Dark Warmth

INDIGOFERA-RICHARD-COLMAN-coffin-blanket
 
Swedish fashion brand Indigofera just released two special edition blankets they made with artist Richard Colman. We spoke with Richard about one of them.
 
Does it feel weird to write your name on a coffin?

Not really, I’ve been doing it for years. It’s an inevitable outcome.
 
What kind of person do you think will wrap themselves up in this blanket?

Probably no one. I threw that design in as a joke but they [Indegofera] liked it so they made it. I think it’s more ridiculous to have my name on a product someone is expected to pay money for than on a coffin. I don’t know, it’s pretty funny I guess.
 
On a dark note, will you be saving one to wrap yourself up in on that final day?

I don’t think so. I don’t think I want to be buried.
 
Burn baby burn. I’m going to have a tree planted over me. How about coffin painting? Are you open to commissions?

I don’t know. Maybe if it were the straight up pine box kind I would, but I doubt any weirdo that would want their coffin painted would opt for one as basic as that.
 
Glad to know it’s a possibility.
 
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In the Studio of Erin M. Riley

 
Location: Bushwick, Brooklyn
 
How long have you been in this studio?

Since October 2013.
 
Why did you pick the location?

I was in Philly and my building was being shut down by L&I and this space was opening up. It was my excuse to move to Brooklyn finally. I’m glad I did because the Philly studio was locked for months.
 
How does it rank in comparison to your previous studios?

My previous studio was twice as big and 4x less expensive. Haha. It ruled, huge windows, nice view. My studio before that was tiny in Chinatown in Philly so I shared it with lots of little mice, and before that I was in grad school. I’ve been to a bunch of residencies and nothing compares to those studios. Currently on the hunt for a new space.
 
What’s your favorite attribute of the space?

I like the location and it’s quiet.
 
How often are you in here?

I am here every day.
 
Can you explain the full capabilities of the studio? What kind of things do you make?

I have two floor looms here, I spend most days hand weaving tapestries on them. Other days I dye yarn, set up the warp, do hand sewing, drawing or a million other in-between tasks.
 
Do you have a refrigerator? If so, what’s in it?

In the summer I am all about ice, for ice coffee and water. So tons of ice, lunch for the day, fruit, some almond milk, tons of snacks.
 
What kind of sound system do you have?

I don’t have a sound system I just use my laptop with earbuds. My studio mate has one but I don’t use it. My looms make noise when I’m actively weaving but are quiet when I’m just sitting so having earphones helps the sounds get straight to my ears at the most appropriate volume.
 
Have you ever slept here?

Yep, if I am there late enough and have to be back early the next day.
 
 
Erin will be showing new work this Thursday (7/17) in the Summer Mixer 2014 at Joshua Liner Gallery. You can follow her on twitter and instagram at @erinmriley
 

Installation View: Eddie Martinez – Neanderthal Jeans

 
What are “Neanderthal Jeans” and how can I get a pair?

Probably baggy acid washed, or a dockers hybrid.
 
How did you come up with the title?

It just came in the air, poof. You can just reach out and grab these things. I let myself act as primal as I need to be in studio…
 
The show features a lot of sculpture, it’s a fairly new medium for you. What made you take the leap from painting to the third dimension?

I had a painting block that went from a normal amount of time to a depressing amount, so I started making small table top sculptures outta beach finds and other materials.
 
You’re incorporating a lot of found objects into the work, some seem nautically inspired while others seem to reference tennis. Am I completely out of my mind or is that a keen observation?

Both spot-on observations, it’s that #islandstyle.
 
How is your tennis game these days, btw?

Fine. I want it to be much better, but it’s such a great sport.
 
In the tradition of many greats before you, you’re spending the Summer working out East on Long Island. Do you notice any shifts in what you’re making out there as opposed to Brooklyn?

I don’t know. I think if I were to notice, it’ll happen once I am working in the city again in the fall. Things are really opening up in the images now though.
 

After this show closes, what’s next for you?

A show in LA and then one in London…
 

“Neanderthal Jeans” is on view at Half Gallery through July 15th, 2014.
 

Journeying Through NYC’s Subterranean Maze

 

Beneath The Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System is a new book out by JURNE and Matt Litwack that explores New York’s underground through the artistic lens of a graffiti writer. We caught a couple moments of the co-authors time to find out more about the book and life below the city that never sleeps.
 
