Jesse Pollock brings FF another great interview from this Oakland based artist. She's holding a benefit show @Space Gallery this Friday, Oct 13th to help pay for some medical bills that she needs to pay... Go to that show, buy some work, and then quickly make your way over to Fecal Face's Outer Mission Art Walk/ Drink Link that's going down the same night!
M: I make stuff. I do it in Oakland.
M: Born, raised, and still rising. I was actually born in Redwood City though; a town half way between SF and San Jose. Only kids from around here have ever heard of it. Right now West Oakland is where I call home. Our house is on the very last street in Oakland before it hits the water. This part of Oakland is called the 'Lower Bottoms'.
M: Golden Lotus (on Franlkin) is where I blow the money that I don't have when I can. I eat meat now but it's still the best, vegan or not. The coffee will kick your ass. The cheaper, healthier version would be Great Wall (on College), but because I don't live near it anymore I hardly ever go there.
M: I think it's great and I think parts suck. I feel lucky to be part of the Bay Area art scene because people really try and support each other here. If you have a project you want to make, I've found that people will support you however they can whether it's hooking you up with materials, helping lug all your crap somewhere so you can hang some ridiculously massive installation, or just drinking a beer with you. Within the last few years people have finally, collectively, been getting off their asses and making creative spaces out of what used to be just talk a few years ago. Good things are happening here. The growing gallery presence weighs differently in Oakland than it does in the City though. The gallery scene is still a developing force here that, for good or bad, is still finding its place. Artists move into poorer areas because they cannot afford to live (or open galleries) in other places, just like everyone else who make homes there. No one wants to disrupt the flow of a neighborhood or upset the folks who have been living there for forty years. With these spaces bringing in visitors en mass that wouldn't necessarily frequent these parts of Oakland, some people are bound to get pissed. Change and development are inevitable in Oakland, but they don't have to be a negative force. But every situation is different. Some ass bought up a bunch of the lots at the end of our street and has been bulldozing them to build these horrible condos.. that I think is what's at the opposite end of the spectrum. If anything is sucking right now it's that project he's trying to make this whole neighborhood unaffordable for everyone. I moved to West Oakland to get away from everyone but then everyone, just in the last few months, started to move into this area. It's not a bad thing so long as people are respectful. It's nice to have friends closer but it's just all happening very fast. We are all kind of grouped into this one massive entity whether it be punks, hipsters, art kids, scenesters, hippies or whatever, people just need to remember that what effects us one, effects us all. I just want to support my friends, make some stuff, and have my little garden oh, and a dozen or so animals.
M: Tokyo. I really want to go back to Japan. People just aren't assholes like people in the US. They have better seafood, rice balls at the corner stores, care is put into the presentation of everything, and you can drink on the streets. Problem with Japan is that I could never afford to live there. Right now I wouldn't leave Oakland if it where ten feet under water.
M: I liked CCAC... I'm also glad you called it 'CCAC' instead of 'CCA'. So you win. I probably wouldn't be able to be living off of just making art like I do if I hadn't gone to school for it, if only for the resources and contacts I made there. I am not a business minded person what so ever and still am not, but I took a lot out of being in that environment for four and a half years. Things that are helping me now. I do support the idea of kids going to school for art, but I also believe that half of them don't belong there. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I would just like to see more people do something with what they go to school for. I guess that applies to all things your going to invest that amount of time and money into though. I think art school can be a good thing if you take advantage of the resources around you and use the skills you pick up along the way to teach and help out others apply it to your life. .. I can't say if CCAC is good or bad. All I can say is that I liked it when I was there and that it's changing. I majored in illustration and spent most of my time in the print department.
M: I Usually just find something I have lying around that will work for what I want to make and start with that. I'm always picking up stuff, so there really are just piles of semi-organized crap I have amassed. While I was in school I'd always get yelled at for not wanting to draw out rough drafts. After a while I just started drawing the roughs after I did the finished piece.
