IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Josh Dorman


IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #55: Josh Dorman


1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
As a NYC-based artist, I can’t say that I have the ideal environment, but in many ways I’m fortunate. In the city, I have a basement studio with one small window. I’m not eager to work very large these days, so the cave-like space is good for me. I use incandescent clip lights to create pools of warm light on my paintings. Because I use a lot of collage, the panels move from table to wall to floor. I sometimes work lying down on top of the panel. Last year, we bought a little home in the Catskills and I’ve set up a small studio there as well. Looking out the glass doors to see wandering geese and flowers and green is heavenly. But it can also be a distraction. It’s easy to get drawn away from the ineffable world of a painting to the tangible act of picking a flower or a cucumber. I often listen to music or podcasts while working. The more my left brain can be occupied, the less it gets in the way of the creative process. And the less it can bother me with doubts and questions.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
Coffee helps. As a part-time teacher and father of twins, I take every moment I can to get to the studio. Summers are sacred time. It also helps to have a looming show as a motivator. And seeing an old friend at the Met or MOMA can inspire me. A wall of Klees or Turners can send me sprinting home to work.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several? Though I’ve experimented with animation in the last several years, the mixture of paint and collage is still inexhaustible for me. I use only antique paper sources—maps, charts, textbook engravings, player piano scrolls. I usually have 5-6 panels of varying size going in the studio simultaneously.

4. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I consider my work to be connected to the painting tradition in a deep way. I believe all great art is conceptual and spiritual. And what is termed “Conceptual Art” holds very little interest for me. I seek to create work that feels current but also outside of time and place. For inspiration, I look to ancient and Modernist sources. From Sienese paintings to Persian Miniatures to Breughel, Redon and Ryder. I try to use collage (appropriated images) in a way that honors the original creator and transforms the meaning. I hope to build worlds that invite the viewer in to figure out what is painted and what is collaged. I hope to generate images that are utterly specific and completely open-ended.

5. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I could discuss “Shipwreck” briefly. It began, as do most of my paintings with a small compositional sketch. I knew I wanted an enclosed body of water. I knew I wanted it to be seen from above, underneath and sideways simultaneously (like Cubism, yet visually not at all). I glued down a base layer of old player piano scroll paper. The dots and perforations generate a rhythm, create a horizontal pattern, akin to waves on a sea, and also remind one of DNA charts and other modern technologies. I then created a nest like border by laying down pine needles and grass, pouring watery inks and letting the liquid evaporate. Similarly, gears and embroidery wheels created ghosty stencils in the pink sky. Once this enclosure and pool was built, the sea creatures, bathers, and detritus of humankind began to fill the pool, while fossils and bones embedded themselves in the border earth. This is all improvisational, based on the piles of old books I surround myself with and on the forms that call to each other, jumping scale and substance. After several weeks of layering collage and paint washes, the actual ship was one of the final additions, giving a central anchor to the piece. What it all means I leave to the viewer. I have ideas and suspicions, but if I were to know the exact narrative beforehand or afterward, I would lose all interest in making art.


“Have You Seen the Red Village?”, 2012, ink, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″


“Shipwreck”, 2014, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″

“Carolyn Krieg: Equus ferus caballus”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

Carolyn Krieg & Fred Birchman share the gallery space May 9 – June 20, 2015

Reception for both artists, May 9th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #7: Carolyn Krieg

Carolyn Studio

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I have been a fortunate working artist since 1989 with part-time landlord, wildlife rehabilitation and Soma Neuromuscular Integration work supplementing my studio work at different times.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

As a child I took pictures with a Brownie and drew pictures with pencil. I wanted to be an artist beginning in 4th grade. I received a degree in French Language and Linguistics and taught for a short while before taking the leap and returning to school to study art. I had a professor my first year who said we would know we were artists when it was our discipline, our choice of work. That resonated with me- 1983.

