An Interview with Troy Lovegates for ‘GUMBO’

Troy Lovegates Canada

A short but sweet interview with Troy Lovegates for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. ‘GUMBO’ opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th.

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
TL: It would be great if we all could collaborate on some giant mutation of all our works together … Some sort of large scale exquisite corpse

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
TL: My schedule could be described as “out of control” … I will wake up at 6 am one day and maybe work until 3 in the morning never leave the house … the next day sleep in go for a giant bike ride to find stuff that will become future works … Maybe not work for a day … Then 8 h the next day … Then start late at night the next … Sometimes I set up for working and end up searching for new music all night and get nothing done … But once I get going I usually can go through morning, noon and night …

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
TL: Clutter … Found … Diverse

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
TL: It is the stupidest process ever I just keep starting new pieces have so many half-finished pieces laying around and every couple of days I feel this panic to get something done and I go for it … But I always have many things on the go at the same time … About a dozen at once …

Troy Lovegates huggers

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
TL: I scribbled late at night on the exterior of my high school in Canada … It caused quite a stir but ended up staying there for years

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
TL: Have Patience … Go on Adventurers … But also staying at home and work when everyone else is “having fun” …

SH Bonus Question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
TL: I was there last summer for one night … I went for a walk and found a dumpster full of an old toy train town … All the buildings, lampposts, streets, train tracks, people and trees… someone got to all the boxcars, hoppers and engines before I got there (aaaargh) but it was still a fun garbage to dig through … Found some good comics for my train ride out the next morning

gumbo postcard

An Interview with Sergio Garcia for GUMBO

heart bike Sergio Garcia

A short but sweet interview with Sergio Garcia for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. ‘GUMBO’ opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th.

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
SG: This Question is crazy! Ha! Not trying to sound to cliché or Miss America style. Everyone is rad and so diverse it would really depend on what we were trying to achieve with the project or collaboration.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
SG: I get the most work done around noon time. Nighttime I do a lot of prep work and research. I’m pretty much 24/7 but around noon is when I’m completely in the zone.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
SG: Completely Throwed Off

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
SG: It depends on the piece but generally a week or two. I bounce around a lot and sometimes I assembly line them. So it may take a month to produce a few. I do a few different types of processes. I enjoy welding metal. I’ve recently gotten into glass blowing. Some of my sculptures involve shiny automotive paint and others flat oil based. I think it helps me feel more free when I do different mediums. I’m constantly thinking of what’s next or how is this going to be possible. It’s like being in a band. You’re glad the Album finally came out but you’re working on the next one in your head.

Sergio Garcia bubbles hand

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
SG: Yes for sure. I was completely terrified. I still am to an extent.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
SG: Be yourself. Don’t try to impress everyone. You’ll know when you found “it” and it’s ok to reinvent yourself. Think of art as communication. It’s great if they admire, but you want them to feel it.

SH Bonus Question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
SG: My wife does Burlesque so I go to New Orleans every once and a while. I remember one time a guy was giving a ghost tour to some tourist. He almost sounded like he was rapping. So I started beat boxing out loud as I was walking by. He immediately went into Beastie Boys Paul Revere. Then a large crowd walking by screamed “We took an empty spot next to him at the bar”. It was pretty classic.

gumbo postcard

An Interview with Troy Coulterman for GUMBO

Troy Coulterman Gumbo

A short but sweet interview with Troy Coulterman for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. GUMBO opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th. 

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
TC: This is difficult because all these artists are spectacular. But I would say Sergio Garcia, not only because he does a lot of sculpture, but because there is humor in his work and he is able to deliver a purposeful message to the viewer. I also appreciate his craftsmanship.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
TC: Morning and night. Mornings I have more energy to get things done and I find the best time to be creative is at night.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
TC: absurd everyday anomalies

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
TC: It varies on the size, but most sculptures take anywhere between one to three weeks to create. There are a lot of steps in creating one sculpture. Typically I will start with a concept drawing; and then move into these following steps; armature; clay modeling; mold making; cast; patch; sand; mounting; prime; and paint. It is an involved process, but in the end I have a mold so I can cast editions of a sculpture.

