Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lance Ward - Painter/Cartoonist

Lance Ward
Altered Esthetics Featured Interview for
Comic Cookbook
Opening Reception
Friday, August 5, 2011 - 7pm-10pm
Artists' Discussion
Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 1pm-3pm

Lance Ward
St.Paul Park, MN
wardfamilyfun@msn.com
http://Tatertotdiaperman.wordpress.com

BIO: Lance Ward, age 43, father of three.
Lance Ward is a strange case. He never went to art school. He never went to college. He spent most of his twenties in and out of mental hospitals and group homes, giving tattoo's to his friends for cigarette money. It was only after a heart attack and subsequent near-death experience that he was motivated to use his talent to leave a legacy for his children. He has since become a locally syndicated editorial cartoonist appearing in the South Washington County Bulletin, the Woodbury Bulletin, and on occasion the Hastings Star-Gazette. His graphic novel "Stovetop" is being published by Creator's Edge Press and will see national release fall 2011. If that's not enough, he also hosts "The Geek Report", a podcast featuring local artists discussing popular geek culture.


Tell me about your work. What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Before I can answer this question properly, you need a little back-story. You see, my parents never really encouraged me to focus on my artistic talent as a career. My mom wanted to get me a factory job when I turned eighteen, work my whole life and retire at 65. My Dad really care what I did for my life, as long as I was out of his house after I graduated. So I had to work, I had to move out after high school. So I cooked. And did construction. And a bunch of other empty jobs just so I could afford to maintain my unhappy life. This was made even worse by the fact that I suffered from depression and horrible anxiety. I spent my nineteenth birthday in the locked unit at Abbot-Northwestern hospital. Committed by my own mother. I tried to overcome my depression by trying to work a little bit, but I kept ending up back in the psyche unit. My drawing was the only thing that remained a constant. I drew every day. Meaningless drawings with no rhyme or reason. A friend of mine bought some tattoo equipment and I would use it on my friends for extra money, mostly to buy cigarettes or the occasional bag of weed. In 1995-97, I did a series of comic strip ads for The Root Cellar record store, which ran in the City Pages and other local papers. That was it until after my heart attack. My heart stopped in the hospital and I saw the portal to the other side.

The nurses and doctors revived me, but I was forever changed. The doctors gave me five years to live. I decided to give cartooning a try, so I came up with a daily newspaper strip called "Starship Down". I sent it out to two places, and was rejected both times. This sent me into a depression for two years. I just lay in bed and waited for the five years to be up. I didn't even pick up a pencil. It was only after my wife gave me sketchbook did I begin to crawl out of that hole. I wrote and drew in that sketch book the whole summer of 2009, until it was out of paper. The five years was up and I was still alive. I figured that I was still alive for a reason, to leave a legacy for my kids, so that they would know that there dad wasn't just some depressed loser. I had the confidence to give it a try again, and it worked. I stuck with it to great success so far. So, what am I working on? Everything. Everything that I can think of. I have to make up for a life of wasting time.

I have completed six graphic novels. I have completed a huge autobiography of my life (which has been quite interesting). I am 124 page into an epic sci-fi story. I am working on a sequel to my graphic novel "Stovetop", which is being published by Creator's Edge Press out of auburn Washington, in addition to my weekly duties as editorial cartoonist for a few of my local newspapers. And I paint. Sporadically, but I love it.


"What is art" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
As far as my cartoons are concerned, I just try to entertain. But I want to do it through the use of emotion, as opposed to big flashy action panels or people standing around trying to look good. I like to tell the story on the faces of my characters instead of trying to draw every bit of the action or hammering you over the head. My paintings are the same essentially, except a get one chance, one piece of art to get the entire story across. How quickly we can see what is going on by the reaction of fear, or joy!

