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Home FEATURES Artist Interviews Rich Jacobs

Rich Jacobs
Tuesday, 13 June 2006 13:42
Yasha interviews this NYC based artist and curator.

For as long as I can remember I have noticed Rich Jacobs showing his work on gallery walls throughout the world. Along the way he began curating shows, like his well received MOVE exhibitions, bringing together a variety of interesting young artists in spaces like Clementine Gallery, New Image Art and Feigen Contemporary. Rich’s work has been featured in magazines, books, and publications as well as seen on skateboards, clothing lines, and other products.

I met Rich Jacobs last year when I approached him to donate artwork to my gallery’s benefit auction. Upon first contact I was a little concerned because he was so delightful and willing to help out – I was more accustomed to putting artists into headlocks until they surrendered their work. Then meeting Rich face to face, I got a glimpse of his humorous, humble and charming personality and I was sold. Rich travels a lot, so we chatted via email recently:

Where did you grow up?

Long Beach, CA, Seattle then Denver, left soon as I could back to LA, now I’m here in NY still trying to grow up.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

Lots of good ones- skateboarding in the 70's in big concrete skateparks with my brother and cousins- I once saw a truck burning on the side of the freeway enroute to Skatopia Skatepark-we drove past and I remember thinking how amazing the skeleton of a Toyota pickup looked- I think I developed a crush on that image-I still remember it perfectly. Flames and the black outline of a truck- it taught me structure somehow....weird but true.

What was the first exhibition you were ever in and how did it come about?
There were a few weird ones in high school and then like ones at the Che Cafe in San Diego, or the one in Pall Jenkins from Blackheart Procession's house- but I think you mean real ones - that would be at Georges in Los Feliz- I curated the first Move show there and didn't really know anything about the word curating except that I could get away with inviting my friends and people who I admired to show their art, and people would let me do it. It was fun -there were 10 folks involved-Rick Forberg (Drive Like Jehu), Andy Ward (Antioch Arrow), Chris Shary (Descendents, all,etc,,,), Melinda Beck (she did the Quicksand cover), Jordin Isip (he did the bad trip 7'), Phil Frost (Sick Of It All and DJ Shadow covers), Thomas Campbell (Ugly Casanova, Modest Mouse, Seedling Guy) Barry McGee (The Thing That Ate Floyd Comp.), Margaret Kilgallen (Tommy Guerrero Cover), and myself (I did the Iceburn Covers, Back off Cupids, 3 Mile Pilot, and some others....) just wanted to give some context-no one was well known then-it doesn't matter but the gallery didn't know who anyone was, but somehow managed to let it happen- Thomas & Ed Templeton were hitting golf balls in the gallery-keep in mind the front was all glass, etc,,,it was pretty radical & what we call fun now days,,,,,,,,,,seriously.

There are a lot of human characters in your work. Who do they represent?
Sometimes they are lurkers on the train, sometimes they are abstracted versions of how I feel, sometimes they are me sometimes they might be you......hope they seem like someone we've all seen before...as well. Sometimes they are mirrors, and then sometimes they are composites or combos of folks I see everyday, or in my mind.

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Images courtesy of 96 Gillespie Gallery

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How do you feel about spending your life as an artist or curator? Do you ever wish you were an astronaut or a rock star?
It's cool - I made a choice- based on mainly gut level reactions to the world at large- I re make that decision every morning when I wake up....now. Space travel could be fake? Rock is definitely almost always fake.....sorry if you rock or space travel…

You’ve curated some wonderful shows over the last couple of years. How did you get into curating?
Thanks- totally on accident it seems- out of a weird interest to see stuff I liked and wasn't seeing where I lived at the times I lived there.

Installation images from Carry On at Feigen Contemporary, curated by Rich Jacobs and Abigail Scholar. images courtesy of Feigen Contemporary, New York

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Last year you put together a show for Clementine Gallery with probably every single street/skate/etc. artist featured. I don’t think there was a portion of wall space that wasn’t covered. Do you think the popularity of street art in galleries and more established venues with continue to grow, or has it reached a plateau?
Hope fully it turns goth, and goes away soon. That would be sick.

