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Home FEATURES Tyson Reeder Interview

Tyson Reeder Interview
Written by Ryan Christian   
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 16:24
Tyson Reeder is a Chicago/ Milwaukee based artist that has shown extensively here in Chicago and abroad (Jack Hanley, Kavi Gupta, Actual Size LA, Daniel Reich, etc etc etc). Tyson's activities are seemingly unlimited, from painting, sculpture, and performance to basketball, making music, curating, and so much more. This week Tyson, along with his brother Scott and sister in-law Elysia, unleash the force/farce that is Club Nutz (the worlds smallest comedy club/ disco) this week at the MCA as part of the Here / Not There exhibition. Replete with dancing, jokes, dj's, videos, workshops, robots, performances, magic and boner sound effects. These people make art fun. -Ryan Christian

You are a man of many projects, first off, tell us about the General Store and what kinds of things are happening in Milwaukee?

General Store was a storefront gallery run by myself, my brother Scott and sister-in-law Elysia. We opened it in '05 and we've been doing shows under that name since, although the actual space is no longer. The front was customized to look like a funky paper-mache cave, with rock furniture and stalactites, and the back was a white cube gallery space. The idea was to lure shoppers in off the street, (consisting of mostly Milwaukee crustypunks with modest crust wardrobe budgets) with the more inviting dimly-lit cave, where you could buy cheap non-essentials like hand-made thongs, ceramic snacks or designer doorstops. Eventually you would check out the art in back, although we realized quickly when given the option, people prefer darkness to light. This idea grew later into Dark Fair, the art fair with no lights. It had it's moments! We showed Laura Owens, Pentti Monkonenn, Cory Arcangel, Nick Lowe and had a monthly teen dance party called " Get Wacky " hosted by Milwaukee rapper Juiceboxxx. Then it became an pet store. Now it's a head shop called Dank's Glass.

I've heard lots about these strange performances and versions of art fairs that you and your brother are involved in. I love this idea, art fairs always seem so stuffy and redundant. could you talk about some of them? Why do you guys put these on? Are there any coming up?

Anyone who has spent some time in the art world is aware of it's conservatism and looking for ways to re-imagine the unexamined rituals we find ourselves mindlessly repeating. Art fairs seemed interesting to us because they are relatively young and unformed. And everyone was doing them for a minute in the mid-00's, motivated by some Burning Man-like hunger for interconnectedness, except instead of ravers with mushrooms it was bald germans with Blackberries.

Milwaukee is not on the contemporary art world map, so in '06 we thought it would be kind of absurd/interesting to try to do an art fair here. We teamed up with local curators John Riepenhoff and Nicholas Frank under the name Milwaukee International, and hosted it at an old Polish beer hall with a bowling alley in the basement called the Polish Falcon. It was insane. 30 galleries from all over the world made the trip, including Gavin Brown's Enterprise and White Columns of NYC, Galeria Comercial for Puerto Rico, Willy Wonka Inc. from Norway and Hiromi Yoshii gallery from Tokyo. Chicago's Roots and Culture were selling giant pretzels. Verne and the Originals, a local polka band, provided the ambiance. Matthew Higgs ended up writing about it at length in Artforum, saying it reminded him more of a music festival in 80's Manchester than an art fair.

Since then we have done three more fairs, one in Milwaukee and two versions of our Dark Fair, at the Swiss Institute in NYC in '08 and as part of Art Cologne in '09. Dark Fair is basically an art fair with the lights turned off and the walls painted black. Participating galleries had to use candles or battery-powered devices to light their "booths", which were designed like restaurant booths with tables and benches. It attracted some great gallerists, including Marianne Boesky, Maureen Paley, and Zach Feuer. In NYC, DJ/artist/club owner Spencer Sweeney sold penis-shaped candles while painting a self-portrait in the dark. There was a pinball arcade from Ara Peterson, a "wordless chorus" conducted with light sticks by Brian Belott and Larissa Valez, and sculptures by Christian Holstad, Mungo Thompson and Justin Sampson. Only one person's hair caught on fire.