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
In 1985, I was given the opportunity to show some of my cartoons to Greg Howard, who drew a daily newspaper comic called "Sally Forth". He was very impressed at my talent at a young age, and he gave me the the single most important piece of advice I had had up until that point. He said "Go out and experience life. Take every opportunity to do new and interesting things. Even if you don't ever go to college, the experiences you have and the relationships you make with other people are the most important thing to making you a great writer, as well as a great artist." It was profound. Here was a man I respected and the first cartoonist I'd ever met, telling me that it would be okay to not go to college. that I could be great without it.


Tell me about your workspace and your creative process.
I felt that I needed a private place to work, so I took some of the scrap wood in our garage and a bunch of old shelves, and I built a private little studio in my basement. It has become my bedroom as well. It is my hole. I stay in it a lot. As far as my process goes, I force myself to sit at the table and start to draw. I have to make myself draw everyday or the depression will surely take hold of me.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I love Alex Kuno's weird little kid paintings http://alexkuno.blogspot.com and I love Lupi Mcginty's illustrations! So good! http://lupiloops.com and I also have been loving Nick Straight's absurd comic "Infinity Wall" http://infinitywallcomix.com.


If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I am kind of a recluse, and I don't really go out to see art very much. But I will mention some large Minneapolis art project that you have probably never heard of. If you go to Bloomington Avenue right off of Lake Street in Minneapolis, and travel north two blocks, you can see a little dirt path leading from the bridge down to the railroad tracks below. Don't go alone. If you take the tracks West, towards Hennepin Ave., along the way you will see the most fantastic graffiti paintings in the city. Under every bridge and all along the concrete embankments are paintings and tags. It is truly amazing! It's dangerous, though.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally or otherwise?
Well, I use facebook as a great networking resource, and the International Cartoonist Conspiracy has a great sight with upcoming events http://cartoonistconspiracy.com and you can always check out my podcast website for the latest goings on. http://theblatshow.wordpress.com


What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I am in Comic Cookbook at Altered Esthetics which runs from 8/4/11-8/25/11. Opening reception is Friday 8/5/11.

You can check out what I've been working on at http://Tatertotdiaperman.wordpress.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Laura Hallen - Mixed-Media

Laura Hallen

Name: Laura Hallen
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Email: laura@laurahallen.com
Website: www.laurahallen.com
MNartist.org profile: mnartists.org/laura_hallen
Facebook page: http://facebook.com/laura.hallen

Bio~
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Currently I am a multi-media artist with a strong background in painting. My primary medium is Plexiglas and Plexiglas boxes, where I play with the internal landscape within the box, and the external fa├žade outside of the box. There is tension and play between 2 and 3 Dimensions of my work. I have been through many phases with my art. I started as an oil painter on canvas, focusing on the figure. I then discovered Plexiglas. I have been exploring the versatility of Plexiglas with paint, photography, multi-media, pigmented shellac, and found objects. I recently went through a phase with my work that involved marshmallows, tutus, streamers, and feather boas.

My work has taken a turn to a deeper look into how we present ourselves to the world, and my boxes have become metaphors for skin. My work engages the contrast between how we present ourselves in the public versus the private interior lives we each have. Much like how we present ourselves to the world with the importance placed on the exterior, I am curious of what is on inside; dazzling, bound up, complex, fantastic messes each of us contain.

Humans are fragile. Humans are vulnerable to pressures and stress, especially in light of social networking and how we put our best face forward. More and more we are asked to present a perfect image of who we are while we become disconnected to the true person we are inside. I represent the balance and tension between what is on the surface and what is in the interior space in my Plexiglas boxes.



"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
My art is an expression of where I am in my life at any given moment. My constant practice is to try to be in the moment, and embrace whatever emotions I may be experiencing. The Good and the Bad.
I want to make a bold statement with my work, with images that will grow with time, and have the viewer constantly discover new perspectives on my art.

I’m hoping my art will pique the viewer’s curious and playful side, as well as a thoughtful side, with an appreciation of Beauty.


