Posts about 'let’s chat!'

suzanne shade of the beholder: let’s chat!


i embrace living in the computer age, especially when it comes to collecting art. never before have we been able to see and enjoy the multitudes of choices available at our fingertips. the trick, however, is to be able to steer through all the options and find what we are looking for. when i think of affordable contemporary art, the beholder, directed and curated by suzanne shade, is at the top of my mind. it’s a very well-edited online gallery that literally has hundreds of works to view. upon arrival it’s clear that suzanne has already done the hard work for us, putting lots of high quality, like-minded paintings, drawings and photography in one place, with thoughtful navigation and search tools for our browsing pleasure. really the main difficulty here is deciding which pieces not to purchase. let’s have a chat with suzanne and find out more!


donkey and squirrel by catherine ledner

q: where do you live and where do you create/manage the beholder?
a: i live in the castro district of san francisco with my husband, rob. anh-minh le did an apartment therapy house visit that i think is still online, so you can take a peek there if you want. the unglamorous part is that the beholder happens here, so if you’re picturing me writing this in my pajamas, you’ve got the right idea. i’m a freelance graphic designer as well, and when i go to work for advertising agencies, sometimes it happens there, too.


reception and like satellites by ian dingman

q: how did the gallery come into being?
a: i have always wanted to do something outside of what i was trained to do, and have been really interested in having a business related to fine art. about three years ago i was trying to find art to buy for my home and found that it was difficult to know what work was available even in san francisco. so that’s when i thought of doing something like the beholder, because i knew that there had to be many more people like me who felt the same way i did.

i launched it in december of 2005 with about 15 people: mostly my friends and a few brave artists who believed in what i was doing.


pivot joint by matthew curry

q: what is your criteria for including pieces on your site? are you currently accepting submissions?
a: the work needs to be strong, and i generally need to feel like i respond to most of what an artists does, not just a few pieces. just as important is their overall professionalism… do they understand what it is the site is meant to do, do they communicate well, are they organized? our process is much more DIY than many gallery relationships, so they really need to be on top of things.



christmas rose, larkspur and chamomile by lisa solomon

this year i started my marketplace, which gives artists their own space on the site to sell work directly to collectors. once they get accepted, they can manage and sell as much as they want without me taking a commission. i get a yearly fee for this, and most of the time the artist makes that money back on just one sale. to make a long story short, this allows me to accept and encourage many more artists to be on the site… so i’m always on the lookout for great new talent. one lead i got was from one of my customers. She found michelle armas, who has amazing work (claud, pictured below).


q: what can you tell us about some of the valuable features of your site, namely the seven day trial period for “testing” art in your home and your commissions, which are lower than traditional galleries?
a: the trial was set up because i wanted people to feel like they weren’t locked into a piece just by seeing a photo of it. art is such a big decision, and i wanted folks to really love what they had picked out. strangely, only about four people have returned work in the three years i’ve been doing it. people worry that the artist will feel bad, but mostly they understand.

my commission used to be 20% when i first started, and i’m still committed to keeping it low. i knew that once it goes above 40% artists need to adjust pricing up to get a decent amount from the sale. my costs are lower, but i’m finding out that the costs of events, advertising, and new web development are pretty substantial. so it’s something i struggle with. the marketplace makes that easier because once the artist pays their fee, i don’t have to take a portion each time.


untitled by mike monteiro

q: what are the benefits of purchasing art online, versus in a brick and mortar gallery?
a: it’s the access. to be able to see up to 500 pieces at a time, it gives people a really good overview of what type of work is being created. it frees people to choose what they like on their own without being sold to or told what is good. i trust that most people who come to the site already respond to this aesthetic and know what they like. the other benefit is the freedom it gives artists to choose alternative ways of reaching customers and building their own collector base.


