long before i’ve lived in the city and had a clue about art at all i was kid in love with a skaterboy how introduced me to lowdown magazine, a berlin based magazine on “popular culture and the art of moving”, whereby i came across with my first artist interview. it was probably somebody like ed temleton or mike mills, two of my favorite artists to this day, i can’t remember, but i do remember since then i was hooked and read the art and music features religiously, although i still had no clue. what i liked the most was the honest and insightful view these interviews could give you, due to their relatively simple questions. cause, by all means, all you wanted to know was, what the hell did you do that you now do what you do?
how did you get into making art and especially into sculpture making?
well i’ve always drawn and made music, even at an early age. i didn’t start seriously making objects until about 4 years ago. before that it was only music. at some point the music started to fade out of the forefront and these objects became more important to me. during this time i started painting as i felt it would be a natural progression from the drawing. i quickly realized that i was no painter though as i would get increasingly mad and upset at these pictures and would destroy them. as a reaction to my lack of painting abilities i started to add elements of 3D objects into the paintings. as time went on i realized that i was more interested in the objects in the paintings then the paintings themselves and so i removed the objects, placed them on the ground and here i am.
how is your work coming together?
i think its a struggle. i think its always going to be a struggle. sometimes things hit, sometimes things aren t hitting. i do believe that i’ve hit on something good. but you know, that could end at any time. i really believe in what i like to call the initial. that kind of snap in your head that really sparks what could be a series of new work. i believe that initial is more pure and holds more weight then the more drawn out cycle of work that would have stemmed from the initial. i try to continuously work off those initial sparks to keep things fresh for me. i mean, i try to make work thats new and interesting to me first.
the ideas that are coming out of me as of late have a lot to do with who i am, where i came from and process itself. i try to mingle these concepts together to form a mirror of myself. i come from a lower-middle class family and we didnt have alot of nice or new things. i enjoy combining those low cost relics of my upbringing with more thought out conceptual ideas. Im interested in the acts of making new ‘art’ objects vs the comforting recognizable objects of my past.
please tell me more about your last sculpture series untiteld…2009 and your work an intervention with earth…2009
black metal studs
the untitled… works have alot to do with what i mention earlier with process. these works are timelines of so called “finished objects’. i specifically wanted to remove the object somewhere in between the beginning of process and end to highlight the inherit quality in these materials. a good example would be the fiberglass pieces. i really enjoy the surface qualities of fiberglass. it resembles that of fine silk, or other expensive fabrics. In typical practice the artist would use these sheets of fiberglass as a base for pouring resin on to then mold it into whatever they wished. i wanted to highlight the fiberglass itself and to keep it a step or two away from the so called ‘finished object.’ Same goes for the stud pieces. stud walls are meant to be the underlaying part to the ‘finished product’ (a wall) and yet they are perfect in subtly as they are.
fiberglass, glue, glue transfer, spraypaint
an intervention with earth… photos work on the same level. i did not however have anything to do with the physical environment. i simply observed and captured. this area must have been prepped for a new structure because all of the earth had been moved around as one could see the tire tracks in the photos. after the earth was moved nature took over and grass started to grow over the bulldozed areas and water started to fill huge pits. here i was able to realize the same idea with a timeline. i was able to capture the in between of start and finish to show the greatness of moved earth itself.
an intervention with earth… 2009
inkjet print, 13 x 19 inches
what are you working on right now?
i’ve been getting more interested in video and so i am working on one right now. if all goes well it should be broadcasted on New York public access TV organized by artist Jeffery Tranchell. Also, im getting work ready for a solo show at Detroit Industrial Project (D.I.P) opening in April.
5 essential artist
what are your sources of inspiration for your work?
alot of it comes from my hillbilly family. i was shaped, formed and informed by them. all of the disfunction and attitude comes from that.
since you’ re an artist by yourself, how and when did it all start with org contemporary? what’s the idea and motivation behind it? who else is involved?
org just kinda fell into our laps. Lindsey Yeo, Ian Swanson and myself we’re given the space free of rent for two days to occupy it for an upcoming open studio night in march of 2009. the space is inside of the Russell Industrial Center an old factory complex converted to artist spaces. We basically opened a show for the two day event and decided to keep running the space after the open studio nights were over. so we named it and started paying rent. Theres not many galleries here in Detroit so to keep it open for the artist here is our main motivation.
is there a certain program? how do you select the artists for the show? are you looking for certain criteria?
our single mission is to present one or two person shows of local and national artist. this is a reaction to the over crowded 7 to 20 person group shows that are always opening here in detroit. the space is small and is perfect for one or two artist to come in and realize a body of work and not get overlooked in a huge group show. so, because of that we try to choose artist that have the capability to do a strong installation with out other artist work competing for the viewers eye.
how is the gallery work organised?
the gallery has kinda morphed into a sort of project space for the artist. we provide a key to the artist to come in and work as they please. we rarely ever edit the work in a show which i believe stems from the selection of the artist. any artist should have the capacity to organize, edit and hang a show. we try to keep this in mind when considering someone for a show. initially we decided to not take any money for work sold but recently we’ve decided to try and take a more traditional 60 / 40 cut. this is partly because of after almost a year of openings our personal funds have dwindled due to the daily upkeep of running a space and partly because we do not have any other financial support from any organization.
what would be the best show you’ve seen/experienced so far?
at our space? well a few months back artist Kevin Beasley had a show and he brought in a truck load of small trees and tree branches to fill our front gallery. The effect was great as the viewer was forced to negotiate a way inside of the gallery through the dense trees with only a spot light mounted on the side wall giving light.
what would be a dream collaboration / show?
umm, wow, i dont know. i never thought about that. i guess it would have to be a colab with 18er Gold and ORG.
what are the future plans for the gallery?
keep doing what we do.
the interview was held via email in late 2009. thank you very much christopher.