ART INTER(VIEWS)

CONTEMPORARY ARTIST INTERVIEWS 
@openzine

Aaron Thomas Roth - Artist from Tucson, AZ.

Posted 2014-06-21 11:21:34 | Views: 5,083
You work a lot in black and white...what brought you there?

For me working in black and white has always been more comfortable than working in color. The contrast of black to white and all the subtle grays in between allow me to create a feeling for the piece that I just don’t feel I could achieve through the use of color. To me black and white images remove the viewer from being in or part of the image by keeping the image separate from real life… it keeps participants at arms length but still gives them the ability to be voyeurs from a safe distance.


 How do you decide the imagery you use for your work? Is there a narrative or motif? 

I think the imagery for my work comes to me when I least expect it. The idea is to show figures that are displayed in a limbo of sorts… trapped between the planes of heaven and earth. I want to capture that split instant that shows a figure’s movement toward a moment of change, whether it’s a physical, mental or emotional change. I’m constantly on the lookout for that perfectly uncomfortable static pose, it can be something as simple as a hand gesture that speaks to me. After that everything else seems to fall into place. In the end, the goal is to evoke an unsettling feeling for the participant… I want to give them just a piece of the story and to let them judge the outcome.





AARON 
THOMAS 
ROTH 
Aaron Thomas Roth was born in Chicago, Il., in 1973. He was raised in Los Angeles and New York City where he attended the School of Visual Arts and received a BA in Illustration. He studied with the great Sam Martine and Joo Chung… with their mentoring he was able to pursue his love of collage and experimentation with new mediums. We had a chance to have an interview with him where he discusses his influences, his current work and upcoming shows. Aaron currently resides and works in Tucson, AZ.
A CONVERSATION. 




Some of you work seems to have a dialog with Francis Bacon? Are his paintings in any way a point of reference for you?
 
Bacon’s work definitely has been an influence for me in many ways. As a young kid, I was surrounded by my mother’s collection of art catalogues and coffee-table books. One of my favorites happened to be an old Tate Gallery catalogue on Bacon. Thumbing through the pages, there was something about his paintings that really grabbed me and made a severe impression in my mind… those dark geometric shapes that seemed to go deep into the painting were in such stark contrast to those soft organic piles of barely distinguishable forms of flesh. For the first time I had a sense as to what it was to be moved by art. I realized that not only was art created with emotion but it also conveyed an emotion that was for me, in this case, brilliantly haunting. I knew this was the type of feeling I wanted to come through in my work.




What are some things you are working on currently?

Now that the Dublin Biennial has wrapped up and a majority of my entries for up coming competitions have been sent off… I’ve decided to lock myself away in the studio to concentrate on producing new works. There will be a solo exhibition of my work at the monOrchid gallery in Phoenix toward the end of the year as well as a possible two-person exhibit in Germany in early 2015. 
(Interview continues below) 
To learn more about Aaron Thomas Roth 
visit his website right here. 

Chat with Sean Deckert, Photographer.

Posted 2014-05-14 13:50:09 | Views: 4,415
How did you discover photography and how has it developed over the course of your career? 
 
I think the first time I remember being into photography was when I got a 35mm auto for a 
birthday when I was 10 or so. I took the camera everywhere but I didn’t take that many pictures. I 
guess I couldn’t find anything exciting to photograph from my position in life.   
 
Since then I’ve gone through two college programs, moved at least 10 times, visited a couple countries, and cultivated colorful friendships with interesting people. I think through all of these experiences I began to see differently and use my camera to define what I see. Nowadays, I take pictures with lots of space and color in them. I also take a ton of pictures, ­like 1,400 to make one final piece. Someone told me once that the best photographers have taken the best pictures….and also taken the most bad pictures. It’s a constant learning experience and I like that I’m evolving with it.  
 
Your work shows the duration of time in a photo. How did you discover that technique?  
 
I’ve seen people condense time into single images before; ­I didn’t invent the technique. Mostly 
I’ve seen it used to compress frames from a movie into some sort of painterly representation of 
the whole movie. As with the history of photography ­ it’s all been done before. I’m a firm believer that if I’m going to make a picture and use a style that exists, which they all do, I had better devote my entire strength to it and do it the best.  
 
