Can you tell us some history about yourself. Where you grew up, where you went to school and so on.
I was raised in Nevada County, California. I played music a lot and made stop animation movies in my garage when I was growing up. I did some community college in that area and studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute for my BFA. I lived in Berkeley and worked out of a garage for a while. Then I moved out East to New Haven, Connecticut to go to grad school were I received my MFA at Yale University last year. Now I’m living and working in Nevada City, California.
Moving from San Francisco to NYC your work has changed a lot. Tell us briefly about your development as an artist and the aesthetic of your paintings?
My paintings are made with textiles and everyday objects culled from thrift stores around town. My work has been evolving over the last few years. I’m interested in the cognitive physicality of vision. It’s my opinion that in painting, haptic experience and visual textures help piece together material knowledge with lived experience to open up subjective narratives within process and material based abstraction.
Can you talk about your relationship with painting? How is your practice governed by your chosen material of paint and it’s relationship with the surface?
Acrylic is very easy to manipulate and create a polymer emulsion that can do things oils are unable to do. There is also less nostalgia and romanticism caught up within acrylic, it’s plastic.
What is your current body of work fueled on? How are these paintings conceived in the studio?
Immediacy is an objective within every painting. Trying to not belabor a painting while eliciting a curiosity which asks you to linger with it. This is wear failure and humility comes into play in my painting. An unsuccessful painting is by no means the objective but failure can be captivating as well as informative. Often a successful painting begets redundancy. Were as, a failed painting asks to be reinvented in the mind of the artist as well as the viewer in a way that is informative and participatory. Paintings can have humility, body language and a posture. My favorite painters right now are Alex Ebstine, and Anna Betbeze and Diana Molzan.
How often do you get to work in the studio? What is your studio routine consist of?
Luckily I am always in the studio, I work out of the house so I divide my time but often not my head space. My routine starts with coffee and walking my dog Nico. Then reading and blog rolling until I get into the studio. I usually listen to news and do general work around the studio until I put on some music and focus on painting.
You also work sculpturally which you still consider paintings? Can you talk about your relationship with objects vs images?
The sculptures are riffs on painting. The steel cable and hardware provides support for the substrate which in place of paper or canvas is any object that finds it’s way onto the cable. Once the cable is strung with objects I use it as the ground for a painting. The paint is reinforced with light molding past and tar gel, creating a clay like medium that I use my hands to paint with. I am interested in how paintings as objects offer up the subjectivity of images in such a way that they can be continually re examined for new and contradictory meaning.
You live up north where there’s very little overlap with the art world. How does living in Nevada City positively and negatively affect your relationship with the art world?
Its a small town in the Sierra Nevada. In my opinion, attitude and temperament in painting is in part do to the day to day reality of life, studio time, cost of living, pier community and proximity to a fast paced art market. Sometimes work produced in New York can look a certain way do in part to conditions of making work in that city. The same can be said for any city, I think artists should work were the art they make is best served. Often that is in New York or LA but not necessarily. I have had a lot of opportunities to show and travel since moving back out to the woods, It’s been a surprisingly productive situation. I visit New York and San Francisco as much as possible, LA is great but I don’t like driving. Walking La Cienega is good way to see galleries on foot.
Tell us your goals going into your current show at Ever Gold? What are the conceptual constructs of the “Light Farming/Heavy Gardening” exhibition there?
I wanted to highlight the logic and process of my paintings. The title is based in word play. The paintings in the show are meant to share a similar poetic sense of rhythm, curiosity, play and thrift. I also wanted to exhibit the “Space Blankets” a collaborative project with Michele Fitzhugh. They are interactive art objects which are used by visitors as light deprivation tools. I f you spend time under the blankets you can turn your head into a pin hole camera. No light will penetrate the fabric so you can desensitizing your eyes and then briefly exposing them to the exhibition space to create a image on your retina that will paperer as a stereoscopic after image in a dark field of view underneath the blankets.
What can we look forward to in the near future in relation to your artistic endeavors?
I have two groups shows opening next month, one is at Bravin Lee Programs in New York and another across the river in New Jersey at One River Gallery. Both shows are focused around materiality and process in abstract painting. I am also currently participating in the BAMart Silent Auction in NY from April 17-28, on view at the Hole Gallery from the 23-28. Every bid goes to support The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s innovative programming with a portion going to help Brooklyn-based artists impacted by Hurricane Sandy.