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    Clark Goolsby Interview Via Neon Forest

    CLARK GOOLSBY INTERVIEW

    It makes me feel like I’m some cranky old man to say this, but I feel like it’s so important for kids to play outside, and use their imaginations – Clark Goolsby

    We recently had a chance to throw some questions over to  one of our new favorite artists, Clark Goolsby.

    Clark is a New York based artist originally from California, his work uses bold colors, cryptic symbols, patterns and shapes to explore a wide range of subjects.

    In his second solo exhibition, entitled STRANGE/LOVE, at POVevolving gallery in Los Angeles, he explored the delicate balance between life and death, and how we relate to a world filled with possible life ending situations.

    Here’s some insight on that show, his current works and things to come.

    Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
    I’m Clark Goolsby, originally from Northern California, but have lived a few different places. Most recently I’ve lived in NYC for the last year and a half, and lived in LA for the last five years before that. Mainly I make paintings and collages, but have recently been getting way more into sculpture/installation.

    Why do you do what you do?
    I’m sure you always get this answer, but I’ve always done it. I’ve always drawn and painted my whole life. I guess I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t making something.

    Tell us about some of your current and upcoming projects.
    Right now, I’m kind of between shows, so I’m just making work. I have a ton of stuff planned, and am just figuring out what things to do first. I have several paintings in the works, and have been amassing materials for some new sculptures.

    What themes do you to pursue in your work?
    Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about death, and the fragility of our time on earth. I did a whole show this year in LA that really focused in on that idea. Recently, I’ve kind of been thinking more about the things people make in their lives in attempts to be remembered when they are gone. I think the desire people have to be remembered after they die, and how that manifests itself is really interesting.

    Who are some of your favorite artists?
    There are more than a few, but just off the top of my head, I would say: Franz Ackermann, Guyton/Walker, Gerhard Richter, Matthew Monohan, David Altmejd, Peter Halley… and someone I’ve been really thinking about a lot is Philip Guston. I just feel like so much of what’s going on in painting today is really owed to him. I’m also always inspired by friends of mine who are making art, because I get to witness some of their practice, and really understand their work from a different perspective. When I was in LA I shared studio space with Derek Albeck and Jeremy Mora, and I really dig their work.

    Describe one of your strongest memories of your childhood?
    I think one of the things that stands out was spending time at my grandparent’s house. I grew up in Northern California, and they had this huge property that was covered in redwood forest. I would go out there for weeks at a time during the summer, and be out in the woods all day. It makes me feel like I’m some cranky old man to say this, but I feel like it’s so important for kids to play outside, and use their imaginations. I feel so lucky that I had that environment to play in as a kid.

    Do you believe in God?
    That’s tough. I don’t think I believe in Him in the Christian sense, but I’m not opposed to the idea of there being some sort of force that is beyond us.

    Describe one of your most sketchiest/scariest life experiences?
    I think the scariest thing for me recently is my brother has been deployed twice to Iraq in the last two years. Luckily he’s home safe from his latest deployment. But, that whole experience is super stressful.

    What jobs have you done other than being an artist/designer?
    None really.

    Describe a memorable response have you had to your work?
    My last show in LA was pretty cool. The center piece of the show was this huge suspended sculpture called Dead Man. Once the piece was installed it was crazy to see people walking by, and just stopping in there tracks and having to come in and see what it was. That piece definitely had some stopping power. It’s rad to see people inspired by or in awe of the thing you worked so hard to create.

    What do you dislike about the art world?
    Whoring. I feel like so much of the art world is trying to shmooze people up or get to know the right person etc., and I’m just not good at that stuff. I know some people who are great at playing that game, and they get a lot of shows etc., but I’m just not. I really just love making art, and I hope it gets shown, but it’s a crazy business that’s for sure.

    If you could have any superpower what would be and why?
    The power to not be neurotic. I think I spend way to much time in my own head worrying about shit that nobody else would possibly care about. The great freedom of art is that it’s yours to make, and there isn’t a client or anyone else telling you what to do, but on that same note, you really are making it alone, and many times it’s really hard to figure out if what you’re doing is worth doing.

