Tag: Chats

German artist Gabriel Dubois is currently having his work shown off at the 2012 London Art Fair, we caught up with the man himself to learn more about his craft and his plans for the rest of the year...

Where do you live?

Berlin, Germany.

Tell us about yourself?

I'm 6 foot tall, I can land varial kickflips, I'm trying to relax more. And I think I might be a buddhist.

When did you first find out you had a talent?

When I picked up a spray van in 6th Grade.

What inspires you?

I really enjoy taking taxi rides. Usually the world, music and conversation. It generally makes me feel like somebody special resulting in copious amount of energy for painting.

What are the tools of your trade?

Purdy paint brushes, don't leave home without them!

How did you learn your craft?

I learnt how to pull a line working as a house painter in the summers in Canada. That is probably the most important and relevant skill in my current practice.

Do you have any notable fans?

I was famous before I was 20.

Tell us a fact about you that no one knows?

I hunt squirrels...

What else do you have coming up in 2012? Any exhibitions/shows?

I'm organising a group exhibition with my favourite Berlin based artists in April which will be curated by the wonderful Magda Ziomek. I will also be building one of my structures at the installation festival, Kultur Bahn in the abandoned theme park in Treptow, Berlin. The rest of the year will be dedicated to travelling and painting in South America.

 

Kentaro Yamada is an artist who combines traditional materials with elements of media and uses his work to look at the relationship between art and life (his recent Hackney Sublime project was made up of smashed glass from the riots) as well as a space for reflection. Ahead of having his work put on display at the London Art Fair next week with the Hoxton Art Gallery Japanese artist Yamada sat down for a chat with Who's Jack to tell us a bit more about himself...

WJ: Where do you live?

Hackney, London

WJ: Tell us about yourself?

I am a Japanese artist who grew up in New Zealand and was educated in the US and UK.

WJ: When did you first find out you had a talent?

When I went to art school. I realised I was able to combine many skills, knowledge, curiosity and the experiences that I had had in a positive way. It was a great eye opening moment to realise art can have such a close relationship to one's life like no other.

WJ: What inspires you?

Travelling. Sitting in cafes at various corners of the world and writing down ideas.

WJ: What are the tools of your trade?

Digital technologies. This is becoming a forerunning  means of communication for artists.

WJ: How did you learn your craft?

In Japan. My mother was a Japanese tea ceremony Professor and my father taught Japanese pottery making. I think the modus operandi within these practices is inherent in my own work.

WJ: Do you have any notable fans?

My good friends and family.

WJ: Tell us a fact about you that no one knows?

I have a Computer Science degree.

WJ: What else do you have coming up in 2012? Any exhibitions/shows?

An exhibition at Hoxton Art Gallery later in the year, the Open West award exhibition in March and a group show at Fondation Vasarely in France.

SWEATER meg myersWe recently introduced you to Meg Myers, and her track Monster. It's had such a good response that we thought we would have to pin the girl down for a chat... and we did :

Meg, you're going to be fairly new to our audience, could you give us a little introduction to 'you'?

Hi, I'm Meg. Nice to meet you. You've got great taste in music.

Your track, Monster, is one that's gaining a lot of attention, and our favourite, did you feel it was a winner when you were making it?

I just make what I like, I don't really think about whether it's going to win or not. Win what? What is it winning? 🙂

"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." ~ Stephen King

Your music, as well as a lot of your imagery has a dark tint to it, why do you feel this resonates so much with musical audiences at the moment?

Hmm. I can't speak for everything, but I think people like my music because I'm just being myself and myself happens to need a lot of therapy.

You like nunchucks and phantom of the opera masks, tell us about that?

Well, I like those things because they are fucking awesome. I also like puppies and chess and hiking. I'm a Libra. My moon is in Scorpio. I can cook a mean spaghetti dinner.

What are your plans for 2012?

I'm releasing my EP late January, a music video for Monster, and then I'm really excited to  focus on live shows and writing new music.

When can we expect to see you in the UK?

Hopefully this year!

How long have you been doing music for?

I picked up bass and piano at twelve and starting writing songs on guitar at thirteen.

You post a lot of pictures, tell us about tour favourite one of late?

I like this one picture by Chef Roussel (featured)

Where do you take your inspiration from?

There's not really one source, I take it from wherever I can get it - generally from feelings, or moods. Monster was inspired by the end of a three year relationship.

What will you be doing in 5 years time?

