Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Interview with Kale Tunnessen







q)Walk us through an intimate day in your life


a) Wake up. Bus. Coffee. Work. Bus. Paint. Sleep.


q) Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?


a) I grew up in Bloomsburg, PA and moved to State College, PA when I was 18. Then I moved to Chicago in August of 2013. All of this has definitely had an impact on my art, but it didn't really affect what I paint or the colors I use as much as the size of my pieces and the materials I use to create them.


q) What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?


a) I don't really have one. I've always liked to draw and I started painting in June of 2009. It's just my way of communicating.


q) Tell us a little bit about your creative process.


a) Almost all of my paintings begin as excess from previous paintings. From there, I just react to what I see and they're done when they're done.


q) How do you wish for your art to be perceived?


a) "I don't particularly feel the need to be understood, but I do have a strong compulsion to communicate." This is a quote by Cristabel Christo that describes exactly how I feel.


q) What do your internal dialogues sound like?


a) The stock exchange just before the closing bell.


q) Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?


a) Yes.


q) Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?


a) I don't know that it's vital to survival, but I think it's definitely vital to making survival worthwhile.


q) Describe a world without art.


a) It would be sort of like a movie theatre that doesn't show movies. It would still be there, but what's the point?


q) Tell us a secret, and obsession.


a) secret = I have third degree burns from a chocolate pop tart
    obsession = coffee


q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?



Monday, April 14, 2014

Interview with SEAN MUNDY






q)Walk us through an intimate day in your life

a)As of late, an average day for me starts around 9am. I'll check my emails and messages and answer them, then I usually spend my day either planning and organizing an upcoming shoot, shooting something, or working on music (I also play and record music). I try to shoot as much personal work as I can, but am also trying to find clients in my area to shoot photos of.

q) Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?

a)I grew up and currently live in Montreal, Canada. It's a great city and full of life. There are so many artists here making such incredible work that it's really hard to get noticed though, and it doesn't help that I'm pretty introverted/not very outgoing. The city made me often want to shoot in more natural surroundings (forests, etc) since everything is very grey and dull, but I'm lately getting pretty inspired by certain locations here so I hope to shoot my style of work in more urban settings as opposed to forests and mountains.

q) What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?

a)I remember drawing a lot when I was really young, I'd have notebooks full of doodles and notebooks full of stories I'd write or comics I'd draw out, so from a really young age I was always interested in creating. I only really took creating more seriously in the past 2 years; I started a 52 weeks project, and a year and a bit later I am now relying on photography and photography related projects for all of my income.

q) Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

a)I usually start with an idea; it's very rare that I shoot something in the spur of the moment that I end up loving. I'll draw out rough sketches of what I'm looking for in the image, including all necessary props, location ideas, etc, and let the idea sit for a bit of time just to see how I feel when I go back to it. I have a small notebook that I keep these doodles in so I can open it and find an image I want to shoot at any time really, it's a pretty effective way of working especially considering I tend to draw up more ideas than I am able of shooting. So for example if I know it's going to rain on a certain day of the week and I have a photo that calls for a really overcast/muggy day, I'll plan everything out so that I can shoot the image that day at the location I've chosen. Shooting can take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the idea or how much time it takes to set everything up. Then I edit my images in photoshop which can take anywhere from one night to a whole week to finish, and that's it! 

q) How do you wish for your art to be perceived?

a)I'd like people to look at most of my images as open ended in the sense that while I may have a specific meaning behind one, people can find their own meanings in them, or just interpret them at face value or for pure aesthetic values, there's really nothing wrong with any of them. I've also noticed that a lot of people who post their work predominantly online  get a lot of slack from "traditional" artists/purists that somehow posting work on the internet cheapens the value of any given work, which is obviously not the case. I'd also like my work to force people to look at it for more than just a moment, to stop them and let them gaze over the whole image and appreciate all the aspects of it. 

q) What do your internal dialogues sound like?

a)I'm extremely self critical and full of self-doubt, so much that I purposely overshoot almost everything I do just so I'm sure that I have more to work with than necessary. There are times where I am quite proud of something I've done, but for the most part I try to stay humble and not get an ego about anything; I strive to not be satisfied with the work I've made and to better myself and produce even better work than I'm putting out.

q) Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?

a)In a way, yes. As of late I've been drawing out a lot of ideas that are very out of my comfort zone, or that will definitely challenge me in terms of direction and execution. If anything, I'm basically limited by my own skill. I have ideas that if done well will be great, but I worry that I will not do the ideas justice at all and that the photos will not have as much of a visual impact as anticipated. 

q) Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?

a)I feel self expression is essential to survival in many ways, at least in a psychological sense. I know personally that if I had no means of creating in any way, I would go insane. I am always thinking of new things I want to shoot and am constantly daydreaming about photography, so I would be very lost if I was not able to create any more. I would become obsessed with whatever else it was that I was doing so as to replace my vice with something else. Most people have one thing they do that helps them get through the day, even just reading a book or listening to their favourite artist, and if you took that away from people it would be very detrimental I believe.

q) Describe a world without art.

a)Very bland, to be blunt. Art encompasses so much of our daily lives in ways most probably don't even realize that without it, life would be very dull.

q) Tell us a secret, and obsession.

a)I've gotten pretty interested in anime lately. I used to watch quite a bit when I was younger but lately I've watched a few series and am falling in love with it as a whole even more so. The stories (that I enjoy, at least) are always so interesting and full of imagination that I can't help but love them. There's something in their storytelling that is missing in American stories/shows that you just can't find. Some people find it pretty nerdy but I don't particularly care.

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

a)I post work on flickr (
https://www.flickr.com/photos/seanmundy/), facebook (https://www.facebook.com/seanmundyphotography), and tumblr (http://seanmundy.tumblr.com/). Thank you!



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interview with J Swofford










q)Please introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself and
your background.


a) My name is J Swofford. The letter J is my full first name and that is the way it appears on my birth certificate. My father's name is James Oscar Swofford III. He wanted me to be the IVth but my mother protested. They named me J as a sort of compromise. I grew up in rural Virginia in the Eastern United States as a bit of an isolated child. My family was good and caring but there were not other people nearby and I had few friends. The nearest grocery store was a half hour's drive away. My father is an artist and I grew up surrounded by art but I didn't embrace it right away. I think a part of me wanted to find my own way without feeling like I was mindlessly copying my father. I'm a contrarian at heart. I'll sometimes make a decision just to go against popular sentiment. I've lived all over the United States but I've settled for the past fifteen years in dark and rainy Portland, Oregon. Currently, in addition to shooting photos, I work at the Portland Art Museum. I also enjoy making my own fruit wine. As I write this I'm enjoying a bvit of wine I made from nectarines.


q)Talk about your art.


a) I am most in love with analog photography. I enjoy working with film and developing prints in the darkroom. Working with light and chemistry is a kind of magic. 


q) What’s the central theme of your work?


a) In everything I do I am exploring the symbolic connotations of images. In 2005 I read Carl Jung's "Man and His Symbols" and it changed my life. Since then I have been using photography to explore the unconscious mind and the Archetypes. I am fascinated with the idea that there is another intelligence hidden within my mind that is akin to all the gods, devils, angels, and demons that have ever been or ever will be.  


q) your most beautiful dream


a) Last night I dreamt that I moved to Chicago and got a job working in a ramshackle orphanage.


q) your worst nightmare


a) The first nightmare I ever had I dreamt when I was quite young, maybe four or five years old. I remember shrinking smaller and smaller. My point of view was under a faucet as a drop of water was gathering on the edge of the opening, threatening to fall as it grew larger, and a deafening sound of static grew louder and louder. I woke up yelling "no, no". So far it has been the only nightmare I've had.  


q) Best way to spend a day off?


a) When I get a day off from the museum I will often spend the day working on collage. Sometimes I like to have beer for breakfast.


q) who, what inspires you ....


a) I am greatly inspired by mythology and magic, both ancient and modern. I read a bunch of occult blogs written by contemporary witches, alchemists, and sorcerers. All the ancient Archetypes are still alive today and they probably will be forever. I am inspired by dreams and hypnogogic visions. I am inspired by the idea that, just like Joseph Campbell said, all the demons, all the angels, all the heavens and all the hells are inside me. By being quiet and learning how to listen to them they can all speak to me.


