Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Age? Hometown? Occupation?
Born Friday the 13th March 1981 in Chicago, IL. I handle artworks and humans
Describe a day in the life of Ryan Coffey.
A quart of water first thing, then a shower. Oh boy, there’s so much and so little. It’s more than likely that I’ll go to work for about eight hours and then leave. Probably ride my bike, maybe get a drink with some friends, glue some shit down on paper, maybe a book, maybe a movie, try to chart all the thoughts running around in my mind and try to make sense of them, find connections and then do something with them. Really it’s all a crapshoot, my job is never the same and neither is my life outside work, I am constantly amazed by the never ending changes that life presents, life is nothing if not entertaining.
How did you get involved in making art?
Honestly, it was through skateboarding, I really had no idea what was what till I started skating in middle school and then once I got to highschool and was kicking it with the older skateboarders I noticed that they all took art classes so I figured that was what skateboarders did. Basically it just gave me validation to do what I’d already been doing, and once I started taking classes it fell into place rather quickly. I was really lucky and when I was 15 my school brought in a graffiti artist from Chicago and myself and a couple other kids got to work on a mural with him and one of his friends. That experience was huge for me, one to work with an older artist and two to be taken seriously by him and his crew was one of the biggest early experiences for me. It was at one of his openings that I decided while sitting on a window sill looking at the city and the people there to see his show that I realized that that was the life I wanted, and I’ve never really looked back since. I feel blessed every day to have had the experiences in art that I’ve had and to be doing what I’m doing.
How would you describe your art to someone who’s never seen it?
It’s different everytime, I use a lot of um’s and uh’s, it’s about the one thing I have a difficult time being articulate about. I started off school in New York in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and I was immediately struck by the distance that most of the work that I was seeing there created between the art and the viewer and I decided that that was something that I didn’t want to happen with my work. This was my major concern for many years and one of the realizations that I came to was that contempory art’s obsession with theory was impeding its ability to reach a broad audience. Now I realize that there are obvious flaws with this thought and I am not against theory in anyway whatsoever, in fact it has been a major influence on my development as an artist and a person, but because of this train of thought I have steered away from really dissecting my own work. I have instead relied upon a trust in process or praxis within the work itself, allowing it the room in my own mind to breathe and develop. The more I work and the longer I do this it is becoming more clear what the work is “about” and it is becoming easier to talk about, but I don’t think that it’s really necessary to understand one’s own work or to interpret it for others, that’s why I work the way I do, and if someone that’s never seen it is interested in hearing about it I try to turn it into a dialogue rather than a description. The work in American Cinema is, I think at least, really starting to hinge on this, I started lately to think of these pieces as film stills rather than individual pieces, they are in essence parts of a movie that I’m developing about the American Experience, however absurd that sounds.
Describe your working method. What kinds of materials do you use and why?
Again, my working method draws upon my reaction to my interpretation of contemporary art and relies in large part upon trust and intuition rather than concept and then creation, or something like that. I have found that this works best for me. In the past when I tried to start with “something” I could never get anywhere, I would get completely lost in the idea and frustrated with my means to be able to make that happen. I truly believe that being able to make artwork first involves finding the best way to trick yourself into making it. For me this is a reliance upon the belief that I will more than likely make the right move if I don’t question it. So I basically set up parameters within which I work, like, for this body of work I’ll use paper this size and images from these piles, and then start from there. Generally I begin with one element and then sit with that one element for some time, flipping through images, thinking of marks in my mind and endlessly staring at the piece trying to visualize what the next move should look like. Also I typically work on between 10 to 20 pieces at a time. Once I get a hint or see what the next move should be I force myself to make that mark whether I am certain or not, the process usually speeds up after this. Given the bareness of my work, one of the most difficult decisions for me is when to stop working on a piece, the reason for this being that while I want for the work to appear complete I also want for it to be slightly uncomfortable, basically I want it to vibrate in the in-between. I was always struck by a quote I read of Picasso’s when I was younger, something like, “a painting is never finished.” This has always resonated with me, I love the notion that a piece of art could be infinite, or infinitely variable.
For the past few years I have been working predominantly on paper and use images largely gathered from Life magazines spanning from the late sixties to the mid seventies. There are many reasons why I keep turning back to this image base but one is that the image quality and color schemes fit exactly within the realm of what I see myself, I have often wondered whether or not I would use images from this time if they looked like images from that time and I think that the answer is a definite yes. I am constantly searching for images and there is just such a “high-gloss” look to images being produced at this time, both literally and figuratively, that I find myself totally disinterested in them. Another reason and it is perhaps more relevant to the work it that I see that time period as the first time that America in large part became conscious of itself, you see this quite viscerally with the Marlboro man. Here was a time when the cowboy was largely an outdated occupation but the advertisers realized that it is so entrenched within our identity that people could somehow associate with it. It was really a golden age of advertising and really the only ten years where the American Empire really made any sense, everything after that point has pretty much been a comment upon a comment upon a comment and so forth. I guess that I find that in going back to this source material I am able to give some kind of comment upon the world that we live in. I also just love the uncompromising arrogance and naivete of that time. As for my use of paint, gold leaf and other mark making materials, I think that they are my attempt to draw these images from the past into our time.
