Artist Insights: Dabin Ahn

Brought to you by popular demand, CGN has launched a new weekly interview series reminiscent of 'An Interview With a Dealer' with the focus on meeting and learning about one new artist each week. This week, our first installment of the series features Dabin Ahn, represented by Andrew Bae Gallery


Age: 30 

Hometown: Seoul / Chicago


Spot in the city: Starbucks (2nd floor, 1003 N Rush St)

Art supply store: Blick Art Materials

Music or Podcasts: Music

Sweater or Hoodie: Hoodie

Coffee or Tea: Coffee


CGN: Share with us a little bit about your artistic background and training.

DA: Ever since I made my first oil painting on a stretched canvas in 2007, my work has been strictly about depicting figures and objects in a realistic manner. During my BFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I was encouraged to depart from my old habits and lots of fun things started to happen in my work.


CGN: What art has been particularly meaningful in your life?

DA: It has always been, and most likely always will be, traditional painting on canvas. I surely will expand my work at some point and possibly incorporate other media, but nothing will satisfy me more than the process of making a 2-dimensional painting.


CGN: Do you remember the first work of art that made a lasting impression on you?

DA: It is probably the very first painting that I ever sold during my first solo show in 2011. The 18 x 24in self-portrait was lacking in many ways, but it was a good fail as I learned what to do (and what not to do) when making a painting.


CGN: Describe your studio!

DA: I do not have a studio at the moment. It has been about 2 years since I started working at home and I paint in my bathroom, to be more specific. While it may not sound like a suitable space for making work, there is ventilation in the ceiling, enough room for a table and stool, and most importantly I can hang canvases up to 60 inches on one of the walls. It’s free!


CGN: Anything you can’t work without?

DA: Jerky maker. I place it near wet paintings and everything is dry in just few hours. Definitely by the next morning.


CGN: How do you know when a piece of yours is finished?

DA: Since I always work with a sketch, it is easy to know when my work is complete. I just don’t know when to stop with my sketches. I spend much more time working on my sketches than the actual paintings.


CGN: What do you do when you feel creatively blocked?

DA: I personally haven't had that experience, but taking some time away from looking at art and making art would probably work for me.


CGN: You have three minutes to take anything you want from an art supply store, what do you grab?

DA: 2 x Double primed linen rolls. Both of my hands would be already full, but I'd be very happy about the situation.


CGN: Do you have a role model or mentor?

DA: Gerhard Richter and Jerry Saltz.


CGN: What should we expect to see from you next?

DA: Today is July 12th and my solo show opens tomorrow at Andrew Bae Gallery. I have prepared a lot and hope to see many faces at the opening and throughout the show.


Dabin Ahn is represented by Andrew Bae Gallery. For further information regarding Dabin and his upcoming show please visit Andrew Bae Gallery.