There's so much I want to do, I can only imagine. Just taking everything a day at a time right now. I would love to have a country cabin somewhere, after living in LA it'll be nice to have some peace and quiet. 🙂

Listen to Meg's track Monster here.

Ghost Of A Dream are artistic duo Lauren and Adam who have exhibited everywhere including The Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House and galleries all over America. This month they will be having their work shown at The London Art Fair by The Cynthia Corbett Gallery. We caught up with them to find out more...

WJ: Where do you live?

This is not a simple answer. We are currently artists in residence at Bemis Contemporary Art Center until the Middle of March, then we will be working on a project that will put us in Los Angeles for the month of April.  After LA we will be in Wassaic New York for the summer where our good friends have started a residency which we are quite involved with called The Wassaic Project.

WJ: Tell us about yourself?

We met at RISD in 2003 where we were both Grad students at the time (Lauren in Sculpture and Adam in Painting).  A few years later we reconnected while both living in Brooklyn, NY.  We were married in the summer of 2007 and began working together shortly there after.  In 2008 we decided to start calling our collaboration "Ghost of a Dream".  We chose the title both because of the materials we use, and what we make our work about. In the past 4 years we have lived on 3 different continents and have enjoyed doing many projects as Ghost of a Dream, and are constantly looking for opportunities to continue this method of working and living.

WJ: What inspires you?

The challenge to make relevant artworks from materials that people would not usually consider.  Our materials are the remnants of what people have used to either attempt to attain there goals, or escape their personal reality.  Our work is both about those methods of escape and hope as well as recreating objects out of this detritus.  Some of our materials include lottery tickets, romance novels, bible tracts, self help books, art postcards, trophies, ribbons, video clips from soap operas, televisions, etcetera.

WJ: What are the tools of your trade?

We use so many different tools depending on the project. We use an awful lot of exacto knives and saw blades.

WJ: How did you learn your craft?

We learned many things in college and graduate school of course. But learning our craft is a daily endeavor.  When we need to create something but do not yet know how, we figure it out.  To us the end result is the important thing, and the skill to make it is just a tool that got us there.  If your question is how did we learn our level of craft, then we would have to say this is something we try to improve on every day.  But we would also have to say that this may have started while we were both at RISD, as both programs taught us the incredible importance of making everything with a high level of finish, and to hold ourselves accountable for every detail.  Since we both have that ingrained we hold each other to it in the studio making sure we are constantly improving.

WJ: Do you have any notable fans?

No fan is more notable than the next.  We are lucky to have many fans.  We have had an incredible few years, and feel so blessed to have shared our work with so many different types of people.

WJ: Tell us a fact about you that no one knows?

Our dog's name is Banana, Adam is allergic to bananas, and Lauren is bananas.

WJ: What else do you have coming up in 2012?

From the 18th to the 22nd of January we will be presenting a special project titled this is it (Love and Money) at the London Art Fair with Cynthia Corbett.  From Valentines Day to Saint Patrick's Day, February 14 to March 17th, we will have our first solo show with Davidson Contemporary in New York titled Forever, Almost.  From March 17th to May 27th we will have an exhibition at the Fine Arts Center Museum of Colorado Springs.  From June 10th to September 9th we will have an exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum titled so far, so close.

To find out more about The London Art Fair, who's exhibiting and how to get tickets click here.  Lauren and Alex will be giving a talk at the fair at 4.30pm on 18th January so make sure you go and check them out and in the mean time below is a video that gives us a nice idea of the way they work...

GHOST OF A DREAM from The Wassaic Project on Vimeo.

m83 interviewHe’s been around for a longtime, and yet he’s only just gone 30. Anthony Gonzalez, the man behind M83, has seen it all – touring with The Killers across America, collaborating with over 100 acts and even moving to LA. But now Who’s Jack have finally caught up with him for a little chat about his new album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, and everything else in-between. 

WJ: Mr. Gonzalez, you’ve been around a decade and parted ways with your band mate in the process. Tell me about that journey.

Well, the first album came out in 2001! So in those ten years, there’s been a lot of musical transition I’d say. I think change is normal; I’m not that same kid. I feel like my music is evolving the same time as I evolve as a human being. I’m 30 years old now – I have more experience and I hope I’m more mature now too!

WJ: The boy has become a man. I want to dive right in. Tell me about the track Midnight City – how did you come up with that amazing sound?