This year at Frieze Art Fair in London we tried out our newest art fair intervention, Club Nutz,"the world's smallest comedy club". We were asked to recreate the 10x10' nightclub we run sporadically here in Milwaukee, which features a tiny stage, fake brick wall, DJ booth, bar, bouncer and velvet rope. In London, Spencer Sweeney hosted from the DJ booth, greeting confused art fair crawlers with "welcome to Club Nutz! Tell a joke and get a free beer!" Aspiring Benny Hill-type comedians came out of nowhere to test out their zingers on an art crowd. There was lots of fog, sweat and questionable dance moves.

There's a real joy in throwing yourself into something you don't know how to do. Whether it's "let's do an international art fair!" or "let's open a comedy club!", I'm always happy to step out of the introspection and calculation that goes with painting alone in the studio. It's also nice to see that spirit infect other people. Stand-up comedy is maybe the most direct way to throw oneself into the unknown. People who have never done it before may get huge laughs, although it might be for something other than their jokes. It might be the silence in between jokes or any number of technical failures.


Aside from exhibitions, you do music and video and whatnot as well, right?

Scott and I have hundreds of hours of unreleased and some would argue unlistenable tracks. You might have seen us perform under the names Night School, Sir Willy or Piano Boys. We plan on releasing a boxed set covering 1990 - 2010 around Christmas time. We also have performed several short avant-garde pieces at Daniel Reich Gallery including "Egg Fugue", a rite of spring featuring a hooded 'eggxecutioner' and "Sonata in 2-D" involving a black abstract painting with dancing geometric shapes. Currently we are working on a podcast for Vicious Pop records that will give the world a taste of the new Milwaukee genre people are calling "Comedy Trance". Imagine hours of improvised spoken word with canned laughter over minimal trance beats. Sound good?

Now on to your solo endeavors. Your paintings were really weird to me when I first saw them. They have an outsider, or dare I say high school student feel to them? But at the same time, they felt really fresh to me. What are your thoughts on your execution? How did you arrive where you are now as far that is concerned?

I started out showing in Daniel Reich's tiny efficiency apartment in Chelsea in 2002. It was a moment when a lot of young artists were turning away from slick, monumental-scaled artwork that seemed made for the airplane hanger sized galleries that seemed to be popping up everywhere, towards a self-consciously human scale, hand-made aesthetic. I became interested in a kind of experimental, alchemic approach to materials that were themselves very cheap and familiar. Ballpoint pens, fabric dye, nail polish all had real-life applications and I liked how that fed into or sometimes clashed with the content of whatever I was depicting. There is a freedom to working with mixed-media, as opposed to oil paint on canvas, that maybe parallels some of my curatorial projects. It's about temporarily suspending the burden of art history, with it's myriad ways of contextualizing every type of painting move, to let accident and invention come into the process. My patterns and marks eventually became useful in quickly defining some sort of emotionally heightened, frenzied depiction of Milwaukee, maybe like how the Impressionists dab replaced naturalism as a more immediate way to get at some sort of truth about Arles or wherever.

It's evident that you don't just use a brush, what other kinds of tools are you drawn to? What is your studio/studio practice like?

I love brushes, but I am also drawn to anything that makes an unusual mysterious mark and gets me out of the preciousness that comes with handling a horse-haired stick for too long. I use my hands a lot, my YMCA card, bleach pens, manicure rhinestones, plastic knives and forks, stencils, flannel and corduroy. I did an entire drawing with my nose once.

How do you generate your ideas for content? They appear simple and very straightforward, is it that easy? Or is there much more than meets the eye? The last time I experienced "art envy" is when i saw your series of creepy crusty sweater paintings.

I make hundreds of abstract compositions on index cards that help me arrive at weird effects quickly. Sometimes the cards have words on the back like " raccoon " or instructions like " add blue and white dots " that I have to integrate into the abstractions whether I like it or not. This helps me get away from pointless hesitation and bad ideas that I think are genius.

It's the future, and you are a prestigious art critic. How would define the "movement" or era that is happening right now?

Post-Good

Invent something now, what is it?

A 12" black licorice record that you can eat.

Anything exciting coming up for you in the near future?