q) books that you love….


a) Carl Jung's 'Man and His Symbols' and 'Psychology and Alchemy', Joseph Heller's 'Catch-22', Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Silmarillion' and 'The Hobbit' (This is the first book I remember being read to me as a child), Grimm's Fairytales, Aesop's Fables, Bullfinch's 'Mythology', 'The Picatrix', Crowley's 'Vision and the Voice' and the 'Book of Thoth', Ursela LeGuin's 'Wizard of Earthsea', Julia Kristeva's 'Powers of Horror', Edward Weston's 'Daybooks', Minor White's 'Zone System Manual', Israel Regardie's 'Golden Dawn', 'The Lemmegaton', Agrippa's 'Three Books of Occult Philosophy', ...


q)music…artists….that you love


a) In music I tend to avoid Pop in all its forms, especially country but almost everything else I listen to all the time- classical, rock, industrial, metal, ambient noise, jazz, country, bluegrass. I love Mozart's 'Magic Flute', David Bowie, The Smith's, Joy Division, The Cure, Avalanches, RJD2, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Femi Kuti, Frank Sinatra, Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen, The Minutemen, and so many more. In music I am guided by my mood. One day it will be Snoop Dogg and then next it will be Bach and then it will be Autechre.
In art all of it has something to teach me but I am especially drawn to all things ancient and Neo-Classism of the 19th Century. I also really enjoy some of the art coming out of China right now.



q) What are you really excited about right now?


a) I've been following the court case of Prince vs Cariou with great interest. Working in collage as I have been I think that case has far reaching implications for appropriated art material. I've also been studying the Tarot quite intently.

q)your current projects….


a) For the past three years, and probably into the foreseeable future, I've been working on 'The Riddle of the Echo' which is a photographic project exploring the image making capacities of the unconscious mind. I've also started to design my own tarot deck in the style of 'The Riddle of the Echo'. I am also working on a digital project with the same themes to be sold on Eachone.com in July 2013.


q)your future projects….


a) For a while I've been kicking around the idea of illustrating the Mansions of the Moon and the Astrological Decans using live models. I'm still researching this idea so I've not gotten started on it yet.

 
q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


a) You can see more of my work on my own website, abnormalimage.com, although I am often slow to update it. My work is also featured on nativepublications.com as well as artgypsytales.com (I am also interviewed on this one). I have a Flickr.com page, www.flickr.com/abnormalimage/, my handle is unconsciouseye. I also have a Tumblr.com page of my work at http://unconsciouseye.tumblr.com/.


q) Final words?


a) Final words... what can I say. I want to thank everyone who looks at my work, especially those to whom it speaks. I am always open to feedback and would love to hear from all of you.
***










Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview with Hadas Hinkis







q)For the people who don't know your work - how would you describe it ?


a) I make head-pieces, masks, and decor. I make pictures and videos of people in surrealistic physical situations.


q)What are the key themes running through your practice?


a) The human body. Colors and patterns. Limitations. extensions. Flat versus three-dimensional.


q)Your favorite place on earth?


a) Haven’t been there yet! Probably in the middle of a rain-forest, somewhere without humans.


q)What influences your work?


Drag queens. Pop culture. Materials that I come across. The flow and feeling of emotions in the body. Everyday experiences of connectedness to my surroundings.


q)What music are you into right now?


a) Ken’s radio show on WFMU, an American free-form radio station. He plays all kinds of weird stuff, surprising and engaging. They also have lots of other shows for any kind of mood, fun to listen to while working in the studio. wfmu.org


q)Describe your thought & design process...


Its pretty simple: I get a “download”, an idea just pops into my head all perfect and amazing. Then I need to somehow bring it into the material realm, which is a challenge...


q)Which emerging artists are you looking forward to seeing more of?


a) Madame Peripetie in Fashion photography, Sharon Eyal in Choreography, Lena Dunham in writing for film and television. And a lot more that I’ve seen and admired, and will kick myself later for forgetting to mention.


q)Favorite place on the internet?


a) Network Awesome. They curate daily programs with films, music, documentaries, old television moments- the great and the terrible!


q)Do you have any upcoming projects/exhibitions we should know about?


a)No.
q)Tell us something we don't know - but should...