blue swing and yellow kiss by katja ollendorf

q: what do you think is the biggest challenge in running an online art gallery? what is the biggest reward?
a: the biggest challenge for me is that people have a tendency not to view me as a “real” gallery. i’ve actually had artists say that to me in reference to their future… like, “when i get into a real gallery.” that’s kind of a buzz kill, because it reminds me about how important building status and image is to the art world, something that made we want to start this in the first place.

the biggest reward is the amount of people who write and tell me they love what i’m doing. i save my customer’s emails in one folder, and when things get tough, i flip through them for inspiration. they regularly say things like “this is my first piece of real art and i’m so excited to have found you.”


lebenssprung by fabian geyrhalter

q: what do you think we can look forward to in the future vis-à-vis the online art world?
a: that’s a good question. right now prints are the hot new thing, and people are gobbling that up and making a good business of it. since my mission is to encourage people to buy originals, i hope to see artists continue to build their own audience using the web. you see a number of people like lisa congdon and jennifer sanchez (below) making it pretty big without the help of galleries. they have total control and freedom to make their own choices, and it seems to be working really well.


i’d like to see art make as much progress on the web as music has… although the structure of the business is different, you’re still able to see the control shift from the few to the many.


some of us are able to go and see suzanne’s picks in person, because she is currently curating the california dreaming show at rare device in san francisco. the show features seven fabulous artists, including martha rich, suzanne husky and naoki mitsuse (below). california dreaming closes on april 27th, 2008, but the beholder is open all the time.



thank you suzanne!


daniel edlen vinyl art: let’s chat!


poring over liner notes, admiring cover art, studying lyrics and playing albums over and over again in my room was a beloved activity for me as a child and a teenager. it continues to be an intensely personal and highly satisfying activity. it’s a place to escape, a place to relax; an inspiring, creative, dynamic place that can unlock favorite memories, and be interpreted in myriad ways. this is why i love the work that daniel edlen creates, using white acrylic paint on vinyl. there is soul in these earnest portraits that honor the musicians we all know and love, and i think the technical skill here is as sharp as a needle on a turntable. let’s have a chat with daniel and find out more!


q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i live in gilbert, az and i create my art in one of our house’s bedrooms.


q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i wouldn’t call it formally, but i did take art classes at a private art school from the time i was six to the time i was 27. my background, if you mean academic, was regular old school and then computer science at ucla.


q: how did you ultimately come to work with vinyl and how do you choose your subjects?
a: it wasn’t really ultimately. i came up with the idea as a teenager following my acquiring a mess of records and doing a high school art project i made up involving white pencil on black paper. then a couple years ago, friends said i should try selling them and people wanted them for christmas, so i started doing commissions. i paint whomever people commission me to do, and ones i like and think might be popular, and ones for whom i find records that i know would be popular.

q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: they sell for $175 plus shipping, framed. unframed, they’re $100 plus shipping. i add $10 for each additional portrait beyond just one and i’ve done up to 4 (pink floyd, kiss).


q: do you think your love of music is stronger than your love of art, or vice versa?
a: honestly, i don’t really distinguish between them that way. it’s more my passion for creativity that drives me.


q: do you have a favorite piece that you’ve made?
a: the marley that i did the video of (below) was for roger steffens that i wrote about in my blog. that would probably be my favorite piece because of the experience of connecting with such a wonderful and passionate person.

q: who would win in a fight — led zeppelin or u2?
a: bonzo’s dead, and he’d be the only one i ever could see fighting, so i think they’d reach peace before even starting.


q: where can we go to see your collection in person? are you currently exhibiting in any shows, and is there anything else meaningful you would like to include here?
a: i’ve got pieces for sale on consignment at rockzone records in chandler, az, red dog gallery in phoenix, az, raw style in brentwood, ca, primitive kool in san diego, ca, and wild about music in austin, tx.

i just had a piece in the 12 inch art show in winnipeg, and I’ll be in that one again when it comes around next year. i’m also in the part art show at the agni gallery in new york now through april 15th, 2008.

i’ve really put a lot of myself into my blog since i started it, so i hope people will take the time to read it from the beginning. i have a link to that first post in the “who, me?” section. all that i would consider meaningful is there.