Name some influences (art, film, music…) that inspire the American Cinema.
It’s funny, the title American Cinema came from a hilarious argument that Jason and I were having over hot toddies at Enid’s in Brooklyn last December about our different interests in film. I was arguing for terrible Hollywood films and he was arguing for good thoughtful cinema, basically I was being an asshole and an antagonist, Jay’s girlfriend and our other friend Evan Rehill were there laughing their asses off at how ridiculous we were being. It was honestly one of the best conversations that I’ve ever had, and when I was on the plane back to SF American Cinema popped into my head, I thought it was perfect because it could draw upon the many similarities and the differences in interest that Jay and I share. With regard to influences they span from the most crass like the Tea Party and the most sublime like the American landscape. I am absolutely obsessed with the concept of America, it is such an amazing and utterly ridiculous place and will probably be the subject of my work for most of my life.
One book you recommend reading.
This is a fucked up question, but I’d have to say the book that has had the single most impact on me is a book I read years ago called, The Realization of Emptiness, by some Tibetan Lama. I lost the book and have never found it again, but it had my head tied in knots for months, I’ve never had to read the same pages over and over again as much as I did with that book. It just basically just tears everything to shreds, it put my life in shambles for a bit.
Al Pacino or Bob Dylan?
Billy the Kid
You went to school at SFAI. How did your experience at school relate to what you do today?
I loved the view.
Best / Worst thing about the city:
Age? Hometown? Occupation?
I am 33 years old. I grew up here in SF in my early childhood, Los Angeles in my teens/20's.
Describe a day in the life of Nicole Buffett.
Meditate, paint, drink tea, paint more, make dinner with friends, drink more tea, paint, sleep.
How did you get involved in making art?
My grandmother was a collector and a patron to many contemporary painters. She was a singer, my father a composer and my Mom a singer as well. Music and Art were a part of my everyday life. I feel that being an artist is the path that is most natural and true to who I am and where I come from. I first began drawing and painting by replicating vinyl covers from my Dad's record collection. I think the first cover I copied was Cat Steven's Tea for the Tillerman. It was true love from there on out. Music is a very important force in my life and work.
Describe your art to someone who’s never seen it?
The Novelita is a tiny hand bound book made of brown packing paper, each page hand drawn with ink pens and painted with a tiny brush. Diverse in it's conceptual basis, Viva Novelita seeks to embody the spontaneity that I feel is the creative force. In that way, when I sit down to make a Novelita, I really allow whatever is in my mind to articulate itself. There is a very child like quality to my process. I make the Novelitas page by page, not really knowing what might come next. I gravitate towards a palette that is both pop and retro-integrating the sense of the work being contemporary while also referencing times of old. In this way, there is a kind of humor to the surprising juxtaposition of detail and attention that goes in to a Novelita alongside the absurdity of it's size. I am interested in integrating an organic tactile quality along with a highly graphic refined set of marks image. Simplicity has immense power.
Describe your working method. What kinds of materials do you use and why?
I work with a wide variety of materials. For Viva Novelita, I use brown packing paper, needle and thread and a hybrid acrylic/gouache paint alongside ink pens.
Name some influences (art, film, music…) that inspire Viva Novelitas.
In film, I am very inspired by Anime. The colors and forms have an immediacy that I think is brilliant. I am also deeply inspired by Wes Anderson's work. In music, I listen to a wide variety of vinyl while painting. My collection ranges from Wilco to The B-52's to Nick Drake to Ravi Shankar. Listening to music while painting is one of life's greatest joy's and mediations in my life. In art, Miranda July, Rachel Sumpter, Barry McGee and Bruce Nauman are a few who have influenced/inspired me greatly.
If there were one last book you’d get to read, which one would it be?
The Tao Te Ching.
You went to school at SFAI. How did your experience at school relate to what you do today? Any guidance for future graduates?
The San Francisco Art Institute has been a sanctuary for me. Being an SFAI Grad has allowed me to fully embrace and engage my life and path as an artist. I think one of the greatest lessons /secret weapon/tool a student of SFAI gains is knowing that he/or she chooses every day, every moment to be an artist. It is a decision. It is commitment. It belongs to each of us to do what we will with it. It is freedom. My guidance is this: You don't have to know what you are doing in order to do it. The important thing is to keep doing what you love. If making it makes YOU happy, then you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. Find the joy in your work and give your all to it. Your Art and who are are one in the same. Be who you are and trust your process.
Any last words?
I am honored to share what I love doing with those I love.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The San Francisco Arts Quarterly Release Symposium
Saturday. March 27th, 2010
The San Francisco Art Institute SFAI
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
San Francisco Arts Quarterly SFAQ MANIFESTO
The mission of the San Francisco Arts Quarterly is to provide the growing arts community of San Francisco with a free publication aimed at enabling galleries, artists, collectors, and the general public to connect and network, facilitating the expansion and flourishing of San Francisco's art driven economy. SFAQ is a newspaper and calendar that presents the public with a quarterly update on art community events and offer insight into the current and future state of a variety of arts throughout the city.
