IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact: Robert Pruitt

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As of January 2016, KDR has joined its affiliate PROGRAPHICA Gallery in Seattle, WA, where Eleana Del Rio and Norman Lundin will curate exhibitions jointly as well as independently within its new enitity: Prographica / KDR.
Koplin Del Rio (formerly of Culver City, CA) is pleased to present its debut exhibition in Seattle: IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact features gallery artists: Sandow Birk, Melissa Cooke, Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Laurie Hogin, Zhi Lin, Kerry James Marshall and Robert Pruitt, curated by Eleana Del Rio. 
IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact is the first of a series of three exhibitions, each featuring a select group of long-time Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery artists. As KDR transitions its footprint to the Pacific Northwest, the exhibitions will unveil the gallery’s distinct identity and unique visual program through the artists it represents. These artists produce work that taps into the pulse of our current point in history in order to examine identity on multiple levels—self, community and nation. 

Artist interview #39: Robert Pruitt

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.

My studio spaces have varied wildly over the years so I’ve had to remain flexible in terms of needs. However, I think my 3 main requirements are ample wall space, time, and isolation. My drawings are fairly large so often I’m working directly on the wall and constantly moving papers and reference images around. I’ve recently been moving back and forth from one work to another so I need space to see all of this info at once. My process is also really, really slow. I’m regularly just sitting staring at an incomplete work. This requires me to horde time to finish these works. This usually means lots of late night work sessions.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?

I think motivation can be a real issue at times. I try to combat any serious studio malaise by changing what types of information and media I am consuming. This can mean museum visits, comics, films, conversations with other artists and a host of other inputs. Anything to get my mind excited again. I am generally motivated by new ideas.

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

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At heart I am interested in the human figure. My practice is chiefly centered on large figurative drawings but I also spend a little bit of time making small comic book drawings, animations and photography. I work best when I am moving between all these types of projects at the same time.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?

I am a huge homebody. My greatest pleasure is sitting home watching some decent Sci-Fi. I still read a few comics every now and then. In the last few years I’ve become a little obsessed with the NBA, but that often feels less like a hobby than research for some yet to be determined art project. I think my only real hobby is beat making. I spend a lot of time doing that. Its’ really effective in slowing me down and settling my thoughts. Its usually the first thing I do when I go into the studio. You can check out a few of them here.
https://soundcloud.com/choggzilla

5. In what way is your work a reflection of this point in history?

I believe I am one of a number of artists re-imagining the trajectory and definition of the images of People of color in art and media. I like to think that my mode of working is in alignment with an array of models changing how we see the canon of art and history.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY: A Visual Artifact, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?

I would only say that viewers should consider the relationships between technology and the human figures in the work and that the notions of escapism are ever present but the meaning of that notion for me is a more nuanced idea than simple desertion.

IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact: Sandow Birk

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As of January 2016, KDR has joined its affiliate PROGRAPHICA Gallery in Seattle, WA, where Eleana Del Rio and Norman Lundin will curate exhibitions jointly as well as independently within its new enitity: Prographica / KDR.

Koplin Del Rio (formerly of Culver City, CA) is pleased to present its debut exhibition in Seattle: IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact features gallery artists: Sandow Birk, Melissa Cooke, Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Laurie Hogin, Zhi Lin, Kerry James Marshall and Robert Pruitt, curated by Eleana Del Rio.

IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact is the first of a series of three exhibitions, each featuring a select group of long-time Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery artists. As KDR transitions its footprint to the Pacific Northwest, the exhibitions will unveil the gallery’s distinct identity and unique visual program through the artists it represents. These artists produce work that taps into the pulse of our current point in history in order to examine identity on multiple levels—self, community and nation.

Artist interview #38: Sandow Birk

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.

I don’t know what my ideal environment would be, but my studio working came about by necessity. Ever since I got out of art school I’ve lived in a studio. First it was because it was more affordable in Los Angeles, but it came to suit my way of working, which is sort of a picking away at stuff in spurts. Now I live in a loft with two small kids that run around and make a lot of noise. I try to find a few blocks of hours in the day at the beginning of a painting or drawing to get it going, and then I pick away at it for several days or weeks in moments of time I can steal from family life.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?

I usually spend the early part of the morning getting the kids out to school and then get an hour surf in at the beach. I can then find a few hours in the middle of the day to work and I usually listen to the radio while working. I can work another couple of hours in the evening when everyone is asleep at home. So I usually work from about 11am to 3pm, and then from 8pm to 11pm, which adds up to 5 our 6 hours a day in the studio.

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

I generally paint with acrylic, since I’m working in our home – to avoid fumes and having toxic stuff out where the kids might get to it. And I do big drawings on paper lately. I prefer to work on one thing at a time but I usually have a couple of things going at once.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?

I’ve been a lifelong surfer since I was a kid and I still surf about 4 or 5 days a week. Usually my schedule revolves around what days the waves might be good. I have a personal motto of trying to never schedule anything to do before noon, just to be free to get in the water. I used to spend a lot of time chasing waves up and down the coast, but now with a family I just surf whenever I can get in the water.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of this point in history?