This Summer, Club Nutz at the MCA. Come tell a joke! Running right now.
mcachicago.org/exhibitions/exh_detail.php?id=251

Do you have any advice for young aspiring artists??

Blog less. Paint outside. Try food sculpture.



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GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

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Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


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With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


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Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

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Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

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The Albatross and the Shipping Container

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Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

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"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

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Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

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"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

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"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

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contact FF

"Arrangement" by Michelle Fleck
Friday, 18 April 2014 10:23

This morning we take a closer look at this beautiful painting by San Francisco based Michelle Fleck now showing at FFDG.

Arrangement measures 24"x30", acrylic and aerosol on panel - inquires: info(at)ffdg.net

Michelle Fleck is a painter living in San Francisco. Her work focuses on the relationship between man and the landscape, and the marks we leave on it. Influenced by everyday life in the city, her paintings serve as snapshots of an ongoing intersection of the natural and man-made world. She strives to make work that has a sense of relevancy in a culture driven by a need for change and newness.

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:39


Nychos Friday @Fifty24SF
Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:46

SAN FRANCISCO --- You've seen the murals pop up around town the last week from this Austrian street artist as he prepares for his solo show at Fifty24SF opening this Friday, 4/18.

GET THE SHOW DETAILS --- a bunch of NYCHOS

 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

Banksy's Mobile Lovers
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:47

Speaking of Banksy (wait, were we speaking of Banksy?)... In any case, love his newest creation "Mobile Lovers" located in Bristol, England.

I love you, dear.... Huh? Wut?

 

Jeremy Fish Opening a Solo Show in August at FFDG
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Met up with Jeremy Fish last night to catch up and discuss his upcoming solo show opening this August at San Francisco's FFDG. Don't want to give too much away, but the guy is very busy these days. You know the giant pink bronze statue will be built and installed at the corner of Haight and Laguna welcoming those to the Haight (check) in 2015? Going to be incredible.

Check photos from his last San Francisco solo show in 2012, and mark your calendar for August as his next solo show opens at FFDG.

Beering with Fish at his favorite watering hole, Zeitgeist

 

Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community
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Art or Vandalism? See the World’s First Graffiti Drone
Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:30

I attached a cradle with a spray paint can and other hardware to the drone. I created a series of paintings that are larger, about maybe 3 feet by 3 feet all the way up to 25 feet by 15 feet … And basically, I achieved the perfect air pressure, the perfect weight of the paint and the perfect materials so that the drone didn’t freak out when I attached these mechanisms to it, Katsu said. --continue reading

Think how high those throw ups can be now.

 

OB Shirt by Tucker Nichols
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Tucker Nichols emailed over this new OB shirt he did for our friends at Park Life which can purchased here for $28.

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Open House Sunday - Headland Center for the Arts
Friday, 11 April 2014 16:12

Have you been to the Headland Center for the Arts in the Marin Headlands?

Located in the beautiful ocean-side Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Headlands artists programs support artists of all disciplines—from visual artists to performers, musicians, writers, and videographers—and provide opportunities for independent and collaborative creative work.

This Sunday's Open House runs 12-5pm - FREE & DETAILS

 

Is It Curtains For San Francisco's Art Scene?
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 09:35

We all know that San Francisco is going through aches and (growing?)/ shrinking artist pains these days as San Francisco property values sky rocket due to the tech infestation going on around the entire Bay Area. Maybe you work in tech and love it, but since this is an art website, we're interested to how this is affecting artists trying to make ends meet.

Some galleries have been forced to close due to 300% rent hikes. Many artists have fled to Oakland, LA and NYC in search of affordable housing and a more vibrant art scene... But we wanna know what you think of how it's going here in San Francisco. How are you making it work? What's your take on the art scene or lack there of? Do you think things are on the up and up or down and out here in San Francisco? Are artists a bunch of complainers and every thing looks great or is it curtains for San Francisco's artistic community? Thoughts

The Rena Bransten Gallery is packing up their 77 Geary space to make way for tech company MuleSoft

 

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:50


+SF

+NYC

+LA

FULL CALENDARS: BAY AREA | NYC | LA

 


 

 

 

Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.


Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.


John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.


FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners


Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.


John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.


High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels


"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.


Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


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