Yeah, that’s my voice actually. I was just high and trying to experiment with my vocals in the studio. Just having fun, you know? Sometimes, like for Midnight City, you feel stupid doing it, but sometimes it also works so you keep going. People think it’s a synth sound, which it isn’t.

WJ: After Saturdays = Youth was such a critical hit, did you feel any pressure having to come up with its successor?

Not really. I wasn’t really proud of Saturdays. I felt like I could have done so much better. It was almost like I was waiting for my next move to come along, without going for it myself. I guess I wanted to take revenge on Saturdays with this album. For the new one I wanted to make it really special and I wanted to take my time to craft it, to make it my own.

WJ: Are you happy with this one then, I hope?

Oh yeah, I’m super happy with this one.

WJ: Have you seen the movie Drive that came out this year? 

No! I haven’t seen anything. I’ve been really busy.

WJ: I think you’ll love it – because your new album should have been its soundtrack. Your new album fits this sort of movie down to the ground.

I’d love to do soundtracks for movies. This is one of the main reasons I moved to Los Angeles, actually – to be closer to the movies. I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I think my music goes well with pictures. I feel it would be natural for me to try a soundtrack one day.

WJ: When you were writing the new album, did you have a movie or narrative in mind?

I try to compose my music like I would write a script, specifically with a story. This is probably because I’m obsessed with movies, their soundtracks… And yeah, I watch a lot, a lot, of movies.

WJ: Like what?

Oh, loads. Science fiction. Comedies.

WJ: Favourite director?

Terrence Malick. He’s probably my favourite. The Thin Red Line, Tree of Life. I love almost all of his films. He’s a genius.

WJ: You should write a song in homage of him!

Haha, I haven’t yet. But that’s actually a good idea. I’ll have to think about it.

WJ: So you’ve called the new album ‘retrospective of myself’. What does that mean?

Haha, it would be terrible to call it that. So pretentious! I guess what I meant is that I just listened to myself whilst making it; I didn’t trust anyone but myself during the whole writing process. Except, of course, all my lovely collaborators. I didn’t wait for my label to give me ideas. I always knew what I wanted to do and felt confident I could do it. All the musicians and the producers I worked with, though, were so helpful and definitely this album wouldn’t have been as good without them. I guess I had a really precise idea when I wrote this album and there was never any way I would have changed my mind. I wanted to stay in control of things.

WJ: Tell me about this central idea. Sounds intriguing… 

The idea was to do something conceptual, and also ambitious. It had to be very big, and emotional.

WJ: You chose to call the album Hurry Up We’re Dreaming. Quite an interesting, almost contradictory title, I’d say.

I feel like this album is very dreamy but also incredibly urgent. It’s me saying, ‘let’s take our time to dream whilst we can, now, because life is moving so fast.’ Dreaming is so beautiful that we should take time to appreciate it.

WJ: Speaking of dreams – who is your dream collaborator?

Tough question, but I think it has to be Brian Eno. I’m such a huge fan and he’s one of the few musicians who has a real identity. A real personal vision.

WJ: Frenchman in LA. Tell me immediately.

It was tough for the first few months, but now it so natural. I love everything about the city and the people.

WJ: What was your move to LA like? What are the differences from France?

It was so different. The countries are like polar opposites. The culture is opposite. But it was also so inspiring. I entered this fantastic world where I didn’t know what to expect. All of a sudden I had these amazing landscapes in front of me – which I could touch and experience. It was honestly an amazing dream – I was taking loads of road trips to the desert, the ocean and up in the mountains. All by myself, to record, with a computer and some keyboards. I tried to make as much music on the road as possible.

AWJ: h – that brings me back to Drive and Americana in general. This does sound like a road trip album, with America as a backdrop.

Yeah, drive off into Nevada listening to my album ….

WJ: So, driving off into the sunset is one of your hobbies. Tell me some more. 

So, the question is what do I do most of time?! I love going to museums, playing video games, smoking weed… Playing soccer.

WJ: Not much soccer in LA though…

Oh, man, I have a team in LA. I play a lot.

WJ: Is that Robbie Williams’s team? 

No, I’m not in his team but I’ve played against him at his house! He has his own pitch. It was really fun, but five minutes before the end of the game I took on a couple of guys, beat them, but then fell onto the post and cracked my head open. It hurt. I had to go to the hospital. It was funny though!

WJ: Thank you.

Thank you too.

Words: David Whelan