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An interview with Jesse Hotchkiss…

December 10th, 2009 Comments off
'Little Planet'

'Little Planet'

An interview with Jesse Hotchkiss

Opening in conjunction with ‘The World Unseen and Those In Between’ from Andy Kehoe is our second solo show with artist and professional skateboarder Jesse Hotchkiss. In Jesse’s new series, he aims to portray moments of dreamlike intimacy, both visually foreign and familiar, yet somehow comforting and empowering to the characters within his work.

“The feeling of surrender washes over everything—a relaxing if daunting position to be in. But Hotchkiss seems to imply that falling, sinking, even being buried, might be just another way to reach something higher.” TheRumpus.net

“Jesse Hotchkiss is one of these gifted individuals. He has a second-nature style when it comes to riding his skateboard and doing the crazy tricks. You’ve probably seen him somewhere at some time doing his thing, and maybe you agree with me that the dude has some natural talent. The thing is he’s also a very gifted artist and illustrator. His paintings and drawings come directly from the heart, and that’s part of why they’re so easy to enjoy.” – Jeremy Fish’s words in Transworld Skateboarding Magazine

Jesse at work on his deck

Jesse at work on his deck

Please talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “Learning To Fall“? What’s the story with the show’s title?
This new body of work is a reflection of the place I find myself these days. The title, “Learning To Fall”, was extracted from a Blonde Redhead tune called “Falling Man”. The idea of falling, both physically and metaphorically, has been a potent image in my work. It also has played a big role in my physical life; I’ve been learning to fall off my skateboard for two generations. Last May I pinched a nerve in my lower back and was immobilized for quite some time. This injury was the catalyst for exaggerated confusion and darkness in my life. I was no fun for a while… The title and concept was created before this debilitating injury, but this fall only seemed to accentuate a feeling that was already there; a need to get back in touch with the physical. I feel like the more we are in touch with both our physical and emotional shells, the better we will be prepared to eventually let them go. End of life transitioning surrounds us every day, yet it remains one of the biggest taboos. Personally, I feel a great momentum to explore this concept with an open mind and heart; both in my work and life.

On your site you separate your work into four distinct categories (“Air,” “Land” “Love Lump” and “Water”). Please tell us a lil’ about each series?
These are general groupings for my past work. The catagories are essentially the four elements with Love Lump representing fire. The Love Lump series was for a Valentine’s Day themed show titled “Love It Or Leave It”..Look for my revamped website following the Learning To Fall exhibit (http://www.jessehotchkiss.com).

You are also a pro-skater, tell us a lil’ bit about your crazy summer that saw you going across the U.S. and then some?
Thanks to a crash course with my amazing yoga instructor and chiropractor I was able to bounce back (pun intended) and return to my skateboard. Last summer I went on an epic road trip with my friends at American Misfits (a skateboard/comedy show on Fuel TV). For all of August I was driving (sometimes the iconic ’79 Mercedes Benz hearse, complete with skatable coffin) from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine. The premise of this trip was to document all the skate scenes we could find, add slapstick and bands to make eight episodes of American Misfit’s third season. I met so many new and old friends and experiences along the way it was like life in fast-forward. We hit 22 cities in 31 days! It was the best summer ever!…that is except for driving from Alaska to LA the summer before.

'Learning To Fall'

'Learning To Fall'

Much of your new work includes the use of drift wood, did you gather the wood yourself and if so, do you have a favorite spot you regularly hit up?
I’ve been collecting driftwood for years. Mostly I’ve found it on the shores of Goat Rock Beach, Hollister Ranch beaches, and various Alaskan and Oregon beaches.

How did spending time during your youth in New Mexico influence your artwork?
I spent the years between 5th and 12th grade in Santa Fe, NM. I became friends with young artists out there that were inspiring and also somehow affiliated with the skateboard scene. People like Nate Kraw, Joe Melvin, Mike Giant and Sam Flores became my peer teachers. Also I had an amazing art teacher (Gary Myers) in high school that supported all the exploring I was into. Aside from the people, the environment had a profound effect on me. My work often revisits those stark, muted landscapes of the Land of Enchantment.

Jesse at work in his studio

Jesse at work in his studio

If you had an unlimited budget and time was not an issue, what grand artistic vision would you look to bring to life?
First I would acquire a large plot of land with natural swimming holes, hiking trails and seashores. I would invite some close friends to help me build and live in this art house. It would be mostly handmade with lots of personality and space. There would also be a skateboarding component to this community.

Do you listen to music while painting/drawing? If so, do you have a current favorite that inspires?
Silence is golden, yet I also work while listening to music. I find welcoming creative sound-scapes in the music of Ulrich Schnauss, Built to Spill, Augustus Pablo, Tommy Guerrero, Abstract Rude, and Ratatat most recently…

What do you consider your biggest overall influence?
My grandmother’s example of passionate, creative living has influenced me the most.