What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Don’t judge yourself too much, and it’s ok to make an ass out of your self once in a while.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I share a studio in the Northrup King Building with Eddie Hamilton and Cody Kiser. I couldn’t have asked for better studio mates. (Check out our spoof advertisement for last year’s Art-A-Whirl. I usually start with an empty Plexiglas box and find inspiration with the size and shape of the box. I work on both sides of the Plexiglas with pigmented shellac and use a lot of silicone while gluing materials down to the background. A lot of my work has elements of framing to it, without the frame. My work involves a lot of assembly and hardware. Some projects take longer than others, and some I can bang out quickly. It depends on how inspired I am, and if the air conditioner is working well in the studio.


Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
There is so much talent in this city with such amazing resources!
I love:
Josie Lewis for her luminescent resin cubes: http://josielewis.com/
Alison Hiltner for her scientific, botanical installations: http://www.alisonhiltner.com/
Gregory Euclide for his miniature forest installations: http://www.gregoryeuclide.com/
Casey Opstad for his polyurethane sheets and landscapes: http://www.caseyopstad.com/
Cody Kiser for his interior paintings: http://www.codykiser.com/
Eddie Hamilton for his playful paintings: http://www.painteddiepaint.com/
Kate Cassanova for her organic sculptures, hermit crab video and photography


If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Northrup King Building: http://www.northrupkingbuilding.com/
Gallery 122 @ Hang It http://www.hangitinc.com/about_gallery_122.html
Franklin Art Works http://www.franklinartworks.org/
Soo Visual Art Center http://www.soovac.org/
Midway Contemporary Art http://www.midwayart.org/
MCAD Gallery http://mcad.edu/events-fellowships/gallery-exhibitions


Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
MN Original is where it’s at! http://www.mnoriginal.org/art/
Plus I’m always checking L’etoile’s blog for current evens and culture: http://letoilemagazine.blogspot.com/


Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I have 2 shows up right now. I am in a group show at the SooVac called Untitled 8 and a solo show at the Spyhouse on Nicollet Both shows run through August 20th, 2011.



Laura Hallen
Image List:
1. “Boom Goes the Dynamite” 33” x 33” x 4”, tutu, pom-poms, marshmallows, Plexiglas Box, July 2010

2. “Synthetic Hairball” 30” x 30”, Acrylic, beeswax and pigmented shellac on Plexiglas, February 2011

3. “Cruel Nature” 47” x 36” Acrylic on Plexiglas, March 2011

4. “Euphoria” 12” x 7” x 2”, pigmented shellac on Plexiglas, May 2011

5. “Sparkle&Snuff” 42” x 42” x 6”, fabric flowers, pigmented shellac, Plexiglas box, June 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Madeline Crew - Photographer

Danie. Hands and Feet. Weapon of Choice.
Madeline Crew


Name. Madeline Crew
Email. Madelinecrewphotography@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Madeline-Crew-Photography/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/madelinecrew/
MNArtists page. http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=263930


Bio~
Madeline Crew is a young photographer woking in St. Paul MN. With photography as her medium, she hopes to bring attention to contemporary issues that range from violence towards women, the economic crisis or water pollution in Minnesota. Although she enjoys creating a scene to photograph, she believes that photography is the best tool to examine our society and our world in attempt to present something about it, rather than focusing internally.

Crew is currently a junior photography major at the College of Visual Arts, in St. Paul. She has been instructed by many of the outstanding professors at CVA and is excited to be a graduate from such an excellent Bachelors program. Looking forward to senior year, she expects her work to continue to evolve through out the process of senior thesis. Upon graduation, Crew hopes to be living in the Northern Warehouse Co-op in Lower-town St. Paul, and become a part of the art community.

Circuit City 2010. Economic Crisis as Place.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work usually revolves around a contemporary issue, and most of my projects are ongoing, I always want more out of them. For example, a series called, Weapon of Choice, where I look at the presence of violence towards woman and examine the choice for woman to carry weapons in order to protect themselves. Creating the series, I met woman from around the twin cities area who actively carry a weapon to protect themselves and then photographed them each with their, “Weapon of Choice”.