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
    To make work. Chuck Close has some saying about inspiration not coming to you when you’re thinking about art. It comes to you when you’re making art. I think that’s totally true. You’ve got to be in the studio, and make a lot of work to make good work.

    Professionally, what’s your goal?
    I would love to make my art making sustainable. If I could travel a bit because of art, and cover my art making costs, I would be happy.

    Where can people find your work?
    They can find it at my gallery in LA POVevolving or on my site Clark Goolsby

    We would like to thank Clark for taking the time to do  this interview with us and for sharing his images and ideas. Check out the video below of Clark Goolsby’s Dead Man Installation.

    Clark Goolsby Installing Dead Man from Clark Goolsby on Vimeo.

    Bloom (by Zoe S.)

    Sunday Breeze (by Zoe S.)

    Dustin and I, Shot by Francesco LoCastro

    Dallas: Amazing Isn’t Enough- Opening 2/11/12 at RO2 Gallery Curated by Neon Forest

    AMAZING ISNT ENOUGH

    AMAZING ISNT ENOUGH
    A group exhibition exploring the relationship between societies expectations and the pressures of waking life, opens February 11. 2012 at RO2 Art in Downtown Dallas TX. The artists explore themes documenting the fragility between life and death, as well as the triumphs, desires and disasters that occur socially, worldly and personally. Amazing Isn’t Enough chronicles each artists perception of resistance and its relation to independence. Presented through a series of paintings, sculptures, new media, and installations, the exhibit will run through March 12. 2012, and will be viewable Thursday through Saturday 11am-7pm, and by appointment

    About the Artists
    Brandon McLean is a Central Florida based mixed media artist, who creates multilayered paintings and installation works rooted heavily in the realms of nostalgia. Much of his work uses appropriated imagery, text, logos and stories from both popular culture as well as personal, autobiographical sources.
    For Amazing Isn’t Enough, Brandon has created pieces that deal with societal pressures of manhood. Living up to an ideal set by a man’s father, following in his boot prints, transforming from a boy to accepting the responsibilities of a man. Topics such as being good enough, trying to be the best, competing, succeeding, having the most, and providing are just a few that will be explored though his work in the exhibition.

    Clark Goolsby is a New York based artist originally from Los Angeles California, whose work uses bold colors, cryptic symbols, patterns and shapes to explore a wide range of subjects.
    The work Clark has made for Amazing Isn’t Enough deals with the fragility between life and death. It’s about the balance of maintaining optimism while living in a world with so many possible life-ending situations. Clark’s newest works explore rituals and objects, associated with death and remembrance as well as the desire of importance humans feel to be remembered after they have passed
    Clark will be exhibiting several paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces in the exhibition.

    Clark Goolsby Installing Dead Man from Clark Goolsby on Vimeo.

    Rocky Grimes is a self-taught artist living and working in Miami Florida. He got his start teaching himself how to screen print in his parents garage in the early 1990′s. Though primarily a silk screen artist, Grimes’s also explores the use of different mediums, such as stop motion video production as well as photography. His recent shows have included installations of found and built objects as well as a street performance during Miami’s Art Basel Fair, where Grimes walked a shopping cart through the streets of Wynwood, creating and giving away, silk screened prints about the intrusion of Corporate presence in the Contemporary Art scene. Rocky teaches 8th grade American History in the Florida public school system.
    Rocky’s work for Amazing Isn’t Enough is an on going interpretation of the triumphs, desires and disasters that occur personally, socially, and worldly. Rocky views his work as a resistance to the art culture that has hijacked previous movements, or ideas, without original thought and has simply repackaged it and placed it on a shelf for sale.

    For more information about Amazing Isn’t Enough or the artwork, please contact us at info[at]neonforestgallery[dot]com

    Neon Forest Presents: INTO THE VOID

    NEON FOREST PRESENTS: INTO THE VOID

    NEON FOREST proudly presents: INTO THE VOID

    Featuring works by: Skinner . Rocky Grimes . Chris Dyer . Jose Mertz . Michael C. Hsiung . Gina Marie Sandlin . Hydro74 . Plinio Pinto . Scott Donald . Morgan Blair . Leslie Martinez . 131

    Into the Void, is a group exhibition exploring the relationship between our human subconscious and the occult. The artists in this show seek to bridge the visible and the invisible, materializing an area of our perception easily infiltrated by the subversive and the supernatural.

