Interview with Allison Zuckerman

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I am inspired by artwork that performs, excites, and entertains. My Pop-Surrealist work, maximalist in its presentation, is suspended between high seriousness and ridiculousness.  The theatrics of feminine emotion, pushed to the brink of hyperbole, ignite my mischievous, irreverent, cannibalistic, and cyclical artistic practice.

Fusing and confusing painting with print media catalyzes my artistic practice. I am fascinated by the way a painted stroke appears when it is photographed then printed in pixelated form.

Through an interchange of photography and painting, I convert painted strokes into printed pixilated marks and apply them as collage to canvas. I photograph a painted figure from a completed painting, print this photograph, and either cut it up or use it in its entirety in a new painting. I also use my photographs to build the bodies of 2-dimensional cutout sculptures. This digital recurrence of resized body parts and characters serves to parallel Internet hyper linking; the protagonist of one painting becomes a portal into a new world when it appears in a separate painting or cutout sculpture. 

The battle of photography versus painting is a central component of my work. I simultaneously reconcile and foment the conceptual battles between high and lowbrow culture by photographing and digitally manipulating my paintings, printing them, and merging them with physical paint. Brush strokes and collage pieces have equal importance within the paintings. These collisions amplify the principal narratives of romantic strife and body image conflict within many of the paintings.

I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and subsequently attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I received my MFA in Painting/Drawing in 2015. I currently live in my work space in Brooklyn, NY. 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
The idea of sampling is very inspiring for me. I sample my past work, 1950s kitsch icons of American leisure (ranging from Gil Elvgren’s pin-up paintings to the iconic pink flamingo lawn ornament), and art history (Manet’s controversial Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe, Lichtenstein's crying women, Matisse’s dynamic cut-outs, Bouguereau's damsels). Processing personal events, usually romantic in nature, provides a springboard for many of the paintings. 

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
I do a lot of sketching and brainstorming on Photoshop and would have to significantly restructure my practice if I did not have access to it.

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them?
Currently, my biggest obstacle is not having enough time to devote myself to my work fully. Like learning a language, one must immerse themselves in the world of their work to make true discoveries. To spend only a few hours a day, here and there, in the studio, is quite frustrating for me. To navigate around this issue, I am spending more time working digitally as it is more mobile and easier to jump in where I left off. 

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
Using satire to critique the dynamics between men and women dictated by patriarchal power.

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Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
Andy Warhol is my primary artistic inspiration. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim tremendously influenced me during college and still do. Dana Schutz, Alice Neel, and Nicole Eisenman are major painting heroes of mine. 

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?
Find your voice and speak it.

Check out Allison's work in our current exhibition, Re Run

Interview with Ellen Hanson

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I’m Ellen Hanson, I received my BA from Bennington College in 2014 and currently live in Chicago. I paint post-romantic architectural landscapes. 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Most of my inspiration comes from things I see on a daily basis: architecture, houseplants, landscaping etc. My mom kept stacks of interior decoration magazines in our basement, recently I took them all, went through them and cut out all the images that interested me. I categorized them in folders and keep them in my studio to use as source imagery.  

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Currently, I couldn’t work without tape. In some paintings a almost go through an entire roll taping off sections to create crisp lines.

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
There are a few dichotomies that have become important themes in my work. These include: interior vs. exterior, natural vs. artificial, physical vs. illusion

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
I have so many artist role models, some include Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Sylvia Plimack Mangold and Kerry James Marshall. 

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?
My first memorable piece of advice came from my high school painting teacher. He told us, “Don’t be afraid to make the next mark. If you painted it once, you can paint it again”.This helps to break down one of the fears in art making. I remind myself of this when I’m happy with a piece and become afraid to keep working with the concern that I’ll ruin it. If I don’t like what I did, I can always re-paint it.

Check out Ellen's work currently in our exhibition, Re Run 

Interview with Young Gi Han

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I am a Korean artist, who resides and works in Brooklyn. My mirror or brass based-work is in between painting and object, which refers to natural formulation of gemstones and aesthetic of natural existence. It eventually implies the similarity between human and stone; the sole existence. The composition, ellipse, refers to gemstone or human faces, so I make them in the range of human face size. 

 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
I love both ancient and contemporary art. The Metropolitan Museum's African art and Egypt art are my favorite sections. Sometimes, I am inspired by historical technique of ancient objects, such as an ancient mirror, which was once polished stone. It helps me find unlikely mediums and give new art practice ideas in a contemporary art context. Also, from my belongings or design items, I question myself - why I feel fascinated by particular thing, then research the material's origin and history. This becomes more detailed and visualized inspirations to me. 

 

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Mirror, or reflective brass, is an important material for me. Slippery texture helps me express natural flow and reflection gives a room for viewers. In addition, cement scraper helps me discover creative shapes somewhere in between plan and accident. 

 

 Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
I like Rudolf Stingel, whose work engages the audience in dialogue about their perception of art through unlikely medium. He explores the process of creation via conceptual painting and installation. I, too, suggest another viewpoint of painting through study of material, develop conceptually from the process of creation, and ultimately hope to transform paintings into architectural installation. 

Check out Young Gi's work, in our current exhibition, Re Run

Interview with Teal Porrini

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I am a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati's MFA program. I currently live in Philadelphia. My work is constantly in flux and changes as my life progresses. I guess if I had to categorize it I would say abstract expressionism and often minimalism.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Most of my inspiration is drawn from my own life experiences. I reference spatial aspects of my daily life. I am drawn towards Baroque sculpture, particularly the work of Bernini, due to the strong presence the work holds in space. I am interested in the work of Brice Marden for his minimal approach but strong personality present in the work.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My most important tool is my ability to see and to be able to translate that sight to my hands. In the studio I cannot live without my palette knife. 

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them?
Over thinking is always an issue. I often need to clear out my studio before I can start anything new. It is a repetitive cleansing process every time.

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
Paint, presence, experience.

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
Bernini, Giambologna, Brice Marden, Joan Mitchell, Lynda Benglis... the list is too long.

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?love it into life.

 

Check out Teal's work, currently in our exhibition, Under Way 

Interview with Greg Burak

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make? 

My name is Greg Burak and I make figurative paintings. The paintings are about the tension that is present in uncertain situations.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works? 

Lately film has been heavily influencing my work. I think about how conflict drives a plot forward, in anticipation of a resolution. I look for the potential of that sustained anticipation when I am painting.

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them? 

Walking the line between developing the narrative and formal elements of the painting has been a challenge for me recently. At different points in the process one inevitably becomes the driving force. Allowing myself to make massive changes during the course of a work that could significantly alter my original idea is how I navigate that.

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  

Escape has been a theme that has been a recurring theme lately in my work, as well as the idea of unseen forces at play.

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?

I’ve always had an affinity for Corot. I love the way he handled paint and harmonized color.

What is the best piece of artistic advise you've been given?

I’ve received an incredible amount of great advice from many wonderful people over the years. If I had to pick one that I return to most often, one of my professors in Grad School, Tim Kennedy, would say “trust the strangeness.” It gave me permission to trust my intuition, in both formal decisions and conceptual ideas, and allowed me to make choices that were more idiosyncratic.

 

Check out Greg's work, currently in our exhibition, Under Way