Another example of my work is a series I created called, Economic Crisis as Place. In this body of work I examine how our economic crisis has changed the landscapes and environments that surround us. With a 4x5 view camera, I photographed many run down businesses from around the twin cites and some in Madison Wisconsin to re-asses what the architecture represents now. Now stripped of what they were before the crisis, the buildings represent something completely different than what they had before, say when it was a Circuit City.

Currently, I have been working on a series that provides visual and textual information about the Superfund Sites of in Minnesota. A Superfund Site is a location that has been deemed chemically hazardous and contaminated, the list for Minnesota includes about 80 sites. The soil and ground water at these sites are contaminated, the groundwater is where most cities get their drinking water from. For the series I have been visiting each site and photographing them. I then have mounted the photographs to sheets of metal, over the photograph is a transparent overlay which has the hazardous level and information about each site. Then each piece is slid vertically into a metal box, that was a missile carrier from 1942. With this project I really wanted to stray away from the old frame on wall presentation, and present it in a way that the viewers become apart of it and experience it hands-on.


Ring Leap. Dancer.

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
A lot of my work is very specific in subject matter, so I would like for the viewer to understand what the concept is and what issue I am presenting. Additionally, I want my viewers to have their own experience while observing the work and hopefully see that we are all connected through these issues, and reflect where they might fit into the topic.

Rather than making only a statement on these issues, I want to address and present them so the viewers are looking outside of ones self and at visuals that document our society.


What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To do what you are passionate about, whether or not it is accepted by others, because that is the work that will speak and be successful.

To trust your gut instinct and run with it, don't be scared.

Wishing wont get you anywhere, you have to do it for it to happen.


Comfort. Nymph Series.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
Still a student, I do not yet have my own working space but am privileged to have great working spaces and facilities here at CVA. I have all the tools I would need to make any type of project I would like. My creative process usually begins with something I have recently become aware of or angry with, to be honest. From there I brainstorm in my process journal how I can make and present the idea visually by writing and roughing out thumbnails. Once I have that down, I decide what process of photography best works with or matches the idea by deciding on negative size, color or black and white, digital or analog, or a mix of both. Then it kinda takes of from there.


Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Rhea Pappas- www.rheapappas.com
Amy Anderson- http://www.AmyAndersonPhotography.com
Lindsay Paczkowski- lpaczkowski.com
Angela Strassheim- http://www.angelastrassheim.com/
Evan Baden- http://www.evanbadenphotography.com/
Paula McCartney- http://www.paulamccartney.com/


If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
We would go to:
Franconia Sculpture Park- http://www.franconia.org/
Northern Warehouse on First Fridays- http://www.nwacartists.com/
Chambers Bernet Gallery- http://www.lemeridienchambers.com/art
College of Visual Arts Gallery- http://www.cva.edu/gallery/
Minneapolis Institute of Art- http://www.artsmia.org/
Walker Art Center- http://www.walkerart.org/


Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
Actually, I do not surf the web for resources as much as I find them in the real world or through speaking with other artists I know. One website I do go on a lot though, is springboardforthearts.org, they have a lot of great posts for artists whether for employment or open calls.


Open. Nymph Series.

What things do you have going on now and in the near future?

I have work up at Altered Esthetics for this month (July 2011) as part of the "Hope of the Union" show, and was mentioned in the City Pages for that show. I also have received a position as an Art Director at the St. Paul University Club. I have been working with filmography and may have more showings of my films in near future.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jay Isenberg-Installation - Form and Content Gallery

“Ghosts and Shadows” - Section from the exhibition “Unbundling the Housing Crisis” with Feyereisen Studio
Jay H. Isenberg

Name: Jay H. Isenberg, AIA
City/State: Minneapolis, MN 55416
Email: jhisenberg@me.com
Website:
www.formandcontent.org
MNartist.org profile:
http://www.mnartists.org/Jay_Isenberg

Bio~
Jay H. Isenberg, AIA is a practicing architect in the Twin Cities, an arbitrator and mediator of design and construction disputes and a founding member of Form+Content Gallery. His projects as an artist are multiple-disciplinary and collaborative and often include a component of public dialogue around specifically themed installations, digital presentations, and performance. His interactive digital submission (with Ron Haselius), "Pilgrimage on the Seam" won an honorable mention designation in the recent Just Jerusalem 2050 international competition (
http://www.envisioningpeace.org/).