 
How did the idea for Beneath the Streets come about?

Matt Litwack: During my high school days, I would explore the NYC subway tunnels. I became fascinated with the graffiti, the history, and the general danger of the underground. JURNE and I wanted to create a book that was able to examine the subway system from a sociological, historical, and artistic perspective. We wanted people to be able to see what it’s like for graffiti artists to explore these environments.

Jurne: We’ve been drawn to these hidden or tucked-away city environments for nearly 2 decades, exploring and painting them. The New York City subway tunnel system is one of the most expansive and oldest public transportation systems in the world. With that comes a lot of history, and a lot of potential stories to tell about experiences inside the subway tunnels. There’s a tradition of folklore or story telling that goes hand in hand with graffiti writing. Capturing this story of the New York city subway tunnels, exploration, and graffiti writing inside them was something that Matt and I talked about doing for a long time.
 
Can you describe your first journey underground into the subway tunnels?

Jurne: I remember stepping off the platform into the dark tunnel, and feeling like I was crossing a threshold into a dangerous place, with dim red light illuminating the 3rd rail, and the slow hiss of air coming from pipes over head. It was pretty terrifying. I was immediately fascinated.

Matt Litwack: The first time I ventured underground was with a much older, established and experienced individual. I was fortunate to have someone with such knowledge show me the ropes. Regardless, I was still terrified and didn’t know what to expect or what I might encounter.

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In the Studio of Faile

 
Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
 
How long have you been in this studio?

2 years.
 
Why did you pick the location?

The studio found us.
 
How does it rank in comparison to your previous studios?

We would give it a blue ribbon at the State Fair if there were a category for studio ranks.
 
What’s your favorite attribute of the space?

The openness of the space, its functionality and the ability to handle large-scale works.
 
How often are you in here?

Five days a week.
 
Can you explain the full capabilities of the studio? What kind of things do you make?

We handle everything in house with the exception of molten metals and toxic resins. Most of the work in studio is focussed on printmaking and painting. Many assemblage works and a variety of sculpture.
 
Do you have a refrigerator? If so, what’s in it?

Yes we do. A few random beers and some forgotten lunch items from the staff.
 
What kind of sound system do you have?

We have a nice little Decco amp in the main studio – forget the speakers offhand. In the smaller office/image making part of the studio we have a great set of Orb speakers that work well.
 
Have you ever slept here?

Yes on several occasions.
 
 
On July 2nd, Faile presents a new body of work titled Fuel, Fantasy, Freedom at Gallery Hilger NEXT in Vienna, Austria. The exhibition will continue through September 6th, 2014. Faile can be followed @faileart on twitter and instagram

Nu Liife

nu-liife

Our weekly comic by Andrew Jeffrey Wright / @ajw4ever

Signs of Mischief

roger-tools-of-mischief-01
 
Roger Gastman is a great collector of things. Weird classifieds, rare graffiti propaganda, children’s toys, vintage spraypaint, art by serial killers… he’s got it all and more. For TOOLS OF CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, his most recent show which opens tonight at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery in LA, Roger has placed on display a robust selection of these artifacts for viewing and consumption. Since his instagram is about the only way we can observe Roger’s daily collectings, we pulled images of some of our favorite digital ephemera, and asked Roger to explain. What follows is the result of our online conversation also known as “explain this picture.”

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The Art of Tuning Back In: An Interview with Daniel Arnold

Daniel Arnold tirelessly captures and catalogs the serendipity and the strange goings-on in and around New York City’s streets every day. Roaming the landscape so we don’t have to, Arnold presents these images to the world in a constant live stream of photographs from his brain to your eyes, via his website and popular Instagram account. He works so determinedly and creates so much great work that he’s become somewhat of a New York City fixture himself, not just documenting the fabric of the city, but becoming part of it. So, what happens when he’s dropped into the middle of another city for six short days and tasked with making the same magic happen there too? From the looks of Arnold’s new show, Six Days in San Francisco, now on view at Wolfe Contemporary, the same amazing things. Shot, processed, printed, framed, and hung all in less than a week, the show highlights the similar trappings of oddness, sadness, humor, and beauty that his New York work does, while exposing new ideas about the city and about documenting the unexpected and unknown. I hunted down Daniel for some insights into the whole process.

—Christian

 
 
Christian Storm: How did the whole show in San Francisco come about?

