The Urban Casita Interview
(Hell, let’s not act like this will be a regular series, ’cause it probably won’t. Play along anyways.)
When were these works created?
Most of these works were created in the past several years. I will be putting up “older” work as well. I put that in quotation because much of my work is derivative of something else I’ve done or a conceptual or formal evolution of some older design: meaning old sketches will often become new designs, projects or prints and old prints will become new models, installations and constructs. I basically have a library of self-initiated projects that I continually sample from.
Which one, of those you’ve posted so far, is your favorite? Why?
I’d have to say “Debris 01” (pictured) because of the process it took to create the image. I was actually pretty excited about it from a creative and technical point of view. I began this image by designing and building a generic 18-storey office tower in Google’s 3D program: Sketchup, and then demolished it by using this plug-in called Sketchy-Physics. The plug-in is terrific because it uses the mechanics of real-world physics but allows you to forward, rewind and pause at any point along the process of demolition. So basically I composed a bunch of freeze-frames of this office tower being destroyed, into one image, then sketched over it both by hand and via Adobe Illustrator. Several back and forth iterations between the digital and analog and I ended up with this cool post-apocalyptic trash-strewn wasteland, and I am ALL about “cool post-apocalyptic trash-strewn wastelands”.
What room of the house should your work go into?
Ha. Would you like me to be honest or diplomatic? It can go in any room. Placing art is art itself, its color and composition and all those things that indicate having an “eye”. The art I made that you purchased is probably only 1/128th of the collage that is your home or apartment, so have at it.
If the person who bought this print was hosting a dinner party and was asked by one of the guests what the meaning of it was, what should they say?
The piece doesn’t have any meaning beyond its title. These were just abstracted drawings reminiscent of aerial landscapes. Although, while I was up in the Urban Planning Department at Columbia University making prints of this series, students kept coming over and making comments as to the applicable organizational systems from which the images were derived, and that was interesting to me. I think this series is very formal though, people will just tend to find it interesting and I’m not sure what they “should” say, but what they typically say is “this is reminds me of……” and then a conversation ensues. That’s how I like it to go down.
You’ve exhibited all over the world. What city was your favorite and why?
That’s a tough one. Its probably a tie between Rotterdam and Cleveland and both have little to do with exhibiting work. Rotterdam was just a really cool city architecturally and culturally. We (me and my collaborators) stayed in a maritime hotel right on the port so there were always sailors getting drunk at the bar while waiting for some ship whistle to blow that would send them out to sea for months. And as cliché as it sounds, they were from all over the world and would sing songs at the top of their lungs, yell at each other over some soccer match showing on TV, and in quieter moments, throw their arm over your shoulder and show you pictures of their girlfriends or families. That was just the hotel experience. Exploring the city and its inhabitants was a blast as well.
Cleveland was great because one of the other artists I was exhibiting with, Amanda Williams, had an Uncle that lived there. We spent a few days installing for the show and on opening night her Uncle told us he would take us out after the show. It was hilarious because he had absolutely no intention of attending the opening; he just picked us up afterward and we went out to eat, then went bar hopping, with the exception that he’s a Shriner or something, so the “bars” were actually seamy little hidden clubs where everyone drank for free. Like the first “bar” was in the cramped space of a bowling alley behind the pin-setting machines, and another was in the backroom of a check-cashing spot. Her uncle was about 6’8” and 260lb and I was drinking JWB head to head with him…I have no idea how I made my flight.
I know it sounds like those places were fun because I was getting drunk with the rogues gallery, but what I’m really trying to say is that in both instances I was privy to someone else’s slice of life. When traveling or exhibiting anywhere, things like that are what make the experience memorable for me. Of course I love the camaraderie shared with the other artists, but exhibiting for me is very much a means to see someplace new.
When are we going to see more photos of your house?
I’m stilling adding things to my place, especially to the bedroom. I’ve put up a shelf and some artworks. I like how it’s coming along.
Thanks, Lek! Be sure to check Vigilism and be the first on the block to have one of these pieces in your home.