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work as an "artist" sits at the intersection of architecture and it's delivery with issues of law, ethics, politics, social-political conditions and the built environment. It uses the language and materials of architecture, usually with some mix of object and text to depict the ambiguity of situations and how architecture plays a role whether overtly or as subtext. Often, the subject matter addresses the complexity of jewish identity and history including the contemporary. I almost always work collaboratively with invited partners and have created and curated two other exhibitions at Form + Content Gallery with my wife and artist, Lynda Monick-Isenberg.

Currently, we are working on our third exhibition opening July 14th titled:
"Interim Report on the Excavation of Zone 5". It involves 5 other architects working together with personal artifacts, found objects and scraped together materials in order to uncover what we are doing, while we are doing it and why. It's a work in progress based on trust, inquiry, making, humor and discovery. A large eclectic "table" made upside down will be the centerpiece with an archeological basis in the display of other pieces; a wunderkammer of sorts seeking a thread of its own reason. It's theme was never defined before we began working together, and that's what's somewhat different, exciting and nerve wracking as well.

“Dialogue on the Wall” - installation with Lynda Monick-Isenberg

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
All of my work is a mediation on my own ambiguity, which apparently I need to depict, defend, facilitate with others and share.

Can you describe the “line” between art and design and how that affects your work?
I wouldn’t say it’s a “line”, rather an ambiguous zone where creativity happens within a vocabulary made up of the two disciplines but a process more akin to the design where iterations of an idea are developed, critiqued and then revised. It’s an open ended process, invitational, collaborative, argumentative, builds upon itself and only has an end because it has an explicit deadline. The challenges a client brings to the architect in me is more familiar and comfortable than the struggle an absent client brings to the artist in me. The results are quite different but related, others are far more articulate in describing the condition.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Don’t be afraid, work at it with others better than you, critique yourself, make up your mind, laugh at yourself, change it, finish it already, be done, make it and hang or install it already. I don't know where any of this came from, it's what bangs around inside my head.

“Interim Report” - reAssembly Detail

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
No such singular space. I have a light filled "studio" space above our detached garage filed with remnants of 25 years of practicing architecture, a corner in the house where the laptop sits, a kitchen table that doubles as layout for everyone in our family, a table at half a dozen coffee shops around town, and have worked in the studios of several collaborating professionals. Much work also gets done on dog walks and 20 mile bike rides listening to Dylan, as well as in the space before waking up from a sudden nap on the couch, chair or at the keyboard.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Fellow gallery members at
Form+Content (www.formandcontent.org)

Architects in the Department of Public Design's Council of Firms (
http://thedepartmentofpublicdesign.blogspot.com/)

Alec Soth (
http://alecsoth.com/photography/)

James Lileks (
http://www.lileks.com/)

Non Minnesota artist: Walid Raad (
http://www.theatlasgroup.org/)


“Two Walls” - digital installation with Ron Haselius

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Afraid I don't go to many art galleries other than
Form+Content (www.formandcontent.org) openings where there would be a different show every six weeks, the Walker Art Center (http://www.walkerart.org/) and the MIA (http://www.artsmia.org/). If you followed me there you'd likely plan on a short visit. I also have a great respect for the owners and the work at Homewood Studio in North MInneapolis (http://www.homewoodstudios.com/).

I'd rather walk, drive and bike the city to see "art".


Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

Stumbleupon (
http://www.stumbleupon.com/)
Cool Hunting (
http://www.coolhunting.com/)
Archidose (
http://archidose.blogspot.com/)
Visual Complexity (
http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/)

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes, the exhibition noted above, "Interim Report on the Excavation of Zone 5" at Form + Content Gallery.
The info is below:

"Interim Report on the Excavation of Zone 5" - Exhibition media image

Form+Content Gallery and the Department of Public Design present
an interim report on the Excavation of ZONE 5
JULY 14 – AUGUST 20, 2011
OPENING RECEPTION
SATURDAY, JULY 16, 6-9 PM


The Director of the Department of Public Design announced today
that an ambiguous assortment of artifacts and materials
recently uncovered in Zone 5, will be evaluated by the
Council of Architects and presented in an exhibition of reassembly.

Curated by Jay H. Isenberg and Lynda Monick-Isenberg

Council of Architects:
Alchemy
ALTUS Architecture + Design
CITYDESKSTUDIO
Locus Architecture
RoehrSchmitt/HLKB Architecture

watch for further information and updates at
http://thedepartmentofpublicdesign.blogspot.com

Form+Content Gallery
210 N 2nd St • Mpls, MN 55401 • 612-436-1151 • Thur-Sat 12-6 pm

www.formandcontent.org

Jay Isenberg

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Karl Raschke - Photographer

Karl Raschke

Name: Karl Raschke
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Email: karl.raschke@gmail.com
Website: karlraschke.com
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=9000


Bio~
Karl Raschke is a Minneapolis-based photographer. Hereceived an MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1999. His work has been exhibited most recently at Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis), Minnesota Museum of American Art (St. Paul, MN) and Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (Tehran, Iran). Since
2003, Raschke has been part of the team behind Creative Electric Studios, a Northeast Minneapolis art and
performance space. He is currently at work producing a movie about his father, the professional wrestler Baron von Raschke.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
The 2010-2011 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers show just went up at Midway Contemporary Art (http://www.midwayart.org/exhibitions/11_03_mcknight/). The show runs through 7/24/2011. I was working on things for that right up to the day before it opened. I’m showing two boxes of photographs along with a one of a kind LP record - also available on cassette!

The boxes are laid out on a couple tables and anyone is invited to take the pictures out and look through them, sort them, do whatever they want. I’ve included some suggested methods for viewing the pictures but people are free to do whatever they want to do. I think of them as books without bindings or books that have lost their bindings.

The record is a new thing for me. It includes audio that relates to the pictures in tangential ways. I think of it as a weird version of the self guided tour thing. Maybe a self guided detour? A couple tracks are wrestling interviews that my dad did in the 70s and 80s. One track is a recording of a friend of mine reading a 1970s sports column from the Chicago Tribune. The writer just goes off on my dad in this great over-the-top way. He says things like - “I want to tell you about a grave threat to our way of life” and “The two tools of America’s enemies are von Raschke and dope.” Its got songs, too, and a couple more arty, maybe c-grade John Cage ripoffs. They all relate to the pictures in some way and might even give some insight into the pictures. Hopefully it’s fun to listen to as well.

I haven’t really tried to describe any pictures or sum up the content here yet. The content of the pictures varies and that’s very much by design. I want these things to be open and mutable. One box is called Obfuscation: Pro Wrestling Edition. There are photos of my retired wrestler dad in there but a lot of the pictures don’t have any obvious connection to wrestling. A number of them relate to obscure parts of my dad’s biography that you’d probably only know if you were a friend or family member. The photo selection process and the construction of the box is this very inward looking thing, very personal. I have no illusions that anyone will pick up on that stuff on an intellectual level. Hopefully it’s something they’ll feel without necessarily being able to name it.


"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I wouldn’t say I’m trying to make a statement with my work. It’s more like asking a series of questions. The basic questions for me are - what is a photograph and how does it accrue meaning? These questions come up for me simply because I love making photographs and once they’re there in front of me I wonder why I’ve made them. I don’t have the feeling that “I’ve made this” when I look at my pictures unlike, say, if I make a drawing or something more labor intensive. This is probably the result of the mechanical process and instantaneous result among many other things about how photography actually works. The photographs become objects of my curiosity and I start thinking about what they mean or what they could mean.