The SFAQ calendar is a user friendly guide that contains a pullout San Francisco MUNI map and a compilation of the various venues and spaces within San Francisco. The calendar will include a listing of openings, public events, performances, festivals, screenings and releases featured at various educational facilities, museums, established galleries, non-profit organizations, theaters, music halls, and more with an emphasis on alternative venues and up and coming spaces/galleries. SFAQ's calendar will expand individuals' artistic perspective in San Francisco and facilitate their connection to the various events that are happening throughout the city. We wish to provide every artist with the opportunity to make their exhibition, project, or performance more readily available to the public. This helps inspire and support the citizens of San Francisco to continue practicing their various artistic endeavors, further enveloping San Francisco with the gift of creativity.
The San Francisco Arts Quarterly will direct a dialogue with a highlighted neighborhood in San Francisco, rotating to different areas of the city with every issue. Each edition will consist of interviews with individuals and collectives who are showing an interest in the advancement of the San Francisco arts community and thus helping to further stimulate the city's progressive nature, opening a conversation between the district of focus and the rest of San Francisco. This will provide individuals with an in-depth look into the various districts of San Francisco's multi-faceted arts community. The publication is designed to inspire people to discover and explore areas of San Francisco that they do not typically experience, with the intention of unifying the varied areas of San Francisco into one comprehensive artistic whole extending throughout the city.
Event Begins: 6:00pm
Event Ends: 10:00pm
SFAQ Panel Discussion 7:00-8:30 pm
Live Music: 8:30-10:00pm
Film Screening: 8:30-10:00pm
Sponsored by: Blue Angel Vodka
Bear Flag Wine
The San Francisco Arts Quarterly (SFAQ) is pleased to present its premier issue’s release symposium at the San Francisco Art Institute. SFAQ is a free arts newspaper dedicated to the artistic community distributed throughout the bay area. The SFAQ symposium will feature a panel discussion including sought-after speakers, curators, educators, gallery owners, and art journalists from the low and high brow, to start an ongoing discussion about the state of the San Francisco art community. After the panel there will be live music by Honey Comb, and more TBA. SFAQ will also feature an outdoor screening of selected films from local and international artists. Free drinks provided by Blue Angle Vodka, Artesa Winery, Bear Flag Wines and free food provided by Georges restaurant.
SFAQ PANEL DISCUSSION
Panel Discussion Facilitator:
Jeannene Przyblyski is Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs as well as Chair of the History and Theory of Contemporary Art program in the School for Interdisciplinary Studies. A PhD in Art History from UC Berkeley, Przyblyski is an artist, historian, urban strategist, and instructor. Przyblyski has lectured frequently at arts and cultural institutions across the Bay Area, including the de Young, the Legion of Honor, SFMOMA, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. From 2004 to 2009, she served the City of San Francisco on the San Francisco Arts Commission, where she chaired the Visual Arts committee and was a member of both the Civic Design Review and the Executive committees.
Hou Hanru is Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of the Exhibitions and Museum Studies program. He is the French correspondent for Flash Art International and a regular contributor to several other journals on contemporary art including Frieze, Art Monthly, Third Text, Art and Asia Pacific, Domus, Atlantica, Texte Zur Kunst, and Tema Celeste. Most recently, Hou was appointed Curator of the 10th International Istanbul Biennial.
Marianna is an active member of SFMOMA’s SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) and ArtTable, the national leadership organization for women in the arts. She also spent two years on the board of ArtPoint, the young professionals’ auxiliary of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums. She also runs thestarkguide(dot)com, a resource for the budding and seasoned collector. Marianna is also the executive director of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association.
Eric Rodenbeck is Stamen's founder and creative director. He is a 14-year veteran of the interactive design field, and has spent this time working to extend the boundaries of online media and live information visualization. He is a sought-after speaker and has lectured and spoken at Yale University, Columbia University, and the University of Southern California. In 2008 he was called one of Esquire Magazine's "Best and Brightest" new designers and thinkers, and one of ID Magazine's top 40 designers to watch. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
Justin Giarla has owned and run Shooting gallery in San Francisco for seven years and also owns White Walls Gallery next door. He participates in art fairs in Miami, New York, and London every year. He represents noted contemporary artists such as Sheppard Fairey, Ron English, Blek Le Rat, Robert Williams, Mike Giant, ESPO, HUSH, Greg Gossel, Cheryl Dunn, Shawn Barber Kris kuksi and Travis Louie. Justin has also produced a documentary on low brow and street art called NEW BROW.
Gabe Scott lives and works from undisclosed locations around the west coast. Most of his life has been spent in San Francisco, aside from stints in Washington state and Wisconsin. He graduated from San Francisco State university in 2001 with a fine arts degree in photography with a minor emphasis in art history. Gabe curated for the 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco from 2002 - 2009, in addition to curating shows around the country. His writing has been featured in Art Ltd and Juxtapoz Magazine and his photography has appeared in Juxtapoz and Alarm Magazine.