Wall paper glue + water + those annoying supermarket advertisements you get in the mail= papermache. Cheap and useful material for all kinds of 3d creations.


q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


a) On my facebook account, I upload more sketches and unfinished ideas. There I go by Hellza Papadopoulos.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Interview with Carsten Kruse






q)For the people who don't know your work - how would you describe it ?
  

a)I mainly paint all kind of objects in public places all over Germany very colourful, for example houses, trams or cars. Sometimes I have a permission to do this by the city, sometimes not. But I´m not what you would call a Graffiti-artist. All my work is handmade with brushes and roles. Nothing is improvised. The base of the perfect result is a draft, which I apply free-hand 1:1 on the wall. I never use templates. Sometimes, I make lots of big blobs on wood in my studio and copy them on the wall. Sometimes I´m childish and develop crazy fishes or frogs with very special characters. Fishes from mars? Sometimes my mood is more funny, sometimes my attitude is more provocative.
The trash of my public work, like brushes or empty cans is the basic material for my work on canvas, thus the artistic cycle is perfectly closed.
For more than twenty years, I´ve been drip-painting my so called monsters in all sizes on wood. They´re very mysterious to me and develop with me.
  

q)What are the key themes running through your practice?
  

a)The key theme of my work is colour. I try to transform sterile and conservative public places into something funny, happy and positive. I fight for the freedom of facades. I´m against white and grey walls and I´m looking for the facade-design of tomorrow.


q)Your favorite place on earth?
   

a)My bed


q)What influences your work?
   

a)When I started painting  my monsters twenty years ago, I was mainly influenced by Jackson Pollock. Nowadays I´m open for all kind of mural art and street art, but not influenced directly. My work is very influenced by music, I think. I listen to crazy stuff all the time.


q)What music are you into right now?
   

a)I´m totally into Free Jazz and Noise….especially musicians like Peter Brötzmann,
    Jooklo duo, John Wiese as well as Merzbow. Currently my favorite instrument is the sax. I love chaos in music. I`m not a big fan of structures and melodies.


q)Describe your thought & design process...
  

a)When I see a certain object, I can see immediately the painted result in front of me.


q)Which emerging artists are you looking forward to seeing more of?
   

a)The stuff of Toys Art Gallery in Los Angeles is great


q)Favorite place on the internet?
 

a) Discogs.com …you can find rare and hard to find records there


q)Do you have any upcoming projects/exhibitions we should know about?
  

a)Of course I have, but they`re secret until it`s published.


q)Tell us something we don't know - but should...


a)I am ectotherm like a lizard, I only start moving when the sun is shining on me J


q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?
  



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Interview with Mason Saltarrelli






q)Introduce yourself, name,age, location.

a)Hello, my name is Mason Saltarrelli, I'm 33. I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and in 1997 I moved to New York. I now live and work in Brooklyn, New York

q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?

a)Growing up in New Orleans I started photographing jazz musicians at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe and at local festivals. I was 12 years old. I met Doc Cheatham, and started traveling to New York to photograph him at Sweet Basil in Greenwich Village and we became good friends. As a teenager I would leave the Palm Court at 11pm and meet up with friends in the French Quarter where there was no shortage of characters to document through out the rest of the weekend nights. As my visits to New York increased, so did my understanding of Henri Cartier-Bresson's "Decisive Moment" theory. Photojournalism became my obsession. I was the photo editor of Fordham University's new paper for two years and had a mentorship with the photo director of the NY Times for a year. My senior project was an exhibition of my travels in New Orleans, New York, Prague, and Zurich. At this time everything was switching over to digital photography. It seemed to me that the photojournalists were spending more time on their computers and less time shooting. That broke my desire to be a photojournalist. I knew I wouldn't keep up shooting film and I was just finishing college, so I stayed in NY and kept my part time job as a binocular renter at Madison Square Garden. I didn't stop shooting, but I also realized I didn't know what I was going to do. A roommate offered me two weeks of work as an artist's assistant for a world-renowed artist. I had no idea what that meant, and as long as it didn't require computer skills, I figured I could do it. Slowly but surely I began to realize that painting offered a gift of expression that photography did not. When I came to realize that, that's when I really got into it. 