M: I like to make big things, but because I don't have a car sometimes it's hard. It doesn't stop me though. The things I make just happen as I go. I guess I like to switch it up. I feel like if I had the space to make larger things I would. With installations I'll just bring what I can carry or fit in the car I'm borrowing for the moment, hang things until I run out of room or supplies, and hope I don't have to carry anything home. It's gotten to the point where if I am going to install an installation the people will just tell me to pick a space and go for it. If I had a truck things would probably transpire much quicker but that would be too easy.
M: I've always been really interested in peoples relationships to things (possessions) and each other; where they live, what they surround themselves with, and how what they do in life effects those around them. I am also inspired by the limitless creativity of my friends. Homes and buildings contain all of these things, so I am automatically interested in the history and individuality of them. It's hard to live in Oakland and not get inspired. So corny..
M: Old rock bands, friends playing music, metal ballads, pretty stuff, blues, stuff that don't suck. Do you think music plays an important part in the creation of art? Do you play any music yourself? M: Of course it does. Bands are always practicing in my living room and the only thing I can do is go hide in my room and work on stuff. I don't know how to play anything. I have a horrible memory and have no capacity for learning things like instruments or languages.. I'm not that lucky. I sung in a band once. We played some shows and it was good times. You know, wizard stuff.
M: I used to be more of an all night person before I started sharing a room. Once I had someone to sleep next to, all of a sudden there was a reason to go to bed. I'm kind of working all of the time though. Usually I'll just want to work on whatever work I'm not supposed to be doing. It's been kind of hard to leave my house because I keep myself loaded with projects with too-soon deadlines. I usually leave important things for the very last minute and some how pull it all together. That part usually happens at night or right before I have to go install something.
M: I cut that sign out of a piece I tore off of the abandoned house next door. It's historical so I guess that means the sign is too. Ha ha- no? No. My friend Julia told me about Needles and Pens and that I had to go there. I got to know Breezy and Andrew through a combination of slinking around there, knowing the same people and selling patches. They are good folks and I don't think people appreciate enough all the stuff they do.
M: Last March I got very, very ill and ended up in the hospital three times, the last stay lasting half a month. Because I don't have insurance I ended up with $53,000 in medical bills and no way to pay for them. Luckily, I am a stubborn cheap skate and would rather harass bill people than pay up. After months of phone calls and letters requesting hardship assistance I got the amount owed down to just under $3,000! After the bills stared rolling in a friend of mine suggested I have some kind of art benefit to help pay for them. A show was set up and "POOF!", next month (actually, this Friday. 10/13/06. details). I thought a solo show was a boring idea and it would have been too hard to fill that amount of space, so I decided to make it an group (silent) art auction instead. More people's work, more interesting. Booze, food, music, fun. About forty five friends are donating work for the show, I'll have work to sell, and all proceeds will go to paying off these wretched bills that have been haunting me. The show will be up for a week and the auction will last until the end of the night. There will be surprise band(s), drink specials, food, installations, good kids and possible nudity. The reception is October, Friday the 13th at Space Gallery in San Francisco.
M: I just got a chicken and a rooster a few weeks ago. They are beautiful. I have farm animals now. I also have two rabbits, a guinea pig named 'The Karate Kid' (all adopted off of Craigslist), a large white injured dove, a pigeon missing half a wing named 'Finger', and my other bird 'Mama.' The little black stray cat we started feeding is pretty much ours too. His name is 'Lemons'. We built the coop and hutch out of things I found in the streets around my house, and picked up an aviary and other cages for free off of craigslist. I also have a horribly impressive garden where pretty much all of our produce comes from. We keep all of our animals and shoot arrows in there too. So I guess the answer is that I finally have a yard that's big enough for me to do shit like this. I also got really obsessed with going to the Laney flea market until I ran out of money. For a while I was bringing home a different kind of vintage weapon every Sunday.
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