Nice work from Portland, OR based Conrad Crespin.
All images via http://conradcrespin.com/
Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your practice.
It is really hard for me to eat an apple. I like black socks. I don’t like cutting my fingernails. I can’t remember my social security number or my astrological sign. I don’t sleep with a pillow. My art practice is always growing but is predominantly painting and is the focus of mostly all energy. A lot of what I do is still a mystery to me that I’m solving and unsolving.
Where did you study? What kind of an influence has this had on your practice?
I studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. That place definitely influenced the way I think about art – there’s no other art school like it.
What have you been doing since graduating?
I graduated a couple months ago and drove across the United States with 3 other dudes in a van (see fecal face) and now I’m in New York for an indefinite period of time. I’ve been working on a series of drawings and doing a little bit of art production assistant work for MTV.
What struggles do you face in your practice? Do you have any insecurities while making your work?
It’s mostly a struggle. I’m usually pretty critical of everything I do and after finishing a piece I don’t want to look at it anymore. Whatever it is I’m trying to do is impossible but sometimes I get close.
Do you find yourself attracted to work that is unlike yours, or work that is very similar?
I’m attracted to a variety of things. I went to the Metropolitan Museum the other day and was attracted to a lot of things there which are very different than what I do, but I find interest in many things that I can’t necessarily relate to but can relate to on my own level and at the same time I really enjoy things that are more similar to what I do.
Who are some other San Francisco based artists whose work you are interested in? Artists in general who you are influenced by?
There’s too many to name – I’m influenced by a lot of my friends that make art.
What music do you listen to while working in the studio, if any?
Usually always listening to something. Today I recall listening to a lot of Flying Burrito Brothers and Lee Hazlewood.
What are some of your favorite things to do in SF? Places to eat? Way to spend a day off?
Lurk, bomb hills, breathe, I never know what to do with my free time so I probably just work in the studio. I’m not really a big food person but I eat a lot of food from Trader Joes or maybe Taqueria Cancun, Chicos Pizza, Inn n Out Burger. I sure do miss SF.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects?
I have an upcoming two person show with Eric Shaw at FFDG in September and will be one of 100 artists in a group show in Portland, OR at Breeze Block Gallery curated by Sven Davis, and I will be constructing an apocalypse hideout shelter at Ever Gold Gallery in SF, December 21st 2012.
The Cosby Sweater Project. Drawings of the patterns found on sweaters from The Cosby Show – here are a few gems:
There are some great exhibitions opening this Friday – be sure to check them all out:
New Alberta Contemporaries at Esker Foundation
444, 1011 – 9th Avenue S.E.
JUNE 15 – AUGUST 29, 2012
The New Alberta Contemporaries is the inaugural exhibition for the Esker Foundation. One of its primary objectives is to celebrate the creative potential of recent fine arts graduates from all the degree granting institutions across Alberta. The 47 artists were chosen for the ability with which their practice moves across disciplines in the emerging post-disciplinary and post studio age.
Painting 101: a solo exhibition of new work by Kent Merriman Jr, at Haight Gallery
2018 24th Avenue NW
JUNE 15 – JULY 7, 2012
Ghostown, Steven Nunoda, at Stride Gallery Main Space
1004 Macleod Trail SE
JUNE 15 – JULY 27, 2012
GHOSTOWN combines object-based work with installation, audio and video to recall and memorialize the internment of 22,000 persons of Japanese descent during the Second World War. Two hundred and twenty miniature tarpaper models in the installation refer to the cramped shacks hurriedly built by Japanese Canadian workers for their own incarceration.
Called “ghost-towns,” the camps had lasting effects on the internees and their descendants. This work comments on immigrant experiences and issues of human rights, displaced populations and racism, and is intended to provide a focus for remembrance made crucial as the event passes out of living recollection.
NATE MCLEOD’s PERPETUAL PASSAGE invites viewers into an immersive space – a space that draws one in and seems to infinitely stretch the Project Room in both directions. As the viewer moves through the space the work appears to transform, creating a dialogue between artwork, exhibition space, and viewer. Expanding upon Théophile Gautier’s concept of “l’art pour l’art” (translated as “art for art’s sake”), the artwork does not provide extraneous information and the viewer is left to consider this three-way dialogue and the experience of viewing the artwork.
1. Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your practice.
I was born in Calgary, and I’ve been making art most of my life. I work for a junk removal company which has turned out to be a great decision. I have seen some of the most horrible places people call home, and after removing everything they at one time valued, I get to stand in their empty house with them and write up a bill. It’s a side of people I’ve never encountered before, and there have been many days I’ve felt like a ghoul or some sort of scavenger. Routine horror like that is starting to influence my work.
