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Home BLOGS Mini Interviews Mini Interview: Matt Relkin

Mini Interview: Matt Relkin
Written by Trippe   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 08:54
Otherworldly landscapes & skyscapes containing dark primordial objects all belonging to a self-made mythology.
We get a lot of great emails from a lot of talented people introducing us to their work. From time to time we'll be sharing their work here in our mini interviews segment... To be considered for a mini interview send a few jpegs to: mini(at)fecalface.com

Make sure the images are at least 600 pixels in width.

Location? Age? Education? Website?

Brooklyn, NY. 34 BFA Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota, FL www.downfaster.com

So it seems you're influenced by the World Trade Towers. Can you tell us what Sept 11th means to you and how it's reflected in your work?

I think my art has been mostly therapeutic in regards to how September 11th influenced me & how I dealt with my feelings about it. it's still pretty difficult to process the reality of being alive during a world-changing event, especially one that involved so much death & destruction. A kind of forced evolution occurred that day, so I think the long-term influence of the event will only be better understood when we look back on this in another 20-30 years. Immediately after 9/11 I was pretty obsessed with all those terrible images of people jumping out of windows & planes crashing into buildings, as were most Americans. At first I was directly referencing the actual events & images of that day, I guess as a way of dealing with what I saw on television and in photos. I used to include human figures in every painting until the buildings themselves became stand-ins for the people. Eventually my buildings became more anonymous, & finally the Black Tower began appearing as a surrogate for all those horrific details that still reside in our collective memory. I very rarely see any calculated references to 9/11 in my paintings now, as the Black Tower & the other black objects I paint have become more symbolic of a general feeling of unease, that something isn't right in the world.

How would you describe your work to someone?

Otherworldly landscapes & skyscapes containing dark primordial objects all belonging to a self-made mythology. To my girlfriend's ultra-conservative Catholic parents: contemporary landscapes.

Influences?

I'm most influenced by the natural world around me, & I jump at any opportunity to get out of Brooklyn & surround myself with trees or desert or anything not man-made, unless it's abandoned & decaying. I'll often be inspired by how the sky looks at a specific moment of the day, then I'll go home & try to paint what I saw as a backdrop for my next piece. I look at a lot of nature & space photography, especially the Hubble photographs, which I find consistently mind-blowing. I'm also a big movie freak. I watch tons of horror, sci-fi, & anything else strange enough to catch my eye, mostly pre-90's films. If I could only have one movie to live with for the rest of my life, it would definitely be Alejandro Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain. As far as artists go, some past & present: Pieter Breugel the Elder, Caspar David Friedrich, Arnold Bocklin, Johann Christian Dahl, Satty, Alex Grey, Gregory Crewdson, Michael Whelan, Alex Lukas, Chris Ballantyne, & my friends Esao Andrews & Steve Dixey,

Describe your process for creating a new piece.

I don't do much preliminary planning, usually just a tiny sketch to figure out the general layout of a new piece, then I just sit in front of a blank panel & let it happen.

Tools of the trade?

Smallest brushes I can find, painter's tape, various rulers, lots of tiny jars of mixed acrylic colors.

I just gave you $1,000,000. Quick, what do you do with it!

Use half philanthropically- Build a huge art wing onto the public library in my hometown of Sarasota, FL in the name of my grandparents. Donate a shitload to Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Sierra Club, & whatever other organizations I feel could use the money to better this world & ease my own guilt.

With the other half I'd stop painting in my kitchen & probably get an actual studio, and travel, a lot. Maybe get my dog's teeth cleaned professionally, & mine too.

Fighter or a lover?

I'm not afraid to fight for love.

Upcoming projects/ shows?

Just finished artwork for Brooklyn band Midnight Masses first EP, then getting started on their full-length album design. Solo show in March at DDR Projects in Long Beach, CA.

Next July I will be embarking on a 3-4 month solo road trip around the USA (including Alaska) to take photos & research a book I'm planning about the United States, it's towns & parks, and all the crazy places & history contained therein.

www.downfaster.com {moscomment}

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contact FF

SF Giants' World Series Trophy & DLX
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 17:21

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IMG_9585_sm

SF skateboarding icons Jake Phelps, Mickey Reyes, and Tommy Guerrero with the 3 SF Giants World Series Trophies


 

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a_m


 

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lead

Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? --continue reading

 

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17_ms

Work by Meryl Pataky

 

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Ron-Turner

Ron Turner of Last Gasp

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Solidarity
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charlie

 

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tiburonbridge

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###########
 

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park_life

 

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nyc_graffitiNYC --- A new graffiti abatement program put forth by the police commissioner has beat cops carrying cans of spray paint to fill in and cover graffiti artists work in an effort to clean up the city --> Many cops are thinking it's a waste of resources, but we're waiting to see someone make a project of it. Maybe instructions for the cops on where to fill-in?

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//////////
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


Headlands Center Fundraiser -6/4/14
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:54

SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details

ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

headlands

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


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Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.


Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


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Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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