Troy Coulterman Regal Emanation Gumbo

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
TC: I was living in Toronto at the time and I couldn’t find anyone to show my work and some galleries would even charge the artist a fee just to exhibit in their space. So, I rented out a gallery in a community center and invited all my friends. On weekends this center had a great farmers market and that got a lot of people coming through the gallery. I actually sold some pieces and got a lot of good feedback from the public. I learnt a lot from that first show.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
TC: Show as much as you can, even when there is no one out there that wants to show your work yet. Get together with some friends or just rent out a space for a week. The more you show the more feedback you get and the more you learn about your own practice.

SH Bonus Question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
TC: My wife and I visited a good friend in New Orleans for Mardi Gras in 2010. He took us out one morning to a Cajun community in South Louisiana to participate in Courir de Mardi Gras. We got dressed up in crazy costumes, started drinking at 8am and everyone went house to house in the community asking for ingredients to make gumbo. Most of the time neighbors would just throw a live chicken into the crowd and everyone would roll around in the mud trying to catch it. The night ended with homemade gumbo and dancing to Cajun music.

gumbo postcard

An Interview with Matthew Grabelsky for GUMBO

Matthew Grabelsky Brooklyn Bound Gumbo

A short but sweet interview with Matthew Grabelsky for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. GUMBO opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th. 

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
MG: Alex Yanes because his speaker piece was amazing.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
MG: Usually between noon and midnight.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
MG: Subway, Animals, Surreal.

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
MG: Depends on the size and complexity – generally between 2 weeks and 2 months. I start with a general idea and then have friends come and model to work out the composition. I sketch it out in pencil and then attack it in oil painting in a couple of layers.

Matthew Grabelsky Gumbo Back Uptown

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
MG: 6th grade. My art teacher organized a show in the lobby of a big bank in NYC and included this crazy mixed media fantasy animal sculpture I made.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
MG: Figure out what you want to do, master your craft, create something personal and original.

SH Bonus question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
MG: The last time I was in New Orleans I ate at a restaurant called N’awlins. When I told a local about it she was amazed how well I pronounced the name which confused me. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized N’awlins was how locals pronounce New Orleans.

gumbo postcard

An Interview with James Bullough for group exhibition ‘GUMBO’

Jame Bullough piece for Gumbo

A short but sweet interview with James Bullough for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. GUMBO opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th. 

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
JB: I absolutely love Ryan Hewett’s work. I first saw one of his pieces in Berlin at the Thinkspace curated LAX/TXL show at Urban Nation and was immediately captivated by it. Being a realist painter myself I have always admired painters with a looser, more intuitive approach like Ryan’s. Besides the obvious connection of portraiture in each of our own works it is hard to find many other similarities. This vast contrast in styles and approach is extremely interesting to me and could result in something really special. I also feel like I could learn a lot from watching him work and sharing ideas.

Troy Coulterman would also be a nice collaboration combo. What’s really interesting about him is that when I first came across his work last year in Miami at the Aqua art fare I realized that he and I have actually already done some work that is eerily similar. He has these amazing hand sculptures that are cut up and glitched out similar to what I do in my work. It would be awesome to push this even further and see what we could come up with together. I’ve also always wanted to try and paint onto a 3D object, such as a glitched out hand, and see how realistic I could get it to look. …hmmm, actually this collaboration is starting to sound pretty good. I might have to make a phone call to Troy.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
JB: I’m all over the place. I haven’t had internet in my studio for a little over a year now which I find really cuts down on distractions and ups my productivity a lot, but what that also means is that I have to do all of my administrative work in the mornings before I head off to the studio for the day so my mornings are pretty productive but not with anything fun. Once I get into the studio around lunch time and turn my creative brain on I tend to work straight through for 6 or 7 hours with very few breaks. Leading up to a show can sometimes get crazy with more like 10 or 12 hour studio sessions or longer.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
JB: I only need two… ‘Shifted Realism’

