In support of the Southern/Pacific exhibition at Gallery Homeland, Victor Maldonado interviewed David Corbett and me. It was a really great chat. We discussed some of the correlations between our work, our interests in the grey area between painting and sculpture, and in the grey area between finely-made and crudely-made objects. It’s also really nice to here David explain the meaning behind the title of his sculpture The Dutchman.
It was great fun being in the show with all these folks. Thank you Gallery Homeland, and thank you Victor for a fun interview.
Jeff Jahn was kind enough to send a photo of my artwork installed in the Southern/Pacific exhibition at Lawndale Art Center. I consider myself lucky to have my sculpture and Steel Wire pieces hung next to one of Victor Maldonado’s amazing chroma key green paintings. Many thanks to Paul Middendorf of Gallery Homeland for curating such an outstanding show down in Houston, Texas.
After emailing my friend (and former mentor during my BFA thesis) Victor Maldonado, telling him thanks for being the officiant at my wedding, he responded with this:
It’s such an honor to take part in an even greater event in your life than your thesis defense. Ashley is way better than a BFA - trust me.
I had no idea when I was choosing a mentor at PNCA, I was also choosing a lifelong ally, friend, and comrade who not only believes in my artwork, but is also there to support me during the much more important moments in my life. My degree has little meeting to me, compared to the friends I made at PNCA. I’m lookin’ at you too Chelsea and Twon.
Everyday I’m hustlin’. If I had to sum up the chat Tim Mahan (of Half/Dozen Gallery) and I just had at PNCA, it would be that phrase. Victor Maldonado invited us to talk about the relationship between artist and gallerist, and how an artist gets into the gallery system. I discussed the important role OPENWIDEpdx has played in exposing my work to the Portland art scene, and how my genuine interest in dissecting and documenting the Portland scene has lead to me working with many great and kind artists and gallerists.
So the main point Tim and I both shared, even though it sounds a little cliché, was the importance of researching what you like in your art scene, how your art fits in that space, and not networking with, but instead befriending the people who share your interests. The importance of being genuine, and sharing your insights with other people who have similar interests. One other point was, get a damn website. You don’t exist without one. Oh, and perhaps the most important point we made, be happy with having a day job, because you will always have one.
There was only one student who really took a stand against our ideals, and talked about how she recently had a show in a gallery, and found the presentation and high pricing of artwork in galleries to be a bit oppressive. I understand galleries are not the right venue for all artists, but I can only hope one day she realizes her work is really worth cultural value and monetary value. If you are going to charge something, then charge something that is fair to yourself, and the amount of time you invest in your craft.
So all in all, it went well, and I had the chance to have quick chats with some very promising PNCA students. Artist’s like Israel Lund, Joey Lusterman, Devin Trainer, London Lunoux, and Nell (oh fuck I am forgetting Nell’s last name right now because my brain is dumb), who is currently interning at Half/Dozen, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
Mortal enemies? Or brothers from another mother? Right now, when you visit the Show of the Month section on Openwide, you get a great, unintentional juxtaposition of two Portland artists who love green. On the left is Jeff Jahn, and on the right is Victor Maldonado. Now, let the battle over green begin!
Victor Maldonado wrote a great review on UltraPDX about my show at Half/Dozen. Although Edward Winkleman says you should never respond to critics in any way or fashion, I would like to thank Victor for a thoughtful review that clearly identified strengths and weaknesses within the exhibition. Strong, critical reviews are a rarity in Portland, and I love seeing well written ones, especially about my work. :) With John Motley writing for the Oregonian now, Lisa Radon continuing to rock, and seemingly more reviews on PORT again, maybe Portland art writing is getting a boost. Now, I really hope Sam Korman of Car Hole Gallery (he wrote a review for the Mercury about Natascha Snellman) will start writing regularly around town (hint HINT Sam!)