    The artists in this exhibition live and work all over North America, stretching from Los Angeles to Hawaii, Miami to New York. Based on this geographic diversity, the artists in this show orchestrate a beautiful symphony of mysticism, chronicling everything from Norse mythology to heavy metal. As teachers, designers, gallery correspondents and painters by day, the artists all consistently demonstrate seemingly devious ways of thinking in relation to society and the cosmos.

    Into the Void chronicles each artists perception of the unknown and its connection to the real. Bridging time and space, vortex and synapse the artists allow the viewer to conceptually “step” into their realm of the unreal.

    Located in the heart of Miami’s art scene, the Wynwood Exhibition Center at Cafeina will house this adventure into the unknown. Join us Friday, October 7 from 9PM to 3AM, and Saturday, October 8 after Wynwood Art Walk.

    Today, 4AD has released a one-off, iTunes-exclusive single for the Ariel Pink track “Witch Hunt Suite for World III”. It’s a sprawling, multi-part, 16-minute-plus epic that Pink began writing and recording ten years ago today, while the events of September 11, 2001 began to unfold.

    Via Pitchfork

    Prabal Gurung Spring 2012

    Prabal Gurung Spring 2012

    Prabal Gurung Spring 2012

    Prabal Gurung Spring 2012

    Hydro 74 Interview via Neon Forest!

    HYDRO74 INTERVIEW

    “If it wasn’t for a few freelance projects that had some great budgets for shitty illustrations, I would of probably gave up on design”

    Hydro74 is an Orlando based designer, otherwise known as Joshua M. Smith. The soul purpose of HYDRO74′s career is to push the boundaries in doing what he feels is relevant to the market, as well as, extract various elements and trends to be able to offer them up in his personal work. But let’s be honest. He does what he love’s because he love’s it. Not because he has to do it, nor is he forced to do it, but rather passionate about doing what he does.  HYDRO firmly believes in having set style tones, yet a sense of diversity to make any various project unique to the demands that are set forth.

    Who are you and what do you do?
    My name is Joshua M. Smith and I am the artist behind Hydro74 who is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Orlando Florida.  Been doing design work for the last 12 years give or take. Over the past 6 years I’ve made the choice to focus more on typography and vector art forms due to my passions for the both.  I worked with quite a few different core companies and I’m never happy with what I’m doing because I want to be better at it.

    Why do you do what you do?
    All by chance.  I actually wanted to be a Teacher but due to a lot of issues that I had with the teaching program at college I became bitter and focused on Liberal Arts.  During that time I took easy A classes to keep my GPA decent with painting, drawing and various art classes.  When I started a new program called Visual Communications I fell in love with what Photoshop could do.  After two years of Liberal Arts and the realization that the professors were on the same learning curve, I figured it was time to drop out and just learn all this on my own.  If it wasn’t for a few freelance projects that had some great budgets for shitty illustrations, I would of probably gave up on design and probably worked in retail.   This was all during 1998-2000 when the internet became a viable source for showing off what you can do.  I was never skilled, that took many years later to even get to a point where I was decent enough to provide quality work.  I worked for a few skateboard companies before moving over to a firm to work on BMX related pieces.  All those jobs just reinforced my passion to be better. So yeah.  It was all by chance.  I never wanted to be a designer.

    What themes do you pursue in your work?
    I have no clue.  I don’t try to be ‘that’ illustrator that does the same thing over and over again, I have no ideas of what the final piece is going to look like when I start.  I have a sense of what I want to accomplish but I let the ebb and flow of the illustration to become what it is rather than forcing it into something that it’s not.  Sometimes it’s successful, other times, it’s okay.  But in the end I really don’t have any themes.  If I illustrate personally, I like to focus on more organic things like Animals and various ornate elements, but if it’s for a client, they get what the client wants which has it’s positive characteristics, as in challenging you.  Each time I touch a illustration I find myself adding more and more complexity to the piece so if there was a theme it would be to search for the perfect illustration.

