Interview with Seth Armstrong for The Air Is Thick

Seth Armstrong Studio Visit

photo courtesy of Robin Redd from Art Nerd studio visit.

Interview with Seth Armstrong for “The Air is Thick” on view a at Thinkspace Gallery  March 28 – April 18, 2015. Seth Armstrong will be present at the opening night March 28, 6-9pm.

Warm-up Questions:
SH: coffee or tea?
SA: Coffee
SH: background noise: music or tv show?
SA: Music
SH: snacks: savory or sweet?
SA: both
SH: dogs or cats?
SA: Dogs

SH: When do you get the most painting done? Morning, Noon, Night, Middle of the Night/Morning?
SA: I’d say late afternoon/evening/night-time.

SH: What inspired the direction of your work for the upcoming show?
SA: I started out with a common narrative in mind for the show, but I quickly got interested in other stuff, and now rather than a common thread that ties all the paintings together, the paintings seem to be more sequential. One relates to the next, but each may not belong with all the others. The city of LA had a big influence on the paintings, as in the architecture and the light. Also growing up in a town saturated by the movie industry, a lot of the paintings have a filmic quality to them.

Seth Armstrong

SH: Have you ever accidentally drank or was about to drink the dirty ‘paint’ water?
SA: I have accidentally put turpentine to my lips, but I’ve never swallowed it.

SH: What other artists work are you a fan of right now?
SA: I’ve always been a huge fan of my friend Chris Russell’s paintings. They are epic and colorful and amazing. I’ve got more of his paintings at my house than any other artist’s. (chrisrussellart.com)

SH: What brand of paint so you use? What’s your favorite color and brush right now?
SA: I like Gamblin oil paint right now. Favorite color is between yellow ochre or cobalt teal. Favorite brush is currently Princeton Art and Brush Co’s. They’ve got a nice flow and firmness, but they are shitty enough where I don’t have to worry too much about destroying them. Which I do.

Seth(march)

SH: How long does it take to complete a single piece? Do you work on multiple pieces at one time?
SA: Depends on the painting. There are paintings in this show that took more than a month, and there are paintings that took less than an hour.
I generally work on one painting at a time, but lately I’ve taken paintings to the point where they are very nearly done, then spend weeks on the finishing touches as I work on others.

SH: What motivated you to choose the life/career of an artist?
SA: My parents have always been very supportive. They both moved to LA to become actors, so they understand the whole “do what you love” mentality. I’ve always been drawing and painting, so as I was finishing high school, there wasn’t any kind of deciding moment, it just seemed like the natural next step.

SH: What do you know now, that you wish you would have known when first embarking on your artistic career?
SA: I still don’t know shit, so don’t worry about it.

thewrestlers

SH: What creative person; artist, musician, director, family member etc… has had the most influence or inspired your own artistic voice?
SA: One of the most significant people to influence me at a younger age was probably my high school art teacher, Mealiffe. She was the best. Incredibly supportive. A lot of kids from her class went on to careers in the arts.

SH: If your could invite 5 people dead or alive to a dinner party, who would be on your guest list and what’s on the menu?
SA: Ben Franklin, Elvis Presley, Leonardo Da Vinci, Brigitte Bardot, and Teddy Roosevelt. Spaghetti with meat sauce.

thefalconer

New work by Seth Armstrong in “The Air is Thick”

Seth Armstrong The Air is Thick Postcard

New work by Seth Armstrong in “The Air is Thick” on view March 28, 2015 to April 18, 2015.
Opening Reception with artists on hand:
Saturday, March 28th 6-9PM

 

Thinkspace is pleased to present The Air is Thick featuring new works by Los Angeles based artist Seth Armstrong. Armstrong’s paintings self-consciously capture a sense of looking, arresting moments with cinematic detail and voyeuristic curiosity. Varying in scale, the paintings offer views that are alternately intimate and vast, moving expertly between the monumental and the minute. Laden with detail and suggestion, each piece offers a moment in the trajectory of a larger narrative, and the viewer is compelled to realign the fractures of these inconclusive moments. Hanging the works on suggestion rather than on the overt, Armstrong builds tension and excitement in every painting with the possibility and expectation of action. Surfeited with this palpable sense of permanent anticipation and arrest, the air is indeed thick enough to cut.

Originally from Los Angeles, Armstrong studied painting in Northern Holland and completed a BFA at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. His deft handling of oil paint clearly demonstrates a facility inspired by traditional painting techniques, and a material aptitude for the dense capture of light and color. The intense realism of his style is often tempered by a looser, more painterly approach, and by a stylized handling of light and dimension. With viscous luminosity and substantive flesh, qualities achieved with a seamlessly clean application, his works feel heavy with tactility and dense with tangible space and body. Armstrong’s use of stark saturated contrasts is offset by a tendency towards stylized hyper-color, creating both depth and edge that exceeds the muted tones of the real. These contrasts achieve a sense of brooding visual tension that manages to evoke both nostalgia and strangeness simultaneously.

