smyth, and Jim Woodring particularly).

What I consider to be my first truly in-depth study of art history was when I got a job working at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Music and Art Department where I probably spent more time pouring over art books than I spent shelving (my actual job!). It was an incredible place to work and had the opportunity to meet a lot of artists and musicians in the area. I was active in the art and music scene where I showed in galleries pretty regularly and played bass in a few local post-punk bands.

At the age of 24, I left Pittsburgh in 2000 for Kansas City to study at the Kansas City Art Institute where I studied New Media Art and Art History. New Media was of interest Kansas City was incredible with its thriving art scene and community in general. After wrapping up my BFA, I moved to Alfred, NY for my MFA studies in Electronic Integrated Arts where I started where I focused a lot on integrating the digital art-making methods I learned in KC with the more traditional, hand-drawn work I’d started doing prior to going to school.

Somewhere along the line, I saw a couple exhibitions that altered the direction I wanted to take my work in. One was an exhibition of the work of Arturo Herrera at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. How his work incorporated forms from the likes of Disney Cartoons into incredible abstract paintings was really inspiring. Another was at the Carnegie Museum of Art during the 2004-2005 Carnegie International. One of the Galleries featured the work of Robert Crumb, one of my heroes. I spent a solid two hours pouring over his drawings, scanning each one for every detail.

When I moved into the next gallery, I encountered two massive canvas of work by the painter Julie Mehretu. I’d never seen her work before and was completely blown away. It was abstract but had graphic sensibilities that were extremely seductive. Ever since my work has gone deeper into the area of abstraction. My wife and I moved to the Boston Area in 2013 and have really loved it. Boston is great and we’ve gotten to be part of an incredible community of artists. Waltham has a solid community of artists and musicians and it’s been great being able to exhibit work here and to be a part of the scene in the area.

In the last decade, I’ve exhibited work in the US and abroad including work being featured at the MCA in Chicago and MoMA in New York City.

Has it been a smooth road?
Challenges are just a part of choosing to live a life as an artist. There are a lot of moments where making work can be a struggle, but ultimately you do it because you love it and it’s a part of who you are. People don’t always “get it” but that’s fine. Not everyone needs to get everything!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I make work in the form of drawings on paper, animation, and sound. What makes my work unique is in my philosophy about making work. I approach abstraction in the pursuit of making the visual something that can be experienced like music—something experienced or encountered. I’m not overly concerned with contemporary trends and just make the work I feel compelled to make, be it a drawing or animation.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Waltham has a great community of artists and musicians. The area is growing a lot and I think it would behoove the city to capitalize on that, viewing the creative community as an asset and a draw for folks to come in from outside of the area. Encouraging cultural initiatives, etc can be really great for everyone involved!

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