Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Any moments spent at the beach with my family. I remember my father would wear his baby blue bodybuilding speedo, lather his skin with tanning oil and layout like a starfish for hours on a king sized bed sheet with my mom. My parents’ friends that lived across the street from us were very French. They had hammocks in every corner, we spent a lot of time between houses. I remember all of us piling into their little motor boat in Marina Del Rey and getting stuck at sea because the motor had fallen off. That was a funny day, I don’t remember how we got back, but we managed. My sisters and I had a simple childhood, it was the best. I feel really lucky to have that experience of growing up in such an artistic community, being exposed to so much culture and eccentricity really transpired who I am today. Although it was still a rough neighborhood at the end of the day. I remember I almost got kidnapped my first day of Elementary School, I’ll never forget it. I still have a vivid picture of the man’s face and what he smelled like.
East Los Angeles is amazing. I’ve moved a lot since I moved back to LA five years ago. I found myself back in Venice, but the gentrification made me bitter and restless. I headed north to Topanga Canyon for three years and really loved isolating in the mountain and spending my time off surfing. It was an important period for me to focus on myself and my paintings. It’s definitely my favorite place in LA, but as much as I resonated with Topanga, I wanted to keep moving and try something new, so I moved East. The history of the Eastside is really special having so many secret pockets of architectural homes and buildings that really inspire my work. I love the influence of the Hispanic and Chinese culture. I live at the end of Echo Park, a few blocks from Chinatown, I really enjoy taking afternoon walks and immersing myself in those older surrounding neighborhoods.
It’s different each time. Sometimes I can execute exactly what I visualized in my head, but that's very rare. I usually start off with one idea and paint over it a few times with gesso and end up with something entirely different.
I sketch everyday. It's my warm up before I start painting. I usually take elements from drawings I like and turn them into a painting in some form, but I also paint over pieces all the time. I stop painting when it feels right.
It inevitably evolves over time. Oil paint has been my primary medium since art school. I will always prefer to work in oil paint before anything else. It’s romantic and delicate. I like creating a melodic rhythm between the brush and the canvas, it’s like their dancing with each other.
Agnes Martin, Sophia Vari, and Carl Andre. And my friends, Julian Smith, Robbie Simon and Matthew Correia.
To a degree, yes. I always knew I wanted to be working with my hands. I was always creating something. I was a loner in high school and found solstice in my art classes. That’s when I decided I wanted to pursue as career path of being an artist. I want to make paintings for the rest of my life, it’s the greatest love of my life. I feel very lucky, my parents have always been really supportive of my creative passions.
I’m prepping for a handful of shows next spring in Europe. I’ve been hiding in the studio making new paintings for those, it’s been maddening and fun all at the same time.
I’m represented by Mama Gallery in Los Angeles. You can find and purchase my work through them.
Large scale bronze sculptures and large scale oil paintings. I love working with a large scale, and the idea of bringing my paintings to life in a 3D form makes me very excited. I’d like to have them coexist in the same space, creating a little dialogue between all my work.
It was always my "dream school" growing up, but I also knew I wanted to go to art school. I went through a big hippie phase when I was about 13 and started learning more about the 60’s. I actually remember coming across some photos of Joan Baez playing at Sproul Hall for a Free Speech Movement Rally during the early 60’s and what a special time that was in California history. Berkeley contributed to something larger than itself, it was an epicenter for political events during that time. I loved the idea of being apart of that, all while getting an art education. I liked that the art department was more conceptually based than technical. My professors gave me a lot of freedom to find my voice.
How to be a more patient human. It’s a cultural melting pot and you’re faced with a lot of stereotypes. I learned how to acclimate and find a way to coexist with people I wouldn’t normally surround myself with. I considered going to a proper art university, but I didn’t want to solely subject myself to art students. I would go crazy. You need a healthy balance. I remember studying in the foreign exchange dorm just to digest the sound bites of all the different languages.
The Anthropologie basement in Kroeber, the Environmental Design Library, Thai Temple Brunch on MLK and Cafe Colucci. Nabolom Cafe, but I think it closed a few years ago...
Avoid Sproul at all times and Telebears is corrupt.
Underwater a lot of the time. I spend a lot of time alone. I really enjoy it. Living in Los Angeles you’re forced to drive everywhere. My car is my second home. It’s like my horse, it’s liberating driving around and getting lost in new neighborhoods. I usually have my film camera in shotgun ready to shot whenever I find something that catches my eye.
Sunny side up eggs and a cheap cup of coffee.
He should know.
The sea, the sun, lavender oil.