daniel is currently accepting commission work. check him out on flickr, see his website for more and make sure to stop by his blog to say hi!


thank you daniel!

anna higgie illustration: let’s chat!



i am straight up crazy about these illustrations from anna higgie. when i browse through her portfolio i feel like there’s something for everyone here: contemporary and vintage influences, notable technical skills and just the right combination of sensuality and emotion that make me want to scan the whole piece of paper with terminator-like precision, just to make sure i don’t miss any detail. there is grace, youth and style, bold graphic abstraction and honest curves on edges of eyes, shoulders and faces that celebrate the human form. let’s have a chat with anna and find out more!


q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i was born in australia, but currently i live in bristol, in the south west of england. at the moment I make my work at home. i draw on a small scale (A4 and A3), so using my house as a studio is not a problem. i am thinking of renting a bigger space soon though, so i can make bigger things and make more mess.


q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i grew up travelling around with my family. my father was a diplomat so we we would go back and forth between australia and europe. most of my memories from childhood are from living in vienna, where we spent four years. when i finished school i decided to go to study art at the national art school in sydney, australia. i spent three and a half years there studying painting, drawing and art history, and then moved to london with my family and studied design there for about a year.


q: can you tell us a little about the techniques you use?
a: i work from photos a lot. i had some incredible drawing teachers at art school that really tightened up my technique. of course it was all life drawing at school, no photos. four hours a week every week for three years. i learnt that drawing is more a state of mind than a technique though. it is about seeing more than anything else, and about being highly critical and objective.

at the moment i love to use a pacer, which is one of those pencils that you click lead through. i haven’t used a pencil sharpener for years. i also love pantone ink pens, and i have to have nice paper, with a good thickness, and not too white.


q: do you think your work has transformed since you started making art?
a: i still have my sketchbooks from when i first started really getting into drawing when i was about thirteen years old. i hope there has been a lot of development since then, but i know that fundamentally a few things have never really changed. i have always had a preoccupation with feminine beauty, and in a certain type of clean technique and use of materials. i think i have gained confidence and learnt a few tricks since then though.


q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: i sell drawings for 200 – 300 pounds and giclee prints for 60 – 80 pounds. i do commissions at varying rates. it depends how much the project interests me.


q: what is the inspiration behind your collection?
a: my inspiration is the possibility that i might one day make something truly beautiful.


q: do you have a favorite piece you have created or a favorite theme to work with?
a: my favourite theme: poetic beauty vs. hard edge graphics. here are two of my faves…



q: i find many of the images in your portfolio provocative, and even when your subjects are at rest there is still a very powerful feeling that comes through – something dynamic and alive. is there a specific message you are trying to send through these pieces?
a: i am not trying to send a message at all. i choose my subjects because of something intangible that speaks to me in a face or a gesture. i suppose it could be called beauty, but i think it is a melancholic sort of beauty.


q: where can we go to see your collection in person, and is there anything else meaningful you would like to include here?
a: i am trying to find the perfect time and place for a show right now. if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, i would love to hear them.


select pieces of anna’s work are available for purchase at nucleus. see anna’s website to view her complete collection, purchase other original works and contact her.


thank you anna!

elizabeth perkins glass art & sculpture – let’s chat!



beloved readers, let’s all take a deep breath and dive into the amazing art, sculpture and installation work that virginia artist elizabeth wade perkins creates. it is simply mesmerizing and after a good long stare, i am swept away by the richness of even a single vessel, so fluid and steeped in her personal history it all is. elizabeth uses a variety of techniques, including casting, blowing and pâte de verre, which is the centuries-old type of casting she does to create her beautifully detailed lace pieces. to me, her noteworthy technical skills aren’t the only secret of her success here; there is also the skillful underworking (or should i say perfect-seeming working?) of an amalgamation of ideas — the concepts of time, place and memory. in these works you will find a consistent complexity that is whole and complete, and collections that are wry, nostalgic and absolutely current. let’s have a chat with elizabeth and find out more!