Daniel Arnold: I was in a group show at the Wolfe Contemporary Gallery about a year ago, which was kind of an anomaly for them. They usually show painters but the guy who runs it has an assistant who, because it’s a smaller operation, is more involved than most, and she was following me on Instagram and recommended me for the show. So, some time went by and they had an opening out of nowhere and they offered me a solo show. It was very short notice and I could have taken an easy route, but it happened that I was going be in LA around that time. I went out to San Francisco ten days before the show and I figured I’d make it interesting and try to shoot the whole thing there.
 
That’s crazy. What was that pressure like to shoot a whole show in such a short amount of time? It’s definitely different than the way you work normally, I assume.

It was really hard. I guess I didn’t really understand what high stakes I was setting for myself. I’ve been in a rhythm of producing so much work on a regular basis, basically every day, that I felt fairly confident that I could just show up and make it happen. But the combination of being a stranger in town and sleeping on assorted couches and going three days at a time without being able to change my clothes and just walking all day, every day- I have a pedometer on my phone and by the end, I had walked 100 miles- was tough. It was a huge physical exertion and a bit of a psychological trial too, but it ultimately ended up being so much more rewarding for that. I think my outsider take on such recent times made for a more interesting, engaging show. I’ve always been a big fan of San Francisco but I’ve never had a real proper look around and it was a great way to experience the city.
 
You talk about viewing San Francisco from a fresh viewpoint. When you’re photographing in a city, how much about the work is about the specific city itself, and how much of is it about humans in general?

For the most part, the differences between cities in my photos are pretty subtle. It didn’t feel like a gimmicky change of pace for me, like I was finding people in Giants hats or eating sourdough bread. A lot of the New York stuff, pretty much the whole past few years, has been a product of loneliness and walking around, feeling kind of bummed, tuning out my own life and getting tuned into my surroundings. San Francisco provided plenty of loneliness. That downtrodden feeling wasn’t hard to come by in a place where I was disoriented and walking uphill all day. I found San Francisco to be much wilder and more threatening than New York, and I think that came through in some of it. The spirit there is much closer to surface than in New York, where people are much more calculated and manicured. But for the most part, the experience was very similar. It was just fresher because it was new; I could see things a little more clearly.
 

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In the Studio of Hiro Kurata

 
How long have you been in this studio?

Since October last year (2013).
 
Why did you pick the location?

It’s sort of close from my apartment and the rent is quite cheap compared to other studios in the city. Red Hook still has the atmosphere of everything not being so gentrified, so I’m in love with this neighborhood. The down part is the convenience of transportation isn’t too good. It’s a problem when it rains or snows because I bike here.
 
How does it rank in comparison to your previous studios?

I’m still figuring that out. I like the fact that I’ve separated my studio and my apartment since I’ve always worked from my apartment. It was really convenient to live and work in the same spot because of many reasons, but I guess it was time for me to separate the two. The winter we had here in Brooklyn this year was pretty horrible and this studio here gets really cold because it’s an old concrete building. I was wearing layers of clothes while I was here, thinking how nice it was working from home. The spring is becoming much easier to work and I’m staring to like this place more.
 
What’s your favorite attribute of the space?

The lighting from the window is perfect. During the day, I usually don’t turn on the lights and work with natural light, which feels good.
 
How often are you in here?

3-4 days a week. I have a few part time jobs with some weird schedules so whenever I have time, I escape here.
 
Can you explain the full capabilities of the studio? What kind of things do you make?

Mainly a painting studio. Since I have three clean walls, I can work on three different paintings at once. The best part of having a studio is I can do messy things and not care about it.
 
Do you have a refrigerator? If so, what’s in it?

I don’t have one, so I keep few bottles of water and bring my own tea from home.
 
What kind of sound system do you have?

Headphones, or raw sound from computer speakers.
 
Have you ever slept here?

I’ve taken a nap here, but never a serious one… yet.
 
 
Hiro has a new book which will be released next month from Anteism, and in conjunction with the book release, he will be in Victoria, Canada to exhibit in their truck gallery and paint the exterior of the truck. For more information on Hiro’s artwork, visit his website www.shiloku.com/

Matt Groening, Mike Kelley, and Gary Panter Talk About Each Other

Invading pop culture and the origin of Bart Simpson’s hairline.

