GR: Welcome to Southern California. Tell me about your new place and your working studio set up situation?
Thank you very much. I currently live in the South Bay with some fellow artists including Aaron “Angry Woebots” Martin and Mathew Curran, a fellow North Carolinian that made the cross country move with me. We have a converted loft in the back of our house where we can paint, cast resin and sculpt amongst other things, all to facilitate the different types of projects that each of us might be working on. It’s definitely a change from being in NC where I was essentially working in an artistic vacuum on my own – being amidst many artists that inspire me has definitely given me a new-found appreciation for being able to share techniques, offer and receive critiques and have constant constructive feedback.
GR: This exhibition features pieces that are fully sculpted and not customized. Is this a new direction? Will you still customize?
For this particular show I wanted to focus more on form, rather than the narrative or emotive qualities in many of my previous pieces. Although I am often recognized for being a part of the toy customizing scene, I prefer to create original sculptures for shows where I have the opportunity to showcase a larger body of work, work that is not contingent upon modifying or customizing existing base platforms. That said, I will still participate in customizing shows depending on if I feel that I can create a piece that is fundamentally sound in theme and execution.
GR: Animals are an obvious theme this time out, yet it’s not limited by mammals, insects or reptiles, yet there’s a common bond between them. Can you talk about how you chose which animals to depict?
I chose to call this body of work “Biorgasmica”, a study of what it would be like to meld various elements of baroque stylings, the human face and the shape of various creatures together. When determining what animals I wanted to involve, it mostly came down to animals where I could envision how those disparate elements could more easily coalesce into one cohesive creature. The final roster of creatures tended to be those that were organically armored, whether with a carapace or scales, or those that had body shapes that would lend themselves to the incorporation of faces or detailing.
Strange Symbiosis exhibition featured J*Ryu’s first exhibition as an LA resident. His work is entirely sculpted, ushering in a new look and thought process of his own career. He’s not abandoning customizing, but his ability to sculpt from “scratch” is demonstrated in this “black” themed animal kingdom. (Photos are currently up at the Gallery Store) Scott Tolleson brought is range of customized figures that include both his and other works all bearing his magical color palate and argyle style. His Bittacrittas resins are cute. He includes two painting works as well. Leecifer, from Oakland brought his spirited self and his wife down for a visit. Super jovial at all times, this man is a pleasure to have around. His line of works include his hand casted Gammy’s and his PickleBabies. It’s great to know that he uses traditional paints on the vinyl figures. It’s about preparation! Lastly, Aaron Brown in his first four person exhibition at GR2 brought his imagination to customizing Gargamel figures. He adds his succulent and natural look and mesmerized viewers.
Many photos were taken by friends, bloggers and fans, and we’ll hope to see them online.