    Describe one of your strongest childhood memories?
    In 3rd grade I sold porno magazines to friends.  Long story short, when my step brother and I moved into this new trailer outside of Punta Gorda, Florida, we found a shitload of porn magazines.  Hustler, Chic, Penthouse, Playboy and so on.  Probably at least 100+ magazines.  I had no clue what sex was at that age, but enjoyed the jokes and comics in them.  During that same time my step Uncle Pee-Wee would come over on the weekend and drink himself silly and pass out.  When he passed out we use to steal $20-30 bucks out of his wallet and make a 3 mile walk to Circle K (very much like 7-11) to get a Big Gulp, Combos and candy, and my brother would get his lip dip.

    Well, as a 3rd grader, I had this great idea.  Why not make my own money so we don’t always have to steal as well as get more when we got to Circle K.  So, the next day I started selling Porn magazines to friends.  Think I sold around 5-6 of them at $5 a pop before my final sale.  Keep in mind, $5 was a decent amount in the late mid 80’s.  Anyway.  So yeah, when I sold these, I did it like a true hustler.  I had a folder, placed it inside and only gave a preview to prospective clients.  My friend, who was my final sale (for obvious reason) took the sneak peek and started to giggle during our reading time.  The Teacher asked me what I was looking at and I said “Boy’s Life”, but she didn’t buy it.  I was called to her desk to show her exactly what I was looking at.  I remember her opening it up to a page where this guy with a giant cock was holding it and a girl was getting ready to put it in her mouth.  This cock was fucking huge and honestly I never looked at the magazines, I just grabbed them to sell them.  After a 5 minute pause of her just staring at the magazine I simply asked, “should I go to the principles office?”.. She said yes and that was that.

    Tell us about one of your most sketchy/scariest life experiences?
    I have too many.  I grew up in and out of foster care.  With a abusive Step Father, I have had my jaw fracture, head busted open, burned on the arm, first kid in 3rd grade to have a tattoo, massive black eye, and the like.  A lot of shit happen before that, but won’t go into detail.  So pretty much, from age 5 to 20, all was sketchy and scary because nothing was consistent.

    What jobs have you had other than being an artist?
    Of course.  Worked in a factory for a bit, did the retail gig, nothing exciting tho.

    What are some of the projects you are currently working on?
    Wrapping up some illustration work for Toyota and finalized a print for the upcoming film Art of Flight for Travis Rice.  Getting ready to plan for a event in Vegas where I need to live draw there.  Got some stuff for Lucas Films on deck and planning a new illustration for Burlesque of North America.

    Who are some of your clients?
    EA Sports, Nike, Adidas, Hi-Fructose, Lucas Films, Hasbro, Various Snowboard companies, apparel companies, etc.

    Describe a memorable response you have had to your work?
    Some girl wanted to have sex with me because she was a fan.  I had to say no tho.

    What do you dislike about the art world?
    Nothing really.  I have a hard enough time focusing on my own world to hate on others.

    What superpower would you have and why?
    Be able to read peoples minds.  Mostly because it would help me get work done if I knew what exactly they wanted.

    Who are some of your favorite artists/who would you like to be compared to?
    Favorites:  Rick Griffin, Jim Phillips, Greg Irons, Michael Manoogian, Gerard Huerta, David Quay, Giant, Obey, Munk One, 123Klan, Julie West.. So on, so forth…Who would I like to be compared to?  Never thought about it.  Whatever others see me as.  When I talked to Shepard Fairey a year ago he said I was the perfect mix between him, Giant and Maxx242.  I disagreed because they are all far more talented.

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
    Learn to say no and don’t take on everything that comes your way.  That advice was from Mike Cina.  Basically what he was saying is value your time and if a project is not up on budget or looks to be one of those that will cost more time than profit, you should focus on self (i.e. Marketing, personal projects, teaching yourself, etc)

    Professionally, what’s your goal?
    To be better at what I do.  Think that is my only core design/career goal at the moment.