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
JB: I tend to take a day or two just for the planning and prepping for a new painting. I start by picking a surface from my stockpile of old wood and metal in my studio, or if I’m working on canvas I’ll determine the size and build it out. The size, shape, and material of the surface helps determine what I will paint. I’m extremely picky about selecting just the right image and experimenting with different ways to break it up and alter it. There’s always hours and hours of unsuccessful experiments before I land on something good. Once the image is all set I try to do a quick underpainting in one day, covering the entire piece depending on the size. From there I can start working on the fun part of adding detailed layers of oil paint over the underpainting. Two layers seems to be working for me at the moment but sometimes it can take a couple more to get it just right. All in, I guess it takes about a week or a week and a half per painting
Ironically when it comes to painting murals, I can paint a 20×50 foot wall with spray cans in about half the time it takes me to do a 20×20 inch oil painting in the studio. Go figure.

james bullough piece 2 for gumbo

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
JB: About seven years ago just for fun I started making paintings in my basement in the evenings after my day job as a middle school teacher in Baltimore. Two years later I met a guy in a bar who had a gallery in Brooklyn and he asked to see some of my work. I showed him some stuff on my phone and he invited me to be part of a showcase at his gallery with about ten other artists. I showed 7 or 8 pieces in that show, two of which were good and the rest were terrible but the experience was amazing. It was just the spark I needed in my life and in less than one year from that opening night I had quit my job of nearly a decade, sold my house and all my possessions, and moved to Berlin to paint full time. Second best decision I’ve made in my life so far.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?
JB: Yeah, listen to my radio show! Every other week I interview a different artist or gallerist for an hour and get the whole story about how and why they came to do what they do. There’s no single formula to success, especially in the art game so hearing all the different approaches and journeys that different artists take is extremely helpful and inspirational. Not to mention it’s basically the best thing you can listen to in your studio while you’re working on your own work. And I hear the host is pretty good too… just sayin.

The show is called VantagePoint. You can listen to or download any of the shows from the past year and a half on our website www.VantagePointRadio.com or subscribe to it on iTunes and thank me later.

SH: Bonus question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
JB: Nope I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I’ve got a Creole uncle who makes a mean Gumbo every thanksgiving. Shouts to big Willie!

gumbo postcard

An Interview with Alex Yanes for new group exhibition ‘GUMBO’

Alex Yanes Aves Fiera

A short but sweet interview with Alex Yanes for his upcoming show ‘GUMBO’ at Thinkspace Gallery. ‘GUMBO’ will be featuring new pieces from seven Thinkspace artists who all bring a different style, voice, and flavor to their art. ‘GUMBO’ opens Saturday April 25th from 6-9pm, and will be on view till May 16th. 

SH: What artist in the upcoming ‘Gumbo’ show would you want to collaborate with and why?
AY: It’s a dead tie between Sergio Garcia & Troy Coulterman. Both of them blew my mind during Art Basel this year! Would be cool to create something really crazy and busy, coming out of the walls with those two.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
AY: I’m a morning person, but work 10 hour days. Cuban expresso all day, everyday.

SH: In three words, describe your artwork.
AY: Clean Calm Collected

SH: How long does it take you to finish a piece? What is your processes?
AY: About a week or so, depending on size. I always work on more than one piece at a time, hate watching paint dry. Usually begins with a rough sketch, then individually hand cut shapes or built out boxes. I transform them into things as I go along, attach them together and there you have it.

Alex Yanes Bubblegum Rider

SH: Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? Where was it?
AY: Yup. The bar at the Marlin Hotel on Miami Beach back in 2004. Although according to my Mom, I had a drawing of a rabbit wearing a Walkman, riding a skateboard exhibited at the County Youth Fair when I was in 1st grade.