Eadward Muybridge is one of my most influential figures in the history of photography because 
over 100 years ago he did invent a new technique that expanded peoples minds and condensed 
their sensibility about the universe. I took a process and made it my own because it gives me the platform to express my ideas of expanding the frame of the camera, capturing elemental 
transitions and creating a sense of figure-­ground reversal. I hope that the process somewhat 
evaporates as people start to understand the ideas intertwined into each slice in the pictures. 

NIGHT INTO DAY 
CHAT WITH PHOTOGRAPHER 
SEAN 
DECKERT 
(Interview continues below) 
How do you decide the content you want to investigate and shoot?  
 
Most of my projects are circumstantial. What I mean is that they develop out of what is happening in the world and my life. I try to interpret what I think about these two positions and how they relate. Then I look back at what I have done and where I can go with it. Also, I try to design projects that challenge my skill level so that I learn a new way of working. Right now, I’m hotographing the sky and doing a lot of timelapse. About three years ago I made a series of lenticular prints titled Smoke & Mirrors which were a reaction to climate change in Phoenix. I think I’ve been focusing on that since then and always trying to reinvent my style while holding tight to the concepts I’m interested in.  

Photographing exhibits seems to be something you engage with your company. Tell us more about it and the experience of being involved in capturing installations of exhibitions.  
 
I had the opportunity to work on a project at ASU Art Museum with an artist couple from Athens. I was the ‘student’ photographer interning under them and learning about relational aesthetics through their project. Contradictory to social practice I was looking at blue chip gallery websites and reading a lot of their resources on contemporary art. At the closing of the exhibition I turned in all of my photographs. I did such a good job they hired me for the next year to work on a wide range of projects and my images were used for national grant applications, catalogues, press and seasonal brochures. It was an excellent way to be introduced to my arts community. I also got to meet some important artists such as Chip Lord, Miguel Palma, Julianne Swartz and work directly with many of them on projects. It is a symbiotic way of working commercially without confusing my artistic reputation. 

(Interview continues below) 
You were the official photographer for the Phoenix popup exhibit CROSSCURRENT. How was that different from past experiences working with artists and galleries.  
 
Many of the projects I’ve worked on are with museums or established programs which means its got a fair amount of certainty in the timeline and structure. CrossCurrent was different because it 
was built from the ground up in a  short amount of time by a small group. I signed on not knowing 
exactly what was going to happen although I was confident in the groups ability to pull it off. It 
was exciting because during the month there were revelations, sales, new friendships, fancy parties and a lot of photography. I shot all of the art prior to installation, which never happens. I was sending out files to the group immediately to use for press on a seemingly daily basis. There was a lot of energy and a collective desire to make it an explosion in Phoenix, which I think is what ended up happening.  
Tell us about the project you were apart of in Israel a little while ago. 
 
Israel was grass roots. It was a long process and it’s still happening. It started through an artist, Meirav, from Agrippas 12 Gallery in Jerusalem visiting Phoenix with her husband. He worked for IBM and there’s an office here. She came to downtown Phoenix and wandered into the gallery co­op I was part of, Eye Lounge. My friend Crystal met her and introduced her to the gallery owner Greg, who had lived in Jerusalem for two years. Eye Lounge came up with the idea of having a traveling show with Agrippas 12. Fast forward a year. Crystal moved and I took over the project. We teamed up with ASU Art Museum’s Desert Initiative and had four exhibitions in two countries. Eye Lounge artists shipped work to Israel and had a show for the season opening in Jerusalem, referred to as Manofim. We exhibited at Agrippas 12 twice and at THE Gallery in the Negev Desert once. The Israeli artists work was held up in customs for four months!!! So we pushed their show until we got the work. Currently, Meirav and I are putting something together dealing with discarded roads in remote areas of the desert. We wanted to keep the focus on ‘arid’ because the landscape and climate are what brings us together. More to come... 