    Where can people find and buy your work?
    Hit up my site: http://www.hydro74.com  you can find links to the fonts and prints I do.  I try to keep it updated .. Kinda.
    Here is the release of the HYDRO74 X NEON FOREST T-SHIRT Limited Edition of ONLY 24 Available

    Special thanks to Josh for taking the time out his busy schedule to do this interview and shirt design with us!


    Here Comes the Sun (by Efini Kan)

    Browns and Nudes (by Efini Kan)

    MICHAEL C. HSIUNG INTERVIEW

    MICHAEL C. HSIUNG INTERVIEW

    ” He told me basically that it had hit something else like a column, and could have easily launched threw my car or could have impaled me.  I should have kept that crowbar, but I just tossed it out when I got home.  Yeah, it was just one of those weird crazy experiences”

    I recently had a chance to throw some questions over to Los Angeles based artist Michael C. Hsiung, for an outcome that was visually detailed, insightful and hilarious. For those of you not familiar, enjoy!

    Michael C Hsiung is characterized by: large mustache (one of the few remaining facially hairy Asians surviving today) with all of the species capable of reaching one ton or more in weight; herbivorous diet; and a thin yellow protective skin, 1.5-5 cm thick, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure; and a relatively small brain for a mammal of his size (400-600g).

    Michael is prized for its mustache, sometimes his art. Not a true mustache, it is made of thickly matted hair that grows from the skull without skeletal support. Michael has acute hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight over any distance. Michael C. Hsiung will probably live to be about 50 years old or more.

    Who are you and what do you do?
    My name is Michael C. Hsiung and I’m a freelance artist.

    Why do you do what you do?
    I do it because it’s really the only job I’ve had that I really love
    to do.  I felt like I’ve spent my life searching around many times
    career-wise, and drawing/art, while it doesn’t bring me riches, is
    what I really love to do.

    What’s your strongest memory of childhood?
    I’ve got a lot of strong memories from childhood, and most of them
    involve “poo.”  When my family would go shopping for clothes and etc.,
    I used to fake stomach aches when I was ready to go home, especially
    when I had already gotten my toy or whatever.  One time we were
    heading to K-mart, and I had some real gnarly stomach pains.  I told
    my mom, who didn’t believe me and was pretty much fed up with my act.
    I went to my dad, who could tell by the beads of sweat on my face that
    I was probably going to crap my pants.  We ran up to an attendant who
    pointed us in the wrong direction … and when we figured out where
    the bathroom really was… Oh yeah, at this point my dad is carrying
    me on his back, and  I almost shat on him. Luckily, he put me down and
    I ran/slid into the Men’s room.  So there I am, shaking, crying, and
    covered in my own diarrhea in a stall standing on top of the toliet
    seat… my dad takes my soiled shorts and starts washing them.  As
    luck would have it, another kid and dad were cruising in, but thank
    god they were deterred by the carnage.  Anyhow, hahah… my mom buys
    me a brand new pair of red sweat pants to wear on my way out.  Of
    course, we still had to pay for them at the cash register, while they
    were announcing a “clean up” in the Men’s room over the intercom.
    That’s one of my strongest childhood memories. Anybody hungry?

    What themes do you pursue in your work?
    My work addresses gender roles/gender assignment given to mermen, the
    fragility of unicorn/panda dynamics, domestic violence between
    centaurs and unitaurs and the underlying threads of violence and
    danger that underpin all other-worldly societies.These themes are
    often combined with humor commonly used by those in dysfunctional
    relationships.