Nearly all the works I do are about contemporary social issues and events of our time, or things that I’m thinking about. I want to make works that say something and have a point of view and meaning behind them, that convey something, that are relevant to our times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact: Laurie Hogin

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As of January 2016, KDR has joined its affiliate PROGRAPHICA Gallery in Seattle, WA, where Eleana Del Rio and Norman Lundin will curate exhibitions jointly as well as independently within its new enitity: Prographica / KDR.

Koplin Del Rio (formerly of Culver City, CA) is pleased to present its debut exhibition in Seattle: IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact features gallery artists: Sandow Birk, Melissa Cooke, Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Laurie Hogin, Zhi Lin, Kerry James Marshall and Robert Pruitt, curated by Eleana Del Rio.

IDENTITY- A Visual Artifact is the first of a series of three exhibitions, each featuring a select group of long-time Koplin Del Rio (KDR) gallery artists. As KDR transitions its footprint to the Pacific Northwest, the exhibitions will unveil the gallery’s distinct identity and unique visual program through the artists it represents. These artists produce work that taps into the pulse of our current point in history in order to examine identity on multiple levels—self, community and nation.

Artist interview #37: Laurie Hogin

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.

I love large, open, light-filled spaces, of the kind historically used for every kind of material production or activity, including studio art—lofts, barns, garrets. This is not hip or politically correct, because it can be seen as romantic or sentimental, but it is the truth. I love the poetics of space. My studio is a pole-barn type structure attached to the home I share with my husband, son and our two pets, Rocky, an Australian Cattle Dog and Fiona, a dove-gray Domestic Long Hair cat. It is located in a rural area of unincorporated Champaign County, in Central Illinois. It is surrounded by prairie weeds, industrial corn and soy fields, and some woods along the Sangamon River. My work is solitary, and my space is conducive to productive solitude. I love the aesthetics of how my labor fits into it—my easel, my drafting table, my stacks of books and my reading couch, my desk and computer for writing, my shelves with collections of models, rocks and minerals, feathers, bones, toys, clippings from ads and other scraps of information—sketches, notes, downloaded images. I don’t really like music, although I understand that it can be an expression of genius, and I am interested in it intellectually. I grew up with a parent who was a stunningly talented pianist, so I have an oddly developed ear for someone who is otherwise sort of indifferent. When I do crave music, it is usually David Bowie, from his most popular songs to his more experimental, atmospheric work. I also have a taste for what many of my friends and colleagues would consider unsophisticated pop songs, but I don’t care—I listen in the car! I do like to sing. Light—the more, the broader the spectrum, the better for making art and for writing; for reading, I like a pool of warm light in the gloom—a clip lamp on the back of my couch.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?

I am motivated to be here by all that I keep and do here, which is pretty much whenever I am not needed elsewhere, or engaged with students, colleagues, friends or family. I am very social and outgoing, but have a great need and desire for solitude.

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

Painting is, for me, the most plastic, the most comprehensive, and the most resonant way to make art—to bring to conscious perception things that would not otherwise exist. After that, it is writing, for the same reasons. After that, drawing. I work on many years’ worth of projects at a time.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?

My husband, son and I have great conversations! We love to read and consume media, including movies, video games and many popular cable television shows, and discuss politics, culture, media, art and history as well as personal stuff. I love mountain biking, and there is a 600-acre park, filled with steep little moraines, woods and prairie just three miles down the county road that runs past our house. Granted, it’s not the Sierra Nevadas or Moab, but it’ll do!

5. In what way is your work a reflection of this point in history?

Every artist channels the sum total of their biology and experience, a unique subjecthood at a specific point in history. I am certainly conscious of and interested in this phenomenon, and think my best work synthesizes my favorite aesthetic histories and languages with my thoughts and experiences as a contemporary person.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY: A Visual Artifact, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?

I suppose these two paragraphs, copied below from a recent “Artist’s Statement”, might be a good descriptive introduction: My work of the past 20 years has consisted primarily of allegorical paintings of mutant plants and animals in languishing, overgrown landscape settings or posed as though for classical still life or portraiture. My current interests include examining human impulses, desires, and needs, including pleasure, intoxication, addiction, the erotic, totem, violence, greed, grief, and love. These aspects of human experience and identity, resultant of the interplay of evolutionary biology and culture, find expression in the history of visual culture as well as in the nearly schizoid array of cultural material and commodity in contemporary consumer capital. I combine various tropes from the history of painting, natural history and scientific display, pornography, fashion photography and retail display with narrative allegory, often describing political, social, economic, and emotional phenomena. As a painter, I value the visual, tactile and poetic pleasures of what paint can do and what it’s for: It’s formal and material qualities, its plasticity, and its usefulness in appropriating languages from the history of its use to certain semiotic purposes. My color palette has acquired the Day-Glo intensity of contemporary media landscapes; I revel in its visuality and vulgar seductiveness as much as cast a critical eye. My animals remain allegories of culture as much as avatars of my own psyche, whose expressions engage with the emotionality of daily fears, joys, pleasures, desires and outrages, and whose furs and skins are both tactile and toxic.