q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i live on a farm named red bud in bumpass, virginia. it has been in my family for seven generations and its older name was seclusion farm. it is located in bumpass by neighboring areas called three square, tip top, cuckoo, and holly grove. bumpass is between richmond and charlottesville in louisa county. i make my work in my grandfathers old fix it shop. it’s a wood frame building covered in metal. it’s heated by a wood stove that my grandfather fabricated out of a number of wheel rims (from an old pick-up). he mended and made things in there to keep the farm running; everything from tractors to electrical. he invented this really cool system to keep his pigs hydrated. my favorite thing he invented in the shop was a light that was over the fridge to indicate that the toilet was running. he had hearing aids, so he couldn’t hear it. however his chair in the den was situated so that he could not only see out the “picture window” or look at television, but he could see the light over the fridge which indicated the toilet was running. when the light would turn on, he would go in the bathroom and jiggle the handle. god only knows why he didn’t just fix the toilet, maybe because it only ran sometimes or maybe because he used what he had at the time to fix the problem.

i think the whole thing is just awesome and ingenious. i’d like to think i got my creative mind and hands from him.



q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i grew up in southern rural america. my undergraduate degree is in sculpture from the atlanta college of art, and my graduate degree is in craft material studies from virginia commonwealth university. my favorite place to learn is at the penland school of crafts. though i am formally trained as an artist, i have learned a lot from my personal experiments and am more frequently informed by my subjects rather than my “education”. i seemed to get in trouble from time to time in school; like the time i showed up with a huge bale of hay as a component of one of my works. let’s just say… when you see those things on the side of the road out in the field they seem kind of small, but they are not. they are massive and beautiful. sometimes it takes bringing the outside inside and the inside outside for us to really have an understanding of what we are looking at. if you see the forms in resuscitation (photos below) they are taken from that bale of hay. everyone on my graduate committee at the time told me that piece was technically impossible to build in porcelain and impossible to slump over in glass. i like making the “impossible” possible. they don’t teach you how to do that in school. i think those kinds of quests are personal and are brought about by our experiences, desires and willingness to fail.



q: (without giving away any secrets of course!) can you tell us a little about the techniques you use?
a: there aren’t really any secrets to it. mostly it’s paying attention to what you’re doing, learning from what you do, seeing the potential and identifying the control in your artistic experimentation and investigations, working hard and being patient. i use many processes. i blow glass free hand, i also blow glass into both cold and hot blow molds. whatever is appropriate for the form and will make its potency more… stinky and real, honest perhaps.

i also kiln cast and use the pâte de verre method of casting. i use techniques that are appropriate to my forms and the ideas i want them to convey e.g., fragility, texture etc. most works contain glass.



q: how do you think your work has transformed since you started making art?
a: in one of my artist statements i say, i am still the naive child searching around the house for hidden treasures in the old furniture and cupboards. i have the same nosiness and fearlessness as i did as a child. (inquisitiveness, perhaps.) as i’ve grown i have discovered the complexities of these nooks and crannies and have built a larger visual vocabulary by being inquisitive. i have practiced a lot. i have been seduced by my material and its traditions but i walk and practice outside those traditions and former histories. i think there are so many new forms to be made in glass.



q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: $50.00-$20,000.00


q: what is your inspiration for these works? do you have a message you want to send through these pieces?
a: i am interested in values and traditions; how they evolve and linger through the ways we experience life, art, and craft. i am interested in what remains inside and outside of these notions; works that give the viewer something to hold onto and in some cases to let go of. in other words, what we give birth to, what we pass on, and what we take with us when we pass away. i feel my most successful pieces deal with these complexities simultaneously.


q: where can we go to see your collection in person? is there anything else meaningful you would like to include?
a: i will have a trio of medium glass lace pieces in the urbanglass gala and auction in new york on april 4th, 2008. i am currently seeking gallery representation. i have a website with many of my works. my email is included on the site, and if you are interested in buying my work you may contact me through my website.