Tell us about the photo you are currently exhibiting at the Phoenix Museum of Art  
 
So, last year I was awarded the Emerging Artist Grant from Contemporary Forum at Phoenix Art Museum. The award was a check to finance a new piece and a wall space at the museum once the work was made. That year went by so fast I couldn’t even believe it. I decided to use this opportunity to refocus my studio practice and slow down, which meant make less work on a 
bigger scale. I refined my understanding of the time lapse process and why I was so interested in it. I think I was trying to create a overly beautiful image that was also disjointed or destabilizing in some way. I made “Day Into Night Into Day” during the winter over a two day period of shooting and a couple of weeks assembling the image. I spend quite a bit of time with proofs looking for something wrong with this piece. I was excited that this piece had achieved a sense of 
continuum with this work as well as a the scale I needed to take over the viewers peripheral sights. I thought of this work as a sort of scroll and was also keeping in mind my experiences in Beijing and the ways Chinese masters depicted the sky. 
 

 

What's next for you? I heard you may be moving to LA in the near future.  
 
Indeed LA! I was born in Culver City 30 long years ago. Back then it wasn’t full of galleries and studios and I didn’t know I was going to grow up to be an artist. I only lived there for two years but I’ve always wanted to return and have the experience of living there as an adult. Now, it seems the stars have aligned because I have a purpose living there.  

My girlfriend, Josselyn, and I are planning on moving next summer. I feel like I still have a lot of opportunity here in Phoenix so I don’t want to leave till it’s the right time. Also, Phoenix is so close that I plan on splitting my time between the two cities. I’ve started a company called Calnicean Projects and I hope that these aren’t the only two cities I’ll be splitting my time between. The 
company caters to career artists, galleries, museums and design firms and produces visual documentation and design services. The team is in place and we are working on building and already impressive client list. Everything is in flux right now and I’m very excited for this year!
To learn more about Sean Deckert, 
check out his website right here. 
We had a chance to have an insightful convo with photographer Sean Deckert. The up and coming photographer talks about his process, recent shows and future discoveries. Enjoy 

Urban Hunting by David Tamargo (London Campaign Launch)

Posted 2014-05-02 08:01:52 | Views: 4,398
URBAN HUNTING IN 
L O N D O N 
Modern man, evolutionarily speaking, is still a hunter. Although he has traded spears for cash and credit cards, the hunter is still alive inside. Urban Hunting addresses the struggle of interpreting modern society. It asks the question; “How will the imagined world of our present day be interpreted by future humans?” 

An exhibition of photographs and video by Cuban-American artist David Josef Tamargo as part of the launch for his International Urban Hunting campaign for climate change and species extinction awareness. 

Reception at The Groucho Club in Soho (London) this Saturday May 3, 2014, upstairs in the Gennaro Room from 7pm - 2am. This exhibition is co-curated by Michelangelo Bendandi, of Lisson Gallery and Alan Greenhalgh, of Shinesquad.
For more info visit Shinesquad 

CROSSCURRENT Installation Photos: Kiki Valdes, Jel Martinez, Kristin Bauer, Bill Dambrova

Posted 2014-04-27 18:56:47 | Views: 4,816
SOUTHEAST MEETS SOUTHWEST 

Miami artists Kiki Valdes and Jel Martinez, represented by the Michael Margulies Artist Agency, and Phoenix artists Bill Dambrova and Kristin Bauer come together in CROSSCURRENT, a collaborative exchange exhibition that unites South Beach with the Southwest

An exploration of crossover and collision in contemporary art pulling from different undercurrents, such as societal policies and propaganda, childhood influences and organic memory of the body, these four artists demonstrate energy and diversity in perspective. The consonance and dissonance that emerges in this bi-coastal group exhibition traverses the boundaries of regions as well as the boundaries of contemporary art genres. 

Installation photography: Sean Deckert 
Learn more: CROSSCURRENT 

Rest In Peace - Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler)

Posted 2014-02-25 11:00:46 | Views: 4,206
HAROLD ALLEN RAMIS 
NOV. 21, 1944- FEB. 24TH 2014
"THERE'S SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT I FORGOT TO TELL YOU. DON'T CROSS THE STREAMS." - EGON SPENGLER (GHOSTBUSTERS)
 

Swedish Artist - Peter Hammar Interview

Posted 2014-02-23 11:01:02 | Views: 5,865
H A M M A R  T I M E 
Peter Hammar works with everyday objects as sculpture with smart placement of lights and composition in spaces. We first saw his work during Scope Art Fair during Art Basel 2013 and his booth was a wonderful arrangement of simplicity and beauty. Hammar has an upcoming exhibition "Mapping Empty Spaces" at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago on March 7th. We had a chance to talk to him before the opening about his new work which addressses immigration and the many stories of the past and present. 