In The Air is Thick, Armstrong continues to explore themes that have consistently fascinated his output: the intrigue of illicit looking, and the fine line between intimacy and trespass. Just as cinema manages to satisfy our innate love of voyeuristic access, so too do the paintings offer us views onto private lives that both frustrate and satisfy. The suggestion of constant narrative pervades even the stillest and least active views, as Armstrong reminds us of the secret recesses behind all closed doors and all quiet faces.

Seth Armstrong The Air Is Thick

Seth Armstrong – “The Air is Thick”

 

Hi-Fructose interview Seth Armstrong / new solo in SF at Gallery Heist opens this Sat, May 14th

Hi-Fructose just interviewed Seth Armstrong as he prepares to open up his new solo show this evening at Gallery Heist in San Francisco. Better yet, the interview was conducted by fellow Thinkspace family member Brett Amory (who just showed alongside Seth at Thinkspace this past January).

Seth Armstrong ‘Another Thing Coming’

May 14th – June 11th, 2011 at Gallery Heist in San Francisco
www.setharmstrong.com

Check out Hi-Fructose’s full interview with Seth here:
www.hifructose.com/the-blog/1488-an-interview-with-seth-armstrong.html

Opening night for ‘There It Is’ and ‘Happy Valley’ at Thinkspace

Featured artists Adam Caldwell, Brett Amory, and Seth Armstrong

Thank you to everyone that came out this past weekend to the opening night reception for ‘There It Is’ in our main gallery and ‘Happy Valley’ in our project room. With all the galleries in Culver City having their 1st openings of the new season, the streets and galleries in the art district were just packed the whole evening through with art lovers enjoying all the new exhibits on view.

Opening night crowd for 'There It Is' and 'Happy Valley'

Check out our full set of pictures from the opening evening here:
www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157625808489442/

Capturing the work of Paul Barnes

Some excellent works from both exhibits are still available, so please be sure to look over the digital catalogs for both shows below.

‘There It Is’ digital catalog: www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/01/works.php

‘Happy Valley’ digital catalog: www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/01/project/works.php

Both exhibits on view through Jan. 29thplease stop through if in the neighborhood.

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd in Culver City / www.thinkspacegallery.com

Digital previews for ‘There It Is’ + ‘Happy Valley’ – opening tonight at Thinkspace

'Waiter #26' from Brett Amory

‘There It Is’ features new works from three Oakland, CA based artists that explore the urban aesthetic from distinctly different points of view. From the observational based oil paintings of Brett Amory to the history drenched collage styled oil paintings of Adam Caldwell through to the surreal bent on the world around us as seen through the eyes of oil painter Seth Armstrong, ‘There It Is’ offers up a painterly tour de force that is a great way to kick off our 2011 program.

View the works featured in ‘There It Is’ via our digital preview:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/01/works.php

PLUS in our project room the debut Los Angeles solo show from Scotland based artist Paul Barnes.

'Love Mountain' from Paul Barnes

View the works in ‘Happy Valley’ from Paul Barnes via our digital preview:
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/2011/01/project/works.php

If you see a work you would like to purchase or inquire about in either of the above previews, please send an e-mail to contact@thinkspacegallery.com and we will get right back to you with full details.

Both exhibitions open TONIGHT - so please come on through!

Thinkspace / 6009 Washington Blvd in the Culver City art district / www.thinkspacegallery.com

Juxtapoz.com post series of interviews with Amory, Caldwell and Armstrong for our ‘There It Is’ exhibition

One of Brett Amory's new works for 'There It Is' opening this Sat, Jan. 8th at Thinkspace

Juxtapoz.com just posted a series of short ‘Back Talk’ interviews with those in ‘There It Is’.

Brett Amory interview:
http://www.juxtapoz.com/Current/back-talkbrett-amory

One of Adam Caldwell's new works for 'There It Is' opening this Sat, Jan. 8th at Thinkspace

Adam Caldwell interview:
http://www.juxtapoz.com/Current/back-talkadam-caldwell

One of Seth Armstrong's new works for 'There It Is' opening this Sat, Jan. 8th at Thinkspace

Seth Armstrong interview:
http://www.juxtapoz.com/Current/back-talkseth-armstrong

Please check ‘em out if you get a second. Some add’l new works from each are revealed in the interview segments.

‘There It Is’
An exhibition showcasing three artists hailing from Oakland, CA
Brett Amory / Seth Armstrong / Adam Caldwell

Opening Reception: Sat, Jan. 8th 7-10PM

*All artists in attendance

Thinkspace
6009 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
www.thinkspacegallery.com

‘There It Is’ this January at Thinkspace

The work of Oakland artist Adam Caldwell - featured in 'There It Is' this January at Thinkspace

Coming up this January at Thinkspace:
‘There It Is’ featuring the works of three Oakland based artists in our main gallery

Adam Caldwell www.adamhuntercaldwell.com
Brett Amory http://brettamory.com/wordpress
Seth Armstrong www.setharmstrong.com

Take a look inside the Oakland studios of the three artists featured in ‘There It Is’ here:
www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157625482690931/

Get ready for an amazing display of painterly skill this coming January when ‘There It Is’ opens to the public on Sat, January 8th at Thinkspace in Culver City.