'Transcending Form'

'Transcending Form'

What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your solo with us – both artistically and on the skate front?
After the Learning To Fall show, I will be exhibiting at Thinkspace Gallery again in January. The show is called ‘A Cry For Help’; it’s an endangered species benefit group art show. I can’t wait to see everyone’s creatures! The American Misfits episodes I skateboarded and acted in will be televised sometime next spring on Fuel TV

Also I have launched a environmentally conscious skateboard company called ShredLife with the producers of the American Misfits show, Laban Pheidias and Ted Newsome. Also on the team is Chris Lambert and Chuck Wampler. I hand draw the majority of the graphics.

Search: http://www.shredlife.tv

My skateboarding/acting will be featured in a music film produced by and for the band Angels and Airwaves. It’s in celebration of their new album “Love”. I believe it will premier on Valentine’s Day ’10.

Back on the art front, look for me in a two man show at 2HeadedHorse Gallery in Echo Park sometime in spring ’10.

'Terra Fermentation'

'Terra Fermentation'

Check out the works featured in ‘Learning To Fall’ here:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/12/project/works.php  

Please shoot a mail to contact@sourharvest.com if you are interested in any of the works in the show.

‘Learning To Fall’ featuring new works and a mural from Jesse Hotchkiss

Fri, Dec. 11th 7-11PM

Thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd (near Sunset Junction in Silver Lake area of LA)

Categories: Jesse Hotchkiss Tags:

An interview with Andy Kehoe

December 10th, 2009 Comments off
'Passing Forests Bring Unlikely Companions'

'Passing Forests Bring Unlikely Companions'

An interview with Andy Kehoe

Thinkspace is proud to present ‘The World Unseen and Those In Between’, the second solo show at our gallery from Portland based artist Andy Kehoe. This will be the first solo exhibition with the artist in our main gallery space, following ‘Into the Forest of Broken Dreams’, which took place in our project room in the fall of 2007. ‘The World Unseen and Those In Between’ marks Kehoe’s biggest west coast exhibition to date.

This new series of oil and acrylic paintings on wood panel serve as an outlet for the artist to express his feelings of unrest and anxiety in this all too unstable world we live. Kehoe’s soft and enticing palette of autumnal colors provides the foundation for his work and allows the artist to explore his world view via the sincere human emotion that’s so prevalent in his timeless works. The beautiful yet desolate landscapes present in much of his work serve to capture the essence of human loneliness and the longing for a simpler time. Viewing his characters in their allegorical compositions brings one to think of how tiny we truly are compared with the vastness of mothernature. Much like the comics of his youth, Kehoe’s work is rich with undertones of unease and violence, yet this is all somehow masked by the artist’s talent for creating seemingly peaceful and serene scenes set in nature that hint at the mysteries of the unknown.

“Kehoe’s paintings have become synonymous with the autumn spirit.” - Arrested Motion

'Reunion of Old Friends'

'Reunion of Old Friends'

Please talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “The World Unseen…“? What’s the story with the show’s title?
I’ve been flirting with the spirit world in recent shows and I decided to do a show solely focused on it. I’ve never really done a show with such a defined theme before so it’s been fun. This show is all about ghosts and spirits and also about forces that exist behind life. There are also a good number of creatures that live between both worlds and these are the ones I really love talking to… I mean painting.

Why the woods as such a focal point in your work? What’s the significance of the lil’ horned man in the dapper tweed coat? Does he represent a sort of every man in your paintings going up against the hardships and obstacles of life?
I grew up reading a lot of fairy tales and most of these tales harken back to less technological times for sure. A lot of stories were set in the woods, so the woods have always seemed like a place of mystery. Living in the city is a little stifling sometimes since everything is so controlled and regulated. The streets of the city are like a rule book. Don’t walk here. Walk here. Stop at that light. Go at that light. No drinking here, only here. No smoking here. Don’t piss on that wall. Don’t fire your gun out the window of your car while doing donuts in the middle of a crowded intersection. Ridiculous. So it’s nice to go where things are a little more wild and you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want. I can shoot a gun, piss on a tree, chug whiskey and walk anywhere I want in the woods. In that respect, I prefer having an environment in my paintings that are unrestricted and wild. The guy in the tweed coat definitely is the normal guy trying to make sense of the world. He didn’t make it around this show I don’t think. He also gets beat up a lot which is both sad and funny to me.