Most of your latest work consists of everyday objects. What happens in the creative process that makes you select the objects that you do?

I use whatever materials I have at hand, it used to be paint and canvas, now I take whatever discarded material I find that is forgotten and has outlived it's purposes, I re-vamp it, give it a second life. Usually the object talks to me in regards to the subject matter/thought process I'm working on currently. It sort of falls into place naturally. And not to forget, as a struggling artist money is also part of it, out of necessity I have to look elsewhere for affordable materials. 

How does light play into your installations, what is the relationship between object and illumination for you? 

When I use moving programmed LED-lights it's a notion for time, when static light,  it's more of painting the object/installation or highlighting some specific part that I wanna draw attention to. I find that light is a great way to emphasis negative space and shadows, which is a lot of times more fascinating and open ended. The light also works a in set designs for theater, it immediately sets the mood and carries multiple. 

I love the balloon installation.  Could you tell us a little about it? 

The piece is titled 'Status Quo', it is a very experimental piece that I still have not quiet completed.. The fan on top of the plexiglas box is supposed to push down the helium balloon and keep it suspended, in a status quo, which seems to be an impossible state of being for just about anything, as it proved to be for the balloon, hence I had to use magicians thread to keep it in place. And it failed, somehow the constant failure of the piece and the Sisyphus task that it

(interview continues below) 
 became in keeping the piece alive was great since that was the actual intent. At the time I just had not quite realized it. I'm still in the process of making this piece complete, maybe it's impossible and by so I love it even more. The unattainable status quo. 

You have a show opening March 7th in Chicago at the Swedish American Museum. What do you have in store for the public to view? 


It's going to be a modern take on the immigrants story, having researched the museums archives, statistics and my own experience of being an immigrant for more than a decade. The tonality will be universal so that everybody and not only Swedish immigrants can relate. Questions about identity, loss, gain, dreams, myths and selective memory that comes into play after years of disunion. 

How do you feel about being picked? How was the selection process? 

I was very honored and extremely happy of course for the opportunity given. I did a fantastic artist residency in Chicago last summer at ACRE, Artist Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions, the residency actually turned out to be miles and miles away from Chicago in beautiful Steuben, Wisconsin. Before the trip I researched a little about Chicago and that's when I found the Swedish American Museum. To my great surprise a museum dedicated to Swedish culture and heritage. It fascinated me so much that I immediately felt a want and need to connect my own practice and work with this institution. So, I wrote a proposal a little more than a year ago and here we are after a museum committee accepted it.
(Interview continues below)
You are a transplant living in Miami. Is there a general aesthetic you feel is apparent from both places artistically? How do they differ? How do they unite? 

The art world is pretty homogenous where ever you turn today. In Sweden though strong use of color is still considered a bit too decorative and not really tasteful art. I figure the climate and Swedish mentality makes up for a careful approach to boldness. But good conceptual art in Sweden as elsewhere is always recognized. Then of course there's only 9 million Swedes and their local exposure or gene pool of artists isn't that big, no matter how much you Google or travel to NY once a year, will never reach the multitude and mixture that we have here in America and Miami. Everybody is here!
To learn more about Peter Hammar's work visit his website right here. 

"Mapping Empty Spaces" opens March 7th at the Swedish American Museum. For more information on the exhibit visit the museums website right here. 

Angry Artist Smashes Ai Weiwei's Work (Video Stills)

Posted 2014-02-18 12:18:10 | Views: 5,017
Maximo Caminero is caught on camera smashing a $1 million vase from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's collection at Perez Art Museum Miami, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. Caminero, 51, was arrested on criminal mischief charges. (VIDEO STILL/CNN, WSVN, Viewer Video)
THE BREAKING POINT. 
FAILED  A R T I S T WITHOUT A CAUSE