Do you ever collect art?

For sure- I have a lot of stuff I feel so lucky to see a lot. It makes me feel grateful, humbled, and when no one is looking I get all shakey......it makes me more emo than I wanna be at times.

Do you worry about selling your work or the artist’s work in the shows you curate?
No-but I don't mind either, for some that is the whole point-to me for my own work- I just feel lucky to have the chance to make it. I hope people buy other peoples stuff because it is so radical, but I understand not being a consumer also.

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Rich Jacobs and Tim Kerr installing their exhibition, A Toast to the People at 96 Gillespie Gallery. photo By Graham Standage

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Do you see the fast pace of New York inspiring or does it ever get daunting?
New York is funny-it smells funny, the weather lets face it sucks (not funny), the only thing you can do is get into whatever it is you do, and try to remember to have a good perspective when you are busting ass to pay your rates.....try to inhale and pretend like you are in California more often- go to the new Trader Joes and pretend you are mellowing out-listen to your favorite record and take your partners hand or arm and go for a long power walk & look at everything- so you can remember that there are a lot of rad people here trying to do their thing too-you won't feel as lonely maybe? I am no expert- I have lived here six years now-but it feels like six months sorta in a way.

You recently returned from a trip to the West Coast, Spain and Japan. What were you doing out there?

Goofing around -trying to put my stuff up on walls for others to see, eating the food and trying sleep (yeah right?) where as space travel might be fake -long plane rides aren't -even though I wish they were at times.

What’s up with the ‘limited edition’ craze in Japan?
It is everywhere-I blame it on people thinking they have an edge on the other guy-it has to with staleness, over consuming, and cool guy stuff probably....make your own stuff-like the pioneers-but make it so no one thinks it is awesome and has to have one too ? I don't know,,,,,is it for the kids maybe, or adults who act like kids rather?

What’s your favorite place to travel to?
My friend Kate’s house probably. Or somewhere I haven't yet been to.....but in all honesty somewhere with ocean access and nice weather. With spicy oriented foods, lots of fruit juice, and a comfortable place to lay down every once in awhile.

Have you gone to the Whitney Biennial yet?

I have- liked it more when it was called relevant (ouch!) I felt like I was trapped in an 80's stuffy mind melt-with art that made me feel nothing. it hurt my feelings I think- I just remember feeling like I paid too much after wards-50 cents was the price, I thought I would rather have bought a really cheap cookie-or that cookies still costed 50 cents or something....I wasn't satisfied at all truthfully. I made no connection to anything there, and got semi-offended with some of the work and or choices made. That is giving more than it is worth in words. I resent the art world at moments like that still some. Is there an art world? That would be lame kinda.....

You used to be relatively computer illiterate, rarely using email. However, recently you surfaced on such unlikely places such as Myspace. How has joining the information age changed things?
It makes me feel weird in other ways-that's all-it is ok. I still do a lot by hand- it can get info there quicker- I suppose- I am still collecting dust -don't worry.

As an artist and as a curator one has a different relationship with the actual artwork. What role are you enjoying more these days?
I like both- but I am kinda in an art-making mode lately though.

Do you get more anxious at an opening for your work or for a show that you curated?
Just about the same-tired, sweaty, exhausted, it is all a blur-time goes so quick by the opening for some reason- I will remember stuff a week later-that kind of thing....

You live with the artist Eric White. Though your styles are pretty different do you influence each other or are you over it?
Eric is a great guy-our influence on one another is pretty abstract- we talk about art-but mostly we kinda get each other amped on just doing more or trying harder to not be as shy as we are about things mostly-is that too personal? He used to paint here and it was fun to watch a really gifted person do their thing-but our styles are pretty individual and kinda on their own I would say honestly. He works in oils, and is incredibly skilled- I am a mark maker, and scribbler-and just work in a more spontaneous manner- I am really a drawer with paint sorta- he is "a painter" in every sense. He is great-just look at his work-you don't have to be an art geek to know it either....I like rawness, mistakes, accidents, human hand prints, sweat stains etc......that is just how I grew up in this world sorta- I am not over- if talent could rub off- I'll take some -but.....I am glad I have my own thing as well-that's what makes me-me. I am cool with that luckily. Good thing I am not a jealous person huh?