    What’s one of your scariest/sketchiest experiences?
    The scariest / sketchiest experiences in my life probably happened
    when I was something like 18-19?… I was driving home in some heavy
    rain, daydreaming for some reason about what would happen if I was in
    some crazy car accident.  Some moments later, I noticed a car speeding
    towards me from behind, and I immediately sped up so he wouldn’t hit
    my car, but he did.  I remember the impact chucking my glasses
    somewhere and spinning out … all I could hear was the window
    wipers going and the Oldies on the radio.   I remember just sitting
    there thinking “I’m going to die if I don’t do something” and finally
    grabbed the wheel and tried to brake while being pretty much blind and
    in low visibility.  Anyhow, when I stopped, found my glasses and got
    out of the car, I was perfectly parked on the  right side of the
    freeway.  Some other folks had stopped – one guy had actually driven
    threw all of us  as I was spinning in the rain in three lanes of
    traffic.  He said I had spun out and hit about three cars after the
    guy rear ended me.  Anyhow, the car who hit me was in the middle of
    the street with its headlights on, but immobilized. There was a fellow
    getting out who was in shock.  He went to turn off his headlights,
    which we were trying to tell him not to do… and then all of a
    sudden, a pick up truck drives up and basically launches off the guys
    wrecked car and goes flying sideways to a halt.  The guy in shock had
    fallen down, so some of us rushed over to him and others to the guy
    who just flipped his truck.  The dude was alright just totally
    confused and disoriented.  He was kind of trapped, so the other folks
    lowered me down to unbuckle his seat belt.  The cops finally came, but
    not without running into the other cars and making a bigger pile up.
    After examining my car and realizing it could be driven home, the cop
    showed me the crow bar in my trunk that happened to be bent in half.
    He told me basically that it had hit something else like a column and
    could have easily launched threw my car or could have impaled me.  I
    should have kept that crowbar, but I just tossed it out when I got
    home.  Yeah, it was just one of those weird crazy experiences …

    What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
    Well, I’ve had quite a few jobs before becoming a freelance artist. Let’s see, I shoveled horse shit for my neighbor, was the Red Robin restaurant mascot, movie theater everything, university cafeteria, refrigerator stocker, proofreader, telemarketer (4 weeks), preschool assistant, museum guide for children’s museum, Special Ed assistant for middle school, summer school councilor, art PA, Grant writer’s assistant, museum services, typist, Baskin Robbins supervisor, and a background investigator.

    What do you dislike about the art world?
    Nothing much really. I’ve had nothing but good experiences, but I’ve
    definitely heard horror stories.  I think if anything I’d dislike
    about the art world is that it can be intimidating, exclusive, and
    stuffy at times.

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
    Don’t over think things too much and just go for it.

    What research do you do going into a body of work or an exhibition?
    Usually when I’m working on a large body of work, which I had my
    experience with for the first time this year, I generally let myself
    draw freely first.  Then I usually take a step back and evaluate what
    types of themes or ideas I might be working out in my mind.  I
    generally research books and images when I’m drawing in general.  For
    instance, I’ll do some research about viking armour while I’m drawing
    a piece… sometimes it works well with what I’m making and other
    times it doesn’t.  I guess in that sense it’s sort of organic
    something…

    What superpower would you have and why?
    I’d definitely would have to say telekinesis or super luck.  I’m
    moving towards “super luck” as a power, so I could like win the
    lottery and escape death or the police.

    Who are some of your favorite artists or who would you like to be compared to?
    Gosh, I’d definitely don’t compare myself to anyone or artist.  .  .
    simply because that would stress me out and probably make me cry.  Ha-
    ha.  I do have so many favorite artists, old and new, and these are
    just a few contemporary ones I could think of:  Pearl Hsiung, Mike
    Stilkey, Travis Millard, Jay Howell, Mel Kadel, Matt Furie, Pacolli &
    Mildred, Jon McNair, Jason Hernandez, Ben and Andy Kehoe. I also
    really like Durer, Bosch, Edward Gorey, Olaus Magnus, Roman
    sculptures, Frank Frazetta, Tim Hildebrandt, and Greek vase art.

    Professionally, what’s your goal?
    Professionally, my goal is just to keep making art, be involved in the
    art world, and maybe not have to eat top ramen on rent day.

    For more info on Michael C. Hsiung check out his blog & website

    NEON FOREST X MICHAEL C. HSIUNG EXCLUSIVE T-SHIRT RELEASE ONLY 24 PRINTED. SIZES SM-XL CLICK TO BUY!

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