'Ideas Flourish'

'Ideas Flourish'

What was it like growing up with your twin brother, Ben Kehoe (also an artist)? That had to be a pretty creative and interesting household. What’s your earliest memory of creating alongside him?
It’s an awesome thing when you’re basically born with your best friend. When it came to art, we were always doodling and came up with some crazy comics when we were a bit older. The main comic was about a bunch of rodents that were in the mafia. They became pretty insane towards the end and progressively more twisted and violent. Ben’s were worse than mine. We were looking at our old comics a while back and Ben and I were cracking up. There were cat heads exploding and cat people being shot to ribbons. (The cat gang was a rival of our rodent gang.) Our friend was looking at them as well and said. “Man. I don’t know. These are kind of f*cked up.” Haha. So yeah, having fun like that growing up definitely made art a constant in our lives.

Why the recent move to Portland from Pittsburg? Has the change of atmosphere and surroundings influenced your work you think?
I’ve lived on the east coast my whole life so I wanted to try out a different time zone. I’m not getting any younger so I decided it was time to explore the west and try it out while I could. The places I see and the people I meet deeply effect how my work evolves out so I thought it would be awesome to see how it turned out in a place so far and foreign. I didn’t even visit Portland before I decided to move here. It’s been awesome so far and I’ve definitely had experiences here that I never would’ve had if I stayed in Pittsburgh. But I do miss Pittsburgh and being out east, so I’ll probably migrate back that way some day.

Kehoe's studio space up in Portland, OR

Kehoe's studio space up in Portland, OR

How is it to have a studio mate (Evan B. Harris)? You didn’t have a studio mate back in Pittsburgh I don’t think…
Having a studio mate is pretty awesome and I think it motivates both of us more. It’s nice to see what someone else is up to with their work and disconnect from your own world for a bit. It’s good to take a break from your own head. We’ve been listening to a lot of audio books in the studio and it really passes the time and gets the imagination going. We’re on the fifth Harry Potter book at the moment. Plus it’s been great having a studio that’s outside of my house. The separation of work and normal life has been really beneficial since work tends to consume my thoughts. Now I work more when I’m away from the distractions of home and I can relax a bit more when I’m home. When I was in Pittsburgh, my brother and I both worked out of the living room. We’ll definitely share a proper studio one day.

If you had an unlimited budget and time was not an issue, what grand artistic vision would you look to bring to life?
I would make an animated movie for sure. I see most of my work in motion and being animated as I’m painting it… or maybe that just the copious amounts of angel dust and LSD I take.

What do you consider your biggest overall influence?
Angel dust and LSD.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland? What do you miss most about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh definitely makes better hoagies than Portland.

What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your solo show with us?
I’ve got a couple pieces going in the Jonathan LeVine Gallery fifth year anniverary show coming up in February. After that, I have a show in London in May, a couple group shows and my next solo show at LeVine is scheduled for early 2011. Looking good.

'Good William and the Eye of the Dead'

'Good William and the Eye of the Dead'

Check out the works featured in ‘The World Unseen and Those In Between’ here:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/12/works.php

Please shoot a mail to contact@sourharvest.com if you are interested in any of the works in the show.

‘The World Unseen and Those In Between’ featuring new works and an installation from Andy Kehoe

Fri, Dec. 11th 7-11PM

Thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd (near Sunset Junction in Silver Lake area of LA)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Dabs Myla ‘Primary Flight’ mural during Art Basel…

December 10th, 2009 Comments off
The 'Primary Flight' mural from Dabs Myla

The 'Primary Flight' mural from Dabs Myla

The good folks over at Arrested Motion were down in force last week during Art Basel in Miami, FL. We were so slammed with the action over at Aqua Art Miami, we didn’t get much chance to swing through and check out all the ‘Primary Flight’ action that was going off in the Wynwood district.

Check out the amazing mural from Dabs Myla coming together at the link below:
http://arrestedmotion.com/2009/12/basel-week-miami-09-dabs-myla-primary-flight/

And be sure to roll through Thinkspace tomorrow night for ‘Earthquake Weather’ featuring a half dozen new works including an amazing collaboration with the one and only Greg Simkins.

Speaking of Craola, if you didn’t check out his interview yet with Dabs Myla over at Juxtapoz, check it out here: http://www.juxtapoz.com/Features/dabs-and-myla-interview-by-craola

'Diamonds In The Rough' hand touched limited giclee print

'Diamonds In The Rough' hand touched limited giclee print

‘Diamonds in the Rough’
Giclee print on 300gsm cotton rag archival paper
Limited edition of 25
Each hand touched with a unique character (unframed)
36 x 11″
91 x 28 cm
$125

Check out the works featured in ‘Earthquake Weather’ here:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2009/12/project2/works.php

Please shoot a mail to contact@sourharvest.com if you are interested in any of the works in the show

‘Earthquake Weather’ new works and a mural installation from Dabs Myla

Fri, Dec. 11th 7-11PM

Thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd (near Sunset Junction in Silver Lake area of LA)

*Pic courtesy of Arrested Motion

Categories: Graffiti, Recommended openings Tags: