Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Artist of the Week

"Reluctant Messenger"

Joshua Krause

What's in a name? Well when you are talking about abstract painting, everything can be contained within a name. I am not talking about a painting titled "Blue Sphere" and it is actually a pink square, or the mass of abstract work that goes untitled and spends a lifetime know as "#62". Those works may be breathtaking, but are they as memorable as the piece named ""And on the 7th day, HE curled up in the corner and cried." or "Running Amuck in Accumulated Excusses" or "A Frenzied Approach to Calm"? These are the names of just a few of the abstract pieces by, San Deigo resident, Joshua Krause.

Joshua's pieces tend live in ancient times, with their earth tones and ornate lines and swirls, but he uses his titles to pull these beautiful designs into modern times. On the surface the titles appear to be humorus in nature, but it has long been know that behind every joke there is a small bit of truth. The truth is that Joshua makes amazingly intricate designs, and has recently began to really make it all work. He is currently on participating in the fourth installment of the Scion Installation Art Tour, and he justed opened a solo show at the R3 Gallery in San Deigo called "Fantasic Detachment".

Fortunatly, he was able to take a few moments and answer our questions about his work.
"Phoning-in the inevitable"

Orange Alert (OA:) How would you describe your work?
Joshua Krause (JK):To para-phase my bio:The paintings and sculptures are manifestations of an obsession, humor, and hope in finding my individual path in a world that seems to be on another page. These "new relics" exist as both objects/ideas that take themselves too seriously on one end, and tongue-in-cheek on the other, created in a world that is simultaneously absurd and reasonable. Their meanings and symbols, explained through poetic titling, are to be studied and decoded as an archaeologist or art historian would. They can also be viewed as the inside jokes and observations of a comedian piecing together his act. My work ponders the status of the permanent and impermanent, and the fleeting and flowing nature of life, death, and the eternal.

OA: Who are some of biggest influences artistically?
JK: Lari Pittman, Phil Frost, Max Gimblett, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Kienholtz, Stella Waitzkin, Pablo, Barry McGee, Hiroyuki Hamada, Edo Period Art, Byzantine Art, Aboriginal Art, Folk Art...and my close artist friends like Tim McCormick, Robert Hardgrave, Blaine Fontana, and Jason Sherry always inspire me.

OA: I read that you had created over 200 pieces in 6 months span back in 2005. Are you still that prolific? How has your process changed since then?
JK: I still make a lot of work, but not as much as the new work is much more involved, much larger, and more process oriented, and are generally more from the heart, and somewhat an obsessive labor of love and frustration.

"I guess I’ve felt this way all along"

OA: Do your paintings start as smaller sketches or do you primarily create on canvas?
JK: Sometimes I draw some of the sculptural aspects out, but I enjoy to just go for it and try and rip work is really more dependent on how I feel, what I've been dreaming about, and just the therapy of making the often times things just churn out the way they do. I think if I sketched the work out and just filled in the details, something would be lost: it would lose the spontaneous, frenzied subtlety of letting it unfold naturally. Sometimes it works better than other times, but I've come to accept that is just how I am. I paint over a lot of stuff, and try to stay very unattached in order to just go with the flow. Its all part of dueling success and frustration. I pretty much loathe most of what I make at some point after the fact...its all more like a journal in a life's work.

OA: Do you have a specific color palette that you work from? Do you consciously try to evoke a specific theme or emotion through use color or is that the responsibility of the images?
JK: I just switched my blues from ultramarine to cerulean, and the red from napthol crimson to cadmium, but I basically use a very limited palette. I prefer rusty looking color, and very earthy/organic toned pigments. As I experiment more with oil paint, I'm getting more of the color I like and am eager to go there more. I'm not consciously trying to do anything really, but good technique and good colors at least give me a fighting shot...then I can just somewhat leave things to my instincts and just go for it...I use a lot of other materials in my work like sand and pastes, and really enjoy using bronze paint lately-it probably has to do with my love of Byzantine Iconography and religious art. I've also started using more of an impasto technique and want to keep developing that...

OA: What's next for Joshua Krause?
JK: I just signed-on for representation with a gallery in LA, and we have some exciting plans for the next few years involving the international art fairs and all that jazz, but that will all develop over time. I'm just happy to do my my work and keep surviving. Right now I'm part of an art tour with Scion that will involve some fun travel, and I have a few shows planned for next year. I want to keep growing and experimenting, I'm not too concerned with the future...things will work themselves out if I just keep doing my own thing and follow my instincts.

"Gives good hand"

Bonus Questions:
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
JK: I brew a strong Americano at home in a French Press...

OA: Do you listen to music while you work? Who are some of your favorites while working and in general?
JK: I mainly watch movies or listen to Adam Carolla or baseball talk when I work. My favorite movies help me pace, and I like knowing all the words--it feels like hanging out with friends. But I listen to a lot of metal...I'm looking forward to the new Behemoth release this month, and have been really enjoying Belphegor. Usually the more brutal, mathy and raw the music, the more I enjoy it...I heard some classical music lately that really moved me, but I don't know much about that genre...
For more information on Joshua Krause, please visit his website.

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