I’ve made a series of books over the years that I call Google Books. I do a google image search for a word and then download the first hundred results. I print the photos and bind them into a book. I did one for the word David because that was my grandpa’s name. So I have this book that offers a photographic definition of what “David” is. I look through that book and think of my grandpa even though the book’s content is all over the map - sharks, empty parking lots, and lots of head shots of guys presumably named David. The book is like a different kind of snapshot of my grandpa - one that makes different demands on me as the viewer and that calls to mind all sorts of memories.

These are the kinds of things I think about when I’m making pictures but I don’t necessarily want people to come away with a specific conclusion. I want to open things up.


What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I copied down something Robert Rauschenberg said and it’s taped up at my desk. I read it everyday - “When you make something nothing should be clearer than the fact that not only do you not have to make it but that it could look like anything, and then it starts getting interesting and then you get involved with your own limitations.”

That’s more admonition than advice but it’s something I like to keep in mind.


Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I don’t have a dedicated work space. I have a shelf full of camera equipment in the basement and I’m usually carrying around a box with some pictures in it that I’m thinking about. I don’t do “street photography” per se but I think of my work space as somewhere out there. Similarly, when it comes to editing my work, where ever I happen to be sitting with my laptop is my work space.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Justin Newhall (http://justinnewhall.com/home.html) - Justin and I went to grad school together and I’ve loved his photographs since we first met. The Walker acquired some of his work recently and he’ll be appearing there to discuss it on June 23rd. (http://calendar.walkerart.org/event.wac?id=6224)

Zak Sally (http://www.lamano21.com/) - Zak does a comic called Sammy The Mouse and runs a publishing company called La Mano 21 that puts out all kinds of great stuff.

Amy Toscani - Makes big awesome sculptures (http://www.franconia.org/artistpages/toscani/index.html)! You can see her work at Franconia Sculpture Park (http://www.franconia.org/artistpages/toscani/) and she’s in the current show at SooVAC (http://www.soovac.org/shows).

Stephen Shaskan (http://www.stephenshaskan.com/) - These days he’s calling himself a children’s book illustrator but to me he’s just an all around great drawer - if that’s a word! His first children’s book A Dog is a Dog comes out in November on Chronicle Books.

Richard Barlow (http://www.rbarlow.net/portfolio.php) - Richard’s Bromides series is a “body of work is all based upon a single photograph by Fox Talbot, the inventor of the silver negative photographic process.” They are wonderful. Two of the works are murals that can be found in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood. (http://www.mnartists.org/work.do?rid=247528)



If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I have a toddler so art outings are a bit curtailed these days. We managed to see the Franconia Sculpture Park thing - Franconia in the City @ Casket (http://www.casketarts.com/) during Art-a-Whirl and I take him to the Walker Sculpture Garden from time to time. When I get out it's to the usual places. I haven't had the chance to discover any hidden gems lately.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
I like twitter for finding out about art stuff. Top Art Tweets (@tw_top_art) uses an algorithm to decide what art and design related tweets to retweet. Lots of interesting stuff pops up.


What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m working on a movie about my dad with Phil Harder (http://www.mnoriginal.org/art/?p=1354). It’s going to be a weird kind of documentary. I’m hoping we can finish that up within the year. We’re going to be shooting a scene at the Walker on August 4th as part of their Open Field program. Show up there if you want to be an extra in the Baron movie!


I will also be speaking at the Walker on July 7th as part of two discussions with other McKnight Photography Fellowship recipients. http://calendar.walkerart.org/event.wac?id=6219

June 30: Lex Thompson, Paul Shambroom, Gina Dabrowski, and Chuck Avery
July 7: Carrie Thompson, Monica Haller, Karl Raschke, and Amy Eckert

Image List:
All images are Untitled, C-prints from Obfuscation: Pro Wrestling Edition, 12 x 12 inches, 2011.