thank you elizabeth! and special thanks to burt for putting us together (and taking these last two photos)!

better living through design: let’s chat!


if you love contemporary design as much as i do, you’ve got a list of places you visit regularly. perhaps you’re familiar with the finds that katie hagar and kris bernard show us on their fabulous website, better living through design. katie, a former product and interior designer (and current editor of the site), and kris, a kitchen and bath design instructor and information technology expert, tirelessly hunt for the most clever, functional and well made products and accessories for our homes. the spare design of their website is a blank canvas for the great breadth of selection featured; it consists of four sections including products, remodeling, books and travel. i appreciate the fact that their personal love affair with design and style grew into a tremendous one-stop resource that we all benefit from. let’s have a chat with katie and kris and find out more!


q: where do you live and where do you work?
a: katie: i live in houston, tx, and i work in my home office/studio.

kris: i live in los angeles, ca (silver lake) and I work in downtown la.


q: how did you meet, and how did bltd come into being?
a: katie: we met in dallas at some art show. i guess we had mutual friends, but it wasn’t until we started talking about architecture did we realize how we both liked the same sort of stuff – that turned into exchanging ideas about floor plans and home design and then kris actually came up with the idea of bltd – she thought it would be a good idea to create a site where we could keep track of all the great products available on the internet.

kris: ditto what katie said, but she left out that we were actually pen pals for a while, which is how we exchanged ideas about our floor plans. i thought that was important to add because it shows how truly nerdy we are about design. as far as how bltd started, i had actually purchased the domain about a year before we started the site. i really liked the feeling that the domain evoked, but i wasn’t sure what i was going to use it for. then somehow the idea struck me to start a website and i asked katie to join me. the funny thing is that we had only really talked in person that one time when i asked her to do it, but now three years and 2500 posts later i probably talk to her everyday.


q: what is your criteria for including pieces on your site?
a: katie: i think it’s fairly intuitive. most of the time the item has to stand out in some way – good design that meets at least one of the following criteria: affordable, useful, or spectacular.

kris: also, it needs to be available for sale online. very rarely do we post anything that’s not available online. we really wanted the site to be a comprehensive resource for anyone who’s looking for the perfect table or wallpaper, etc, so we try to include important design pieces as well as lesser known items that may meet a need for a space.


q: do you have a favorite category? if you do, why is it your favorite?
a: katie: i love home furnishings in general, but i’m quite fond of miscellaneous accessories – i guess because they’re more affordable (usually) and an easy way to make a small change in your surroundings.

kris: my favorite is our new “remodel” section which we launched a few months ago. it’s for people who are looking to make a major change in their space, such as surface treatments like changing flooring or wallpaper, or for remodeling their kitchen or bath. i used to teach kitchen and bath design at the college level, so i’m pretty excited we added that category. i really get giddy over fixtures.


q: can you name a few current design trends that you love?
a: katie: i like the new crop of products that have been designed with sustainability in mind, not just because it’s a trend, but because it’s interesting to see how designers are pushing the boundaries a little, and how manufacturers are more likely to take a chance considering the recent “green” movement.

kris: i’m kind of an urban nomad right now, so i really like the new “flatpack” trend, which is furniture or other items that are easily packable and movable. i also like the modernization of older styles; for example, the digitization of older baroque styles like the pixelated tables by salad industrial in spain.


q: what do you think is the biggest challenge in writing a design website?
a: katie: finding the words to express how i feel about something without reverting to “i love this”, “this is awesome”, “holy”, and “dude, you have to buy this” all the time.

kris: we try to keep it affordable but that’s not always easy. there’s a reason good design is expensive. a great sofa can last 50 years, not only in terms of construction, but also being relevant aesthetically. but not everyone has the budget for that so we try to find the less expensive items too. unfortunately they don’t last as long, and that has an environmental impact. so, i’d say that’s my biggest challenge: trying to meet the needs of all our readers’ budgets but at the same time trying to strike a balance between providing enough interesting content but making sure the pieces are relevant.