SH: Do you have any wise words for a fledgling artist who admires your work?AY: I never did it for the money. Trained myself to create every day, even when I don’t feel like it. My Art has always helped me through the low spots in my life and granted me unimaginable accomplishments. People told me I could never make it a career and I stuck with it anyway. Never quit! Although it doesn’t define me as a person, my art is a piece of me. I feel most alive in the studio, in my zone, making something out of nothing.

SH Bonus question: Speaking of gumbo, have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, tell us a tale! If not, tell us another tale.
AY: Nope, but its cousin Key West is only a 2.5 hour drive from Miami. Been there many, many times, but only remember bits and pieces. Cheers!!

gumbo postcard

Bec Winnel Interview for Beautanica

Bec Winnel Beautanica ‘Beautanica‘ opening reception Saturday April 25th from 6 -9pm. 

Warm-Up Questions:
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee

Spirit Animal?
Moth

What was your background noise when creating this show?
The radio (Triple J) for most of it and then a new born baby girl!

Main Interview:

BEc Winnel Progress Shot I

SH:  Are the women in your work based on people you know or an imagined reference?
BW: They aren’t based on anyone I know in particular. Although I use shots of models backstage for reference, the women in my art are meant to capture and represent the soulfulness of women in general.

SH: What inspired the direction of this latest body of work?
BW: I was pregnant when I started and had a baby by the time I finished. I’m sure she, Bridget, inspired my work strongly along with the subject matter I always use, feminine beauty, mixed with elements of nature. A lot of the reference for the nature elements in my work come from plants around my house.

SH: If you had only 5 minutes to go shopping at your favorite art supply store and buy whatever you wanted, money is no object, what would you throw in your basket? (or cart)
BW: Ooo, can I have the whole shop? I would probably head to the watercolour section and pick out the most beautiful and expensive full set of watercolours, packaged in a beautiful wooden box.

SH: How did you develop and find your artistic voice?
BW: While I always stayed with females as my subject, I experimented with a lot of different styles and mediums. Eventually I stuck with realism using pencils as I felt this area was where my strengths were. Around the same time I discovered the work of Sara Moon who influenced my style also. Sara Moon created vintage style images of women in a smokey and dreamy world. From there my style has developed to include areas of 2D abstract imagery and patterns of mixed media such as watercolour and metallic inks. Also incorporating pan pastels into the realism of the ladies. Always experimenting and trying new things helps you to find your voice.

New Piece for Beautanica by Bec Winnel

SH: What do you do when you’re filled with self-doubt or stuck in a creative rut?
BW: Sometimes I’ll walk away from my art (go outside, have a hot shower, go for a drive, go visit a friend) until I feel inspired to create again or if there is a deadline and I have no choice but to produce work, I’ll start several artworks until finally one feels like it is working. Most important and almost impossible sometimes, is not to over think what I’m doing but to let it just happen, almost on a subconscious level.

SH: When do you get the most work done; morning, noon, or night?
BW: Either early morning or late at night. I’m useless during the middle of the day.

SH: How do you know a piece is finished?
BW: I once read that a piece is finished when your eye can move freely around a piece and all areas of the artwork feel resolved. I pretty much try to follow that idea. I usually check with partner or family too and ask them if they think it looks ‘finished’. A fresh eye never goes astray.

Bec Winnel Progress Shot II

SH: What other artists work are you a fan of right now?
BW: There are so many artist work that I love, I think I’m following around 300 of them on Instagram! An artist my friend just introduced me to is Lorraine Loots. She creates mind blowing little realistic artworks the size of your thumbnail!

SH: What do you know now, that you wish you’d known when you were first embarking on your artistic career?
BW: When I was starting out, it did take a long time to find my artistic ‘voice’ and at times it was really hard and frustrating. I still feel like I’m finding it with every piece I create, however, one artist said to me a couple of years ago, finding your voice simply takes time. Knowing that, I could have accepted the journey is an ever-growing one and to be more patient!

SH: If you could live in any movie for a day, what would it be? Would you be a specific character or yourself?
BW: It would have to be a Drew Barrymore movie. Either ever after or 50 first dates. I would just be myself and watch Drew. She seems so nice and funny.