Brownie camera

Brownie camera

3. What are your influences?

Much inspiration comes from reading– fiction, myth, poetry, history, psychology. Where I live and with whom I live, both people and animals, how I spend time when I’m not “doing” art –all this parallels my work and in some way influences it. My parents’ only extravagance for themselves was to purchase art while raising nine children. In 1973 I moved to Paris to study (also taking mime classes with the Polish ex of Marcel Marceau). I took train and van-camping trips that included museums in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Morocco (having to return home only because of amoebic dysentery). What I saw in first person, after seeing the images in books for years, blew me away. An exhibit that deeply influenced me was a floor of Impressionist work at the Hermitage which I saw during the Cold War in 1972, labeled “decadent art” and off limits to the Russian population in that era. One of my favorite museums is the Prado. Goya, Bosch, El Greco, Velasquez. I nearly lived in the Louvre some days when I lived in Paris. Recently, my favorite museum was the Gulbenkian in Lisbon—with its’ varied and beautiful Ottoman/Asian collection. Some live and some dead big name artists whose works have influenced and informed me: Jasper Johns, Chagall, Ryder, Vuillard, Frieda Kahlo, William Blake, Rembrandt, Degas, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Durer. Locally the artists whose work I own: Glenn Rudolph, Fay Jones, Jim Lavadour, Jim Kraft, Michael Spafford, Mark Calderon, Lauren Grossman. On a national level, for their translations of the animal kingdom: Susan Rothenberg, Deborah Butterfield, and William Wegman. Nancy Spero and Imogen Cunningham and O’Keefe, the list could go on.

One of the pieces Carolyn grew that is now in her collection: Tom Hardy’s 1951 Lithograph, “Horses and Rider”

One of the pieces Carolyn grew up with that is now in her collection: Tom Hardy’s 1951 Lithograph, “Horses and Rider”

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My original studio of 1500 sq. feet is now my home as well, for economic reasons. I have an “office” space upstairs with my computer and printers and cameras and some storage (and a bed). I have a 10×20’ room in the barn where I store and show work and frame and paint (if not outside). The lighting is daylight florescent.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or TV?

There is no typical day and my art work is interspersed with my animal chores, exercise (swim or jog or horseback ride) and rental/property chores. Some days it is work on the computer, some I photograph, some I paint, some I frame, some I prepare canvases and board, but I do need variety to not get burned out. I need quiet and do not listen to anything when working. My brain is too full already. Working is one kind of meditation and connection to the universal for me where I lose track of time and place and self.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I work with all kinds of things photographic and acrylic. I sometimes use oils and resins, but after having a cancerous kidney removed, I am careful about toxic substances. I spent many years tearing apart Polaroids and altering the transparencies without gloves and printing in the darkroom handling chemicals-the craziness of youth. I work on several pieces at a time, stopping and returning when I’m fresh.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

I will use pretty much anything that gets my job done when I am mixing media, from any tool to any kitchen utensil. My combination of steps vary (mixing media, cameras and films), but in general begins with my conventional chemical or digital photograph. Presently, I transfer my images to a computer and use Photoshop for drawing and painting before printing on archival inkjet paper. Then I will sometimes transfer that paper onto board or Plexiglas or canvas to take it further with acrylics and sanding and more painting. With previous work, I generated a Polacolor print from the digital file, and cut/tore off the positive transparency, which I painted with oil and ink and then used in place of a negative in a traditional (analog) color enlarger. I printed on archival chromogenic paper, then sometimes transferred the print and/or transparency onto canvas or board or Plexiglas and worked further with acrylics and resins. I draw, paint, erase, sand, tear, cut and digitally manipulate. This allows for fictional gain and generational loss, similar to what happens when experience moves from perception to memory. It reflects the psychological process of teasing meaning from mystery.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

Currently, I swim and attend a Pilates Reformer class at least once in a week and daily jog with my dogs along a lovely little route that affords me a view of Rainier (I call her Tahoma, her original name) when she is out. I also ride my horse in nature as often as I can squeeze it in. My parents are 89 and 92 and I try to get to Portland to see them as much as possible. I try to travel abroad once a year for new inspiration and source material (and horse riding). I go to ACT theatre as a subscriber and love movies.