q: can you finish this sentence? the future of design…
a: katie: looks promising.

kris: looks exciting! i can’t wait to see what people come up with next.


like-minded design connoisseurs can hop on over to bltd and see lots more substantial picks. i don’t think you’ll be disappointed!


thank you katie and kris!

skogstad/vold product design: let’s chat!



ever since i caught a tiny glimpse of their work on designboom, i have been charmed and slightly obsessed with the clean, youthful designs of petter skogstad and haakon vold, for their company skogstad/vold. the items they have included in their collection are fresh, playful and inviting all at the same time. the designs have a flexible versatility, which make them appropriate for use in a variety of applications. to me the outstanding consistent theme here is the focus and balance of both masculine and feminine qualities. i love their stealth lounge chair (above), which was inspired by modern military aircraft, but it also reminds me of the opening petals of a flower. i enjoy the minimal lines and strong material of the steel break vase (below), which softens and transforms when flowers are placed within it. and of course this balance is clearly demonstrated in the graphics on the appropriately named fun wall clocks. these are the thoughtful qualities that compel us to appreciate, seek out and live with quality design everyday. let’s have a chat with haakon and petter and find out more!


q: where do you live and where do you design and make your collections?
we both live in oslo, norway, and we are senior students at akershus university college of product design (bachelor). we make most of our prototypes in the workshops at our university, but for bigger projects and production processes we use other companies with the competence we need.


q: what is your top priority (or the most important element) when designing furniture?
a: to create products for the future. we focus on making contemporary products where aesthetics, function, environment and high quality play a big role.

q: who or what are your main influences?
a: we get inspiration from nature, specifically norwegian nature and clean shapes. this is further enhanced by exploring new materials and technology. we also have some favorite designers: ronan and erwan bouroullec, konstantin grcic, stokkeaustad, norway says, arne quinze, karim rashid and mid to late century scandinavian design (in the 60-70’s).


q: are any of the pieces in distribution yet?
a: no, not yet, but we hope some of our products will be in production soon. we have a catalogue and website and have been in contact with a few manufacturers.


q: do you have a favorite material you prefer to work with?
a: we are trying to work with new materials, new technology and new production processes all the time, so we have no favorite material.



q: what is the best single piece of advice you have received as designers?
a: keep it simple and focus on the details.

q: how would you finish the following sentence? the future of design…
a: the future of design will have more focus on the environment and it will be important as a designer to focus on the whole life-cycle of the product.


skogstad/vold will be exhibiting these pieces and some exciting new prototypes too at the milan international furniture fair, from april 16th-21, 2008. they will be located in the area considered the launching pad for young designers, called saloneSatellite. i have high hopes that production with a quality manufacturer will begin soon, and look forward to seeing their pieces here in chicago someday.

thank you haakon and petter!

mara snoeren illustrations: let’s chat!


i have been following the playful artwork of dutch artist mara snoeren on her blog hemelsgroen (which roughly translates into heaven’s green) for quite some time and love them all. every time i see a new colorful piece from her i am grinning from ear to ear – that is how joyful and festive her digital and mixed media creations make me, no matter what the subject. there is a freshness and simplicity in her style that just grabs me. let’s have a chat with mara and find out more!


q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i live in rotterdam, the netherlands, on a small island in the river maas. i work as a graphic designer in a small company in rotterdam. the pieces on my website i make just for fun in my spare time, though, and i make them at home using any available space.


q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: yes, i studied illustration at the willem de kooning art academy in rotterdam.


q: how are your pieces made? what types of media or techniques do you use?
a: first comes the idea. i always need some sort of assignment to get me going. (this is why i studied design rather than art.) illustration friday is a wonderful initiative that gives out a new topic each week. depending on my interpretation on the subject, i choose my technique. it is usually mixed media as i find this the most natural and playful method for me. i use anything that fits the idea: modelling clay if i need something three dimensional, magazines to cut out for a collage, my camera to take photos, digital brushes or just plain pencils.