q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.

a)My approach to art is through philosophy. That idea leads people to ask, "ok then, what is your philosophy?"
To that question I have no concrete answer because just as often as life changes, so can one's ideas about it. I do however believe that our spirits are our strength if we allow them to be. Much of my work is about dying. That's sounds morbid, but it's not meant to be. I believe that the departure from the human form is the greatest gift one will ever receive if they lead a good life. I make paintings and drawings that symbolize paths of the spirits of people and animals and nature that I admire. The Hopi Indian's Kachina doll is a very important aspect of my work. Initially I painted the same doll over and over. I did that so I could teach myself how to paint in the conventional sense. I then began to break the doll apart in my work, I let it explode basically. This to me is a symbol of how powerful the spirit of a person can be. I believe being in the human form is an opportunity to expand your spirit or compromise your spirit. I make work that I need to make to remind myself of that message, because in this world that's an easy one to forget. And hopefully in reminding myself of that message, when my art leaves my studio, I can share that message with others. My work is very personal. I use it as a way to pay respect to people who have passed before me. Most of my work is simply my way of saying thank you, both to people I have known such as my father and to people I have never met such as prisoners of war.

q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?

a)Sometimes I use music as white noise if I'm painting in my studio in Brooklyn and need to drown outside noises out.  Sometimes I actively listen to the music that my mood dictates. That allows for a broad spectrum: Al Green, Coco Rosie, Otis Redding, Waylon Jennings, TV on the Radio, Wild Tchoupitoulas, Frank Sinatra.
If I'm working in Montauk, NY outside. I might play some of the same music, but there I prefer to channel the energy and hear nature, so often in Montauk, music is too distracting.

q) How would you describe your work to someone?
a)It's a type of harmony by way of chaos. Each one is it's own spirit map. That's why you see some re-occurring images in the work yet each one is unique.

q) Influences?

a)Visually: Walker Evans and Philip Guston.
Far more important, mentally: My Dad, my Aunt, and my Dog, Bird. All free to roam. 

q) Describe your process for creating new work.

a)All my paper work begins by tinting the paper and giving it a patina of undetermined age. The more broken down, the better. Most of my canvases are left outdoors to be exposed to the elements in places I consider special in Montauk. I like to let the earth and it's inhabitants help play a role in my decisions of where marks will go and what colors they will be made with.  My work is often a response to what nature has created on the paper or canvas. It's a conversation between the two of us. This is fun for me because it gives the work a life of it's own, it becomes less mine, which I appreciate. It makes me more just part of the process rather than the ruler. Once the proper marination of nature is set in the material, that's when I get down. I don't like to get too set up to paint, I let my intuition do most of the work. When all cylinders are firing, I use my last name. It's an Italian word for a type of jumping dance. I love to dance on my paintings. I'll even kick them, they kick back.

q) What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?

a)It's hard. The art world is full of people in clicks patting each other on the back. Staying in their boring comfort zones. First and foremost, remember, if it's your art you love, be true to it. The "art world" is a business honest art making is not, it's a form of mental science given life by human skills and limitations. If it's your art you love make it, believe it, know it, and love it. Be patient, try to find the right people for it, dealer and audience. Rushing it will just waste your time. My work is not currently exposed on the level I would like, but that's something I've learned to accept through trial and error. If there will be a time for some commercial success, it will come when that time is right. If not, I will keep working and pushing myself to explore what and who I am. Haste makes waste.

q) What are you really excited about right now?

a)I'm currently in New Orleans, so I am excited that I am in a beautiful city that moves at a far slower pace from NY and has Po-Boys. They say NY has everything, not true. I've never had a good Po-Boy there.

q) What do you love most about where you live?

a)I love Prospect Park. Nature is the greatest artist. No human will ever come close to creating what nature has given us. The park helps me remember that. 

q) Best way to spend a day off?
a)My friend has a great Italian restaurant, Scalino in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I could sit there all day. 


q) Upcoming shows/ projects?


a)I'm currently in a group show at Tripoli Gallery in South Hampton with a great group of artists: 
And something's in the works in Washington DC with:

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

Update coming soon.