“During this curatorial process I couldn’t help but recall and reflect on all the personalthings I had lost in 1995 like the books and vinyl albums I began collecting 25 years agoand a host of other stuff I miss having around me that’s helped shape and (in)form who I am. Perhaps that is one reason i wanted to do this show but there are other reasons as well.
When I’ve had studio visits, a lot of people would rummage through my music and look at what was pinned on the walls and well, I’ve done and do the same thing. I can’t help myself. It’s not being nosey, it’s just a curiosity. The artist shows me what they want me to see but often times, I find myself looking at their furniture, coffee pot, books, stuff crammed under the desk. I love it when I can see the whole living and working environment; what they choose to surround themselves with. It tells me something about that person that their artwork may not. I know what interests me and consciously influences my work and I want to know what influences others. I’ve always been fascinated with what affects other artists and how whatever it is, filters through their minds and bodies and emerges as art. So with that I set out to find artists who’d be willing to share these things and expose some of their private life for the public because most folks never have the privilege of seeing the artist’s work/living environment.Instead, most only see the end product, the artwork, in a gallery or museum along with some didactic text which is sometimes enlightening and other times not. Viewers also only see the work in that gallery or museum context which is often very different from seeing it in the studio amongst all their stuff. I know when my work leaves the studio and is installed in a gallery for example, it’s always jarring at first sight. I am so used to seeing it in my studio where it seems more at home.
I began this process by asking people I know, mainly locals, if they’d be interested in being a part of this or if they knew any artists who’d be interested. I was surprised how some people just did not want to share that much information about themselves so when I encountered that I’d respectfully move on, but of course I’d wonder… what juicy secrets do they have? I set out first to find artists who had interesting collections of things but soon the concept of the show morphed into a more open and fluid idea of influence. I tried to keep this show as diverse as I could but also find suitable artists with interesting and informative contributions. I luckily found some willing participants.
David Aylsworth is known for titling his paintings with verses from show tune lyrics and we will let us see some of his favorite albums but did you know he also collects vintage beefcake mags and dime store homo erotic novels? I sure didn’t. When I heard Andrew Groocock had a collection of over 300 robots I had to see them and meet him. I too love robots. He’s been collecting them since college. He says they don’t have a direct influenceon his work but how can someone collect 300 of anything and it not be important in someway? When I saw the robots and his work in the same room I drew an immediate connection. Laura Lark’s life and work I think are inseparable. The line between the art she makes and her personal history is so blurry I can’t even see it. I am thankful she waswilling to do an installation of all the amazing things she’s held onto since childhood and collected over the years. Robert Ruello is fascinated by mash-ups, a mixing of vocals from one song and music from a disparate song. Blondie mashed with Public Enemy is a good example. Gabriela Trzebinski is also directly affected by her surroundings along with the added dichotomy of growing up white in an African nation and being exposed to things that most Americans would find hard to comprehend. I think the viewers may be surprised at some of the things they’ll find in the show. I do hope viewers come away a little more informed or at least entertained by what they see and hear.”
David Aylsworth lives and works in Houston, TX. He holds a B.F.A. from Kent University, Kent, OH. Aylsworth participated in the Glassell School of Art Core Fellowship Program from 1989-1991. His most recent solo exhibition, A Mixture of Catholicism, Pasta, and Pornography, is on view at Inman Gallery, Houston, TX through November 24, 2007. He is represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, TX and Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, TX.
Andrew Groocock lives and works in Houston, TX. He holds an M.F.A. from the TheMaryland Institute College of Art, Rinehart School of Sculpture, Baltimore, MD. Groocok participated in the Glassell School of Art Core Fellowship Program from 1986-1989. His work was most recently included in the exhibitions Sculpture Now in the Houston Area, Williams Tower, Houston, 2006, and Long Division, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, 2005.
Laura Lark, lives and works in Houston. She holds an M.F.A., Painting, and an M.A.,Creative Writing, from the University of Houston. Her recent exhibitions include, her solo exhibtion I Am Smiling, Devin Borden/Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, 2007, and the group show Don’t Mess With, Nathan Larramendy Gallery, Ojai, California, 2007. Larks’s work has been included in the publication ARTL!ES and the Online Journal ofLiterature and Arts of Virginia Commonwealth University, Blackbird. She is represented by Devin Borden-Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX.www.lauralark.com
Robert Ruello lives and works in New Orleans. He holds an M.F.A. from ColumbiaUniversity, New York, NY. His recent exhibitions includePainted Lines, Dibold Gallery Loyola University, New Orleans , LA, 2007, andAfterwards,Inman Gallery Houston ,TX, 2007. He is represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, TX.
Gabriela Trzebinski was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She lives and works in Houston, TX. Trzebinski’s work was recently included in a solo exhibition at George Adams Gallery,New York, NY and in numerous group exhibitions including,Camp Marfa, The ArtDepot, Lubbock, TX, 2007; War, Art Car Museum, Houston, TX, 2007; Art in Action,Ghana Conspiracy” Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX, 2007. She is represented by George Adams Gallery, New York and by The Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Londonwww.gabrielatrzebinski.com