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Selfish Selfies: An Interview with Nick Sethi

The cool thing about Nick Sethi is that he’s not fucking around. He might trick you into thinking he is, as his photocopied zines full of gritty, funny snapshots employ the same visual language as the guy at the house party with a tall boy in one hand and a camera in the other. But there’s more there; He’s trying to make the drunk skater kids think. Whether he’s photographing poverty-stricken kids living under a freeway in New Delhi or himself posing for the camera at Hollister in the mall, he turns that vernacular aesthetic into a vehicle for deeper concepts about art, identity, and truth, using the style to break down the wall between artist and viewer while retaining all the fun that comes with it. His recent show at Ed. Varie continued these ideas, displaying found self-portraits of women in tanning beds, further blurring the distinctions of authorship and curated individuality. I caught up with Nick to see what was up.

—Christian

 
 

Christian Storm: Your recent show at Ed. Varie was all about “selfies” and your own work, especially your crazy instagram account and your zine, HCO, includes a ton of selfies of you own. What is it about selfies that interests you so much? You seem to both celebrate and also question the ideas they project.

Nick Sethi: Selfies are the highest form of art. Art is the most personal and selfish thing one can create, and selfies embody this to the fullest. Like art, they are put out for others to view, but they are created for the self. They are totally accessible to most people and constantly being created and they ride these lines between self-expression and self-reflection, exhibition and voyeurism, and the true self versus the ideal self, all carefully created yet made to look effortless. To me, they blur art and life and turn it into one constant performance. I love thinking about it because it’s so deep and crazy.
 
Yeah, a lot of your work seems to be about those ideas and the ways in which we choose to outwardly display ourselves and define who we are. Selfies of course, but also tattoos and patches on jackets, et cetera. Often, even your own identity as the artist is apparent, since most of your stuff includes a shot or two of yourself, further blurring the lines. Can you talk a little bit about the role that the concept of identity plays in your work?

I don’t believe there is any sort of objectivity in art. The same way people create and project an identity that they want the world to recognize, all artists inject their views into what they are creating. I am present in everything I create, and choosing to physically put myself in the work avoids any sort of confusion, and allows me to be super blatant about what I’m trying to convey. It’s the easiest and truest way for me to be honest with the fact that I’m commenting on myself, as well the world around me.
 
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In the Studio of Eric Elms

How long have you been in this studio?

I’ve been in this studio for about 2 years. When I first moved in it was a total mess so it took a couple months and a lot of DIY to get it whipped into a proper studio.
 
Why’d you pick the location?

I live in the area so it is important for me to be able to walk to work with my dog everyday. Plus it makes it easier to come back for night sessions.
 
How does it rank in comparison to your previous studios?

Best one so far. I’ve been pretty lucky with studio spaces in NY. I always try and find the hidden gems, but that is getting harder and harder these days.
 
What’s your favorite attribute of the space?

The tall ceilings and the fact that it is a building by itself. I got no one on top or below me telling me what to do. Ground level is always the best for a studio spot.
 
If you had to use one word to describe the studio, what would it be?

Fun
 
How often are you in here?

For sure everyday during the week. I try and avoid it at least for a day on the weekends but a lot of times I end up popping in and check things out.
 
Can you explain the full capabilities of the studio? What kind of things do you make?

I kind of make whatever I want in here. I have my desks upstairs where I take care of any computer/design work, photocopying or vinyl work. Downstairs I kind of divide it up between painting, woodshop and bookmaking spaces. Areas definitely get blurred depending on what I am working on. Usually I am just painting downstairs and making panels or stretchers in the woodshop.
 
Do you have a refrigerator? If so, what’s in it?

I have a fridge. Right now it is in party-mode. Mostly just dog-food in the freezer and beers in the fridge. I had people over a few months back and ended up with like a 100 beers after the night was over cause everyone brought tons of drinks. I’ve been trying to get rid of them slowly.
 
What kind of sound system do you have?

Nothing major. Just a regular receiver and a couple bose speakers. Also an appletv so I can play anything off my phone. A lot of times I will just throw on headphones so I can zone out though.
 
Have you ever slept here?

I’ve taken some naps in the hammock but no full on sleep seshes. Maybe if I lived further away I would be more tempted to crash here. Buster crashes out during the day all the time though.
 

Eric Elms is a New York-based artist. He can be followed on instagram at @elmselms

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