Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Gallery Stroll

Have we got a treat for you. This Friday night is gallery stroll and we will be debuting a show featuring two wonderful local artists, Andrew Sato and Casey Kawaguchi. I didn't know too much about these boys or their work a few weeks ago, but have since been educated on how talented they both are. I asked them a few questions via email about themselves and their work.

Andrew Sato

I asked Andrew to tell us a little bit about himself, his work, his background in art and the pieces that will be shown on Friday. This is what he had to say.


So a little about me, I grew up in St. George, where I was constantly entertaining myself through playing music and making art, since there really wasn't much else to do. I have a lot of artists and musicians in my family, and it was something I was always around, and something I've never stopped doing, since I was a kid coloring with crayons.

Now I work mainly in oils exploring images, landscapes, and memories caught in my subconscious from my childhood. I try and bring together pieces of awareness and unconsciousness together, skipping between past, present and future. I rarely plan out my paintings or know what they are going to become, but rather the images seem to just appear and evolve as I begin working. I would say my style is heavily influenced by Dali and other surrealist painters. I paint to try and capture different realms of reality with a colorful, hallucinatory intensity. My paintings are meant to overwhelm with content, colors, and swirling layers of imagery.

Other than that I currently live in Salt Lake with my girlfriend and our pit bull, Lu.



Casey Kawaguchi

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Casey Kawaguchi. I'm half Japanese and I was born and raised in Utah. I live and work in Salt Lake City. 
I'm all about being creative and making art. I'm all about freestyling and creating in the moment, I love being in that zone. 
I've been drawing ever since I was a little kid and I've done it all my life. Art is kind of like an exterior expression of what's going on in the interior, how I'm feeling and whatever. So if I ever stop making artwork, then something's seriously wrong. haha

I noticed you are are involved in a lot of local companies, tell us about that.

-Yeah, my history with all these companies is kind of a long story. I've worked with my friend and roommate Skyler "Ito" Thomas for a long time now. We started Amicus Clothing back in the day and I did a lot of t-shirt designs and really started getting my art out there in that way. It ended up being a really good way to network and make good relationships with creative people through the projects we did. The end of Amicus led to Skyler working with pro skier Julian Carr for his company Discrete Headwear. Skyler introduced me to Julian and we've worked together ever since, including shirt designs and timelapse video work for his video channel Discrete TV http://vimeo.com/17437545.  I just recently got back from Denver with Discrete where I did a live painting at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the first ever winter show. It was a sold out show with Atmosphere, Common, Grieves and Budo, that Discrete was co-sponsoring.   
  
Tony Vainuku is a local film maker, who is also the owner of the clothing company SoulPro. I worked with Tony on a timelapse video that was premiered at the SoulPro launch party at Club ONE. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQYtaMOhLPk&feature=related
We used to get all of our Amicus business cards and stuff printed by Jordon Madison, owner of Positive SLC. He later became a roommate and a close friend. I still go to Jordon for all of my printing as far as business cards and button making goes. We have a few shirts and collaboration art prints planned for this summer, you'll be able to get them at Blonde Grizzly. 

I also work with local production company Wandering Man Productions and co-owner Charles Ellsworth on video work. This is a video for Positive SLC done by Wandering Man Productions, shot at Blonde Grizzly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYTQOlQqUaU and another video of mine shot by Wandering Man Productions http://vimeo.com/31766692. I also do all of Charles' album artwork.  

A lot of the videos you are in you are using spray paint as a medium, but not all your works look spray. What other mediums do you use and what is you favorite to work with?

-Yeah, I do a lot of work with spray paint. That is without a doubt the funnest form of painting. But a lot of my work I use spray paint to sort of sketch the piece out and then I do detail work with a brush and acrylic. I enjoy that process a lot. But I do use other mediums. I like to experiment and my work is constantly changing because of it. 

What kind of art training/ background do you have?

-I'm self taught. I had bad art teachers all through school, so I didn't pay attention I would just draw what I wanted. When I graduated high school I didn't really believe in trying to go to art school. I thought it would just take away from the originality I had. And if I could learn the technical aspects on my own then my art style wouldn't be "watered down" with art school thinking. So I've always just taught myself and learned from watching people. I grew up drawing comic book characters and superheroes like Spawn and and X-Men. I got into graffiti and lettering in Jr High and that's still a big influence. I started painting in High School and experimenting with different mediums. Since then I've gotten into a bunch of different stuff, like linoleum prints and stencils. But I've really continued with painting and keeping up with my drawing. I draw every day. 

Who are your favorite artists/ where do you look for inspiration?

I get inspired by a lot of different artists and people. Past and present. I dig a lot of the art that comes from the Upper Playground artists in San Francisco. I read Juxtapoz magazine and am constantly inspired by all those artists. But I'm also inspired by a lot of older artists. I'm inspired by Japanese imagery. I'm inspired by a lot of movies and things that I see during my day. I'm also inspired by artists that are super dedicated to their work and really live their lives for it. When I started doing intricate linoleum cuts and stuff I started getting a different perspective on my work. Like the finished art piece that is there for you to look at becomes a representation of something greater, it represents the artist that created it and their passion for their work. It's like capturing all of that, their whole experience creating is captured in that finished piece. I've been inspired by having that perspective when looking at different artists work. It's like looking behind the scenes of the piece at what it took to make it. 

What kind of work are you planning for your show at Blonde Grizzly?

I'll be showing all of my latest work. I focused on new ways of combining spray paint and brush work with acrylic. My subjects vary, from pretty female geisha type characters, to superheroes with cloaks shooting lazers from their face. About half of the pieces were done with a combination of spray paint and acrylic and the other half are straight acrylic. But you'll just have to come see them for yourself! 

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