2. Where did you study? What kind of an influence has this had on your practice?
I studied Drawing at the Alberta College of Art and Design and for most of that time failed to make a single drawing. I’m learning how to draw now, two years after graduation, and I generally keep them hidden. I wouldn’t have a practice if it wasn’t for the people I went to school with, and I’m grateful for the five years I spent with every single one of them. The professors I had were all excellent. I had a lot of interesting crits with Stuart Parker, Sondra Meszaros, Don Kottman, Derek Besant, Miruna Dragan and so forth. I even took advantage of the design classes and completely destroyed my GPA with messy color charts and bad craft, but I’d say they were a net benefit.
3. What have you been doing since graduating?
Since graduating I’ve tried to find jobs that intrude into my studio life as little as possible. I work in the studio every day, and when I’m not working in my studio I’m trying to make it a better work-space. Every once in a while I take my studio apart and re-assemble it from the ground up. It usually takes a few days, but after I do it my practice evolves. The things within arm-reach are now across the garage, and vice versa. It’s frustrating, but worth it every time. I’d say I spend over half of my time in the studio cleaning up after myself. A year of art making and a year of cleaning sounds about right.
4. What struggles do you face in your practice? Do you have any insecurities while making your work?
The administrative part is terrifying to me. Taxes, submissions, all of that frightens me. As for insecurities, I have plenty. I think some of them are pretty conventional, and I think we’re all afraid that we’re not good enough, but I’m afraid that I’m never going to make this work. I worry that I’m not entrepreneurial enough, that I’m not organized enough, that I’m not a hard worker… all of those things. I worry that the only thing I do with confidence is something I’m not actually good at.
5. Do you find yourself attracted to work that is unlike yours, or work that is very similar?
I prefer work that’s as far from mine as possible. If I met the artists, I’d probably have more questions than anyone could answer, and it would be a very one sided experience. How do people think up these amazing things I don’t understand? I love looking at something and being confused and surprised. I find that work similar to mine is usually far more impressive to me than my own- another insecurity.
6. Who are some other Calgary-based artists whose work you are interested in? Artists in general who you are influenced by?
There’s a long list. A few of the people I’ve seen work from recently would be Sarah VS, Sage Wheeler, Nate McLeod, Cassandra Paul, Randy Niessen, Jim Laing, Caitlind Brown, Lane Shordee, Pam Norrish, Elijah Escalante… too many to count. I recently saw daveandjenn’s new show and spent a very long time wishing I lived inside one of their pieces. Janet Cardiff, Kim Ondaatje, Alex Janvier and David Altmejd are incredible as well. Janet Cardiff’s piece The Forty Part Motet(below) is my favorite piece of art.
7. What music do you listen to while working in the studio, if any?
I watch a lot of TV and listen to astronomy and science podcasts. I don’t even really listen to it anymore, I just find the sound of someone talking in the background to be relaxing. I’m also insecure about my taste in music, so if anyone else is in the studio they get to share my complete silence.
8. What are some of your favorite things to do in Calgary? Places to eat? Way to spend a day off?
Fish Creek Park is my answer to all of the above. I love that place. I’d get takeout and bring it to the park. There used to be an orange lawn chair and an ikea end-table bike-locked to a tree on top of this horrible ridge. You scramble through trees and mud up this hill until you’re standing on a two foot wide peninsula with half a patio set on it. I used to eat lunch there and watch deer graze. I came back the next summer and someone had thrown the chair and table off the cliff. I haven’t been back since.
9. Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects?
I’m starting a new series of drawings, but it’s going slowly and the subject matter I’ve chosen isn’t allowing me to sleep at night. I’ve thrown away more than I’ve kept so far. I’m not sure if it’s a series or a psychological problem at this point.
Some good openings going on around town this Friday:
Imagining a post apocalyptic planet, Paul’s work concentrates on depicting what the world might look like when void of any life. Highlighting the amount of waste left behind by a single person, Paul’s paintings and three dimensional works seek to focus attention on the quantity of material possessions we collect and carelessly discard of.
Two Liners, curated by Austin Taylor, opening at Circa Showroom – good group of artists!
Tyler Los Jones
Kent Merriman Jr.
736 17th Avenue SW (Backdoor)
Friday April 20th
7PM – 11:30PM
I’ve been falling behind a bit on posting new artists, but I’m planning to post many more in the coming weeks – if you are interested in being featured as an Artist of the Week, or would like to suggest one, please email images, websites, etc., to email@example.com. For now, enjoy Team Macho:
“Team Macho is a collaborative illustration and fine art effort composed of Lauchie Reid, Chris Buchan, Nicholas Aoki, Jacob Whibley, and Stephen Appleby-Barr.
They currently occupy a large studio in Toronto, Canada where their joint efforts are divided equally between illustrating for very fine clients and preparing gross quantities of highly imaginative artwork for galleries in Canada and abroad.”
All images via http://www.teammacho.com/
Opening tonight at Haight Gallery; Fast Days Past, an exhibition examining the nostalgic relationship Calgary-based artists Viviane Mehr and Becky McMaster share in navigating art with life past and present.
Runs December 9 – January 22
Opening December 9th, 7-11 PM.
2018 24th Avenue NW