q: do you have a favorite piece that you have made? if you do, why is it your favorite?
a: i have several favourites for several different reasons, but not one in particular. some of my favourite stuff:


emergency: i like this because the idea comes out just way i had it in mind.


visitors: this one looks so cheerful!


suit: simple and strong.

q: is your work for sale?
a: ehm, no not really because i make this work just for pleasure. however, i’d be happy to take on assignments. i am always interested in nice projects!


q: what is your inspiration for these lively, positive works? do you have a message you want to send through these pieces?
a: the given topics on illustration friday ARE my inspiration! i let the word sink in and consider all the associations i have with the subject. then i filter out the idea that can be transformed to an illustration. sometimes i stick to my original concept, but it also happens that i change things along the way. i which case it’s the material or technique i work with that inspires me. i don’t have an overall message to send, but if i spread some happiness in the process, that would be perfect.


be sure to check out mara’s blog to see a terrific portfolio of her artwork. maybe one day she will open an online shop and we all will be able to enjoy her art in person everyday!


thank you mara!

david van alphen art and gallery – let’s chat!



you may remember the collages i posted about earlier in the month from local artist david van alphen, but maybe you didn’t know that he is the owner of the dva gallery here in chicago, and founder of the new and exciting slingshot! press, two very cool and affordable places to purchase original and limited edition artwork. for me, looking at david’s artwork is like taking a non-stop flight back to my childhood. i enjoy the dynamic action in the vignettes, i like his thoughtful color combinations and the retro imagery really unlocks some goofy and sentimental memories. also, finding artists who are gallery owners too is a rare and special thing, so let’s have a chat with david and find out more!



q: where do you live, and where is your studio?
a: i live in the western suburbs of chicago, and i turned my basement into my studio.

q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i have been doodling and painting since grade school. in high school i would sell large paintings for $20, just to get some cash. i took a couple college art classes but dropped out of them both. i hated being told what and how to paint.


q: what is your inspiration, and do you have a message you want to relate through your collection? what are these pieces made of?
a: i love old 70’s ads and graphics. i’ve started creating under the name netherland just because it was such a different style and medium that people have not seen from me before. all the art is acrylic and collage on wood and i put a layer of resin on top to give it that old school worn look.

netherland_art_retro type


q: are there any advantages in being a gallery owner and an artist as well? are there any disadvantages?
a: there’s both. the good point is that you meet a lot of other great artists and gallery owners. you also always have a place to hang your own stuff (but i try not to). this last show was the first time in three years i’ve had a solo show for myself. any gallery owner can put his or her artwork in their own gallery but when another gallery asks you to show, it means a lot more. the bad part is that i feel like people are only complimenting my artwork BECAUSE they know i own an art gallery. that was also partially why i started creating work under the name netherland, so people would judge my art without influence on the fact that i have a gallery.


q: can you tell us a little about about slingshot! press?
a: i started slingshot! press mainly because i wanted to make art affordable for everyone. most print sites that do offer low priced prints are not signed and limited numbered editions. i think it means a lot more to have it signed by the artists. it costs me a bit more to send it to them and it takes longer but it’s worth it to the customer. also, i know a lot of talented artists that i wanted to help get their work out there.


(slingshot! print sampling: hamster wheel by paul chatem & archers by kelly vivanco)

q: do you have any advice for up and coming artists from the gallery owner’s perspective?
a: the best advice i can give is to be original. it’s great to be inspired by other artists but i like to look at stuff that is different and not a copy of someone else’s work. also when submitting to a gallery, take the time to take REALLY good photos of your work. the better the photos look, the better chance i’ll want to show them in my gallery.



you can see more of david’s work at his website here or on his flickr stream, and if you’re in chicago be sure to visit the dva gallery. purchase slingshot! press prints right here.

thank you david!

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