Give us a peek into your creative process, from inspiration to creation.
I like to reproduce something I like, over and over and often- I like to self-refernce- until I feel like it’s become a fulfilled piece. Or, I’ve taken the concept and fulfilled it to the best of my ability- I think. I dont know, I dont ever pay that much attention to what the process is- but it definitely consists of iteration and reiteration. Self-documnetation.
Pick three of your strongest inspirations - people or work from any medium - and detail how their influence manifests itself in your work.
The Desert. Utah, the California Desert, the Southwestern United States. There are such vivid vision to be had out there; there are such fantastic forms. Nothing moves me like a big slab of rock- which brings me to my next point:
Brutalism. Nothing moves me like a big slab of concrete. Brutalist architecture feels like very fine, alive, and imposing temple architecture to me. But Brutalist art looks like wall decor in a waiting room. The desert and brutalism make me think of scale very much- the monumental- and they make me conscious of space and how a mass or volume exists within it.
And, Good product design, with a capital G. I might cite the Vignellis or Bialetti. Something about a good object with no thoughts of fads nor planned obsolescence. It has a purpose and permanence to it- even if it is just a metal coffee pot, it becomes part of a very long term ritual. This makes it a staple, a classic- timeless. I would like to make timeless art, and avoid certain images therein. A trend is a fickle friend- save yourself the time and money dont buy leather slides this ‘season'; save yourself the effort and don’t paint a potted plant. But, I totally did both of those things this year.
Your work undeniably plays in surrealism’s toolbox. What draws you to depart from reality in your work?
I just don’t want my artwork to have the feeling of art with an agenda- there’s no commentary in it. That is to say, I want none. So I’m just left with introspection, self-reference, and things that don’t really have an ‘objective’ subject-matter.
I mean: I’ve been trying to peg what I dont like about certain art I see right now and aside from irony and cynicism, there’s a lot of hanging, blasé reference; art that is all ‘show it dont say it,’ but in a very bad way. Like Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell, Solid Gold Pepe (it is relavant and I don’t care if it’s literally Pepe the Frog™!), or B*nksy’s work. Warhol too, though he kind of started it. Point is, we live in an environment that puts the artist at such a distance from their work that the artist also begins to (sub?)consciously distance themselves, and eventually they are reduced to a mere observer who makes snide or catchy remarks through art and whose work is merely an indicator, directing a viewer to make an observation and telling them what feelings to leave with. I feel like that sums up all of B*nksy’s œuvres. An icon and an index, but hardly a symbol (I’ll expand this thought someday).
I feel like that’s why wit and irony have such a hold right now, and I dont like irony one bit. I dont think you should ever do something ironically. So for now I’m just avoiding depicting anything I can observe (figuratively- I am always staring) and depicting things that I am not perceiving in an effort to eliminate commentary in my work, (but goodness do I make a lot of commentary outside of my ‘work'), so it leaves only room for introspection, which naturally puts me in the vicinity of surrealism, stuck with this imagery for now.
Your works possess a captivating sort of dream logic. What do you dream about most often, and do you pull from your dreams?
Dreams! Okay I get it I seem surrealist- I don’t have an opinion on my genre, but I get it. I really do feel that the artist no longer is an authority in the life an artwork takes on once it’s finished, so I respect that this feels surrealist, and what I feel about it really isn’t so important as the response from the viewer to a work of art as it exists in it’s cultural context and environs.
But the surrealists were a bunch of at-best passively-sexist men, to whom a woman was a muse and an object onto which to project themselves, who I do not want to be casually bunched up with. I’m sure there’s some irrelevant exception nowadays (Frida Kahlo isn’t one), but I can’t be a part of a history that has actively excluded me, point blank. Maybe bunch me in with remodernists, if you want to put me in with something like the surrealists that badly, because they are my contemporaries and exist in my cultural context. Like even say I’m appropriating surrealism because that’s mad funny. I can’t exist as a surrealist because I’m not living at the real time of the movement (a conscious movement with a purposeful start) but rather I’m living with surrealism as a part of a history which informs my contemporary circumstance. I also realize now that it sounds like I dont like to be genre-ed but I’m not being stubborn and- perhaps I’m speaking as an art historian- I really mean it.
But to answer your question I hardly ever remember my dreams, and it is a bummer. My last dream was about driving a minivan and taking a French exam. I dream very often of driving, and in my dreams the sky is often purple.
If you were to branch into a medium you’ve never tried, what would it be and why?
I would do photography, but rather earnestly- I think I could become very serious about street-style photography because despite avoiding producing any commentary in my art, I am a Huge Critic of Everything.
Describe your studio space. Under what conditions do you work best?
It’s actually very neat- I show up to a neat space, and I leave it neat when I go. Whether it’s my dorm or 404 Diana, a mess sets my teeth on edge.
Tell us about your engagement with Postcrypt. What should we look forward to seeing next?
I’m an installation manager and I’ve curated a couple shows. One was about sensory experience and the other about the process of self-doccumentation. Right now we’re throwing the idea of food and performance around. My current concerns are our viewership and ability to get information about us circulating.
Got a project in the works that you’d like to tease for us?
Yes: With great hope for the future I say that this century will be bigger and better than the last.
Apparently, pink and blue is the official Pantone color combo of 2016. You’ve employed this vivid pairing to great effect in your work - any opinions on this?
No, not really.
You can design album art for any musical group or performer. Whom and why?
Someone who might make me very famous very fast: Kanye.
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