Any other influences?
So many- are you ready- life-love-light-look at everything closely. I am in a new relationship right now that seriously makes me so incredibly stoked-I didn't know I could even feel this happy till now- I am lucky- I know this. I am reminded constantly of this fact-and know now even more. I have great friends- that I love very much - they help me stay into things - too many to name- I am fortunate- I get to see amazing stuff a lot-and hear new things always, I have a really simple and beautiful life. It is not perfect-but it feels real and mine. I love life and like trying to get the most out of it. It is a rare gift-I try not to take it for granted. Laziness influences me too.

When you are not thinking about art, what is on your mind?
The regular stuff-food, music, books, walks, intimacy, social welfare, war, crime, world events, interactions amongst people- people fascinate me to no end. I think about what makes us all tick sometimes. I also like to use my mind to get abstract and imagine things a lot-I say what if, a lot in my mind....Italian ices, the elusive burrito specimen not found yet here in the NY.

What’s next?
Everything else after now.......shows, self expressions of all
kinds-books, records, murals, zines, sculpture, photography, continued learning and studying, hopefully growth and warmth. more smiles.......please! Thanks for thinking of me for your interview- I appreciate the chance to speak about this stuff with you, thanks to anyone who will spend their time to read this as well. be twice as nice-then things will get better sooner. love rich

Thanks to Feigen Contemporary and 96 Gillespie for sending over some images! {moscomment}

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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.


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"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".





contact FF

Alex Ziv in Berkeley Saturday
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:31

Alex Ziv who we showed last year in Going Nowhere with Mario Ayala opens a solo show featuring new works at The League in Berkeley this Saturday 4/26. ~see some of Ziv's new works

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:39


Check please with Ryan Travis Christian
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 09:23

CHICAGO --- Ryan Travis Christian opens his second solo show Check please with Western Exhibitions this Friday, April 25th featuring graphite on paper drawings of his signature cartoon-style alongside a second suite of works on paper and sculptures that employ color. ~show details

Photos from his 2011 show at Guererro Gallery - Photos from his 2012 Halsey McKay show in New York - he curated this show for FFDG in '11

Ryan Travis Christian April 25th at Western Editions, Chicago

 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

Ryan De La Hoz at Seattle's Flatcolor
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:52

SEATTLE --- San Francisco based Ryan De La Hoz opens a show of new works at Flat Color on May 1st. We love Ryan's work and have shown it many times throughout the years. Ryan will be also showing at LA - Juxtapoz Psychedelic Show, The Well, LA, CA April 26th 2014 - SF - Paper Cuts, Spoke Art, SF, CA May 3rd 2014

Working in unconventional mediums such as woven blankets, puzzles, and faux marble, De La Hoz has pioneered an innovative style in a class of its own. Collages of white noise, flowers and tie-dye are all hand cut and assembled to create mystic portals of intrigue. Heavily influenced by themes of death and rebirth, past and present, and the collision of modern culture with antiquity; Form and Void is mysterious look into the odyssey of creation, destruction, and an examination of society at large. -show details

 

SSSSHHH, It's the Quiet Life
Monday, 21 April 2014 12:03

Hats, all over prints, 5 panel hats... it's all a bit obvious, but it's also how we dress and the QUIET LIFE'S PALM SPRINGS COLLECTION is looking breezy for the summer with no socks in the desert dust. ~take a tour

 

"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.

 

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

 

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
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:33

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
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:20

Sculpture of Jesus as homeless and sleeping on a park bench is "freaking out" the neighbors of this wealthy NC suburb. The sculptor, who has an affinity for street art, created it to remind us that "We believe that that's the kind of life Jesus had," Buck says. "He was, in essence, a homeless person." ~READ ON

 

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:50


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ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.


AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


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".


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