Mexican-American artist, Ramiro Gomez Jr.’s work showcases the contributions of domestic labourers in the Los Angeles area, by placing them into the scenes of luxury they are responsible for maintaining but appear largely absent after their work is done. Part of The Atlantic‘s American Dreams series, this video portrait by Kelly Loudenberg, gives insight into the personal motivation behind his work, featuring Gomez’s parents who are Mexican immigrants themselves, working jobs similar to those he depicts. Watch the full documentary short below!
Digital artist Nicolas Sassoon curates an exhibition featuring four artists whose works incorporates metaphysical themes in a time of digital creativity. This group of artists (with the exception of Brenna Murphy) was originally involved in an early web-based collective entitled ‘Computers Club’, producing images, GIFs, videos and HTML pages exhibited online.
Brenna Murphy displays prints and sculptures resembling electronic circuits from another primitive ethnographic time, Sara Ludy crafts a poetic multi-media sculpture on the connection between physical and digital body, Laura Brothers draws enigmatic figures through noisy pixels and minimal geometry, while Krist Wood elaborates composite images of atmospheric dreams.
This is the first of two interviews examining how galleries are approaching the shift in contemporary art production and exhibition in an era of personal computing. I talk to Nicolas about the show, the transference from digital files to physical spaces, and how independent galleries are adapting to these shifts.
When I first stumbled across Mimi’s weavings I stared at them for 20 minutes trying to process all the work that went into making them. We’ve become friends in the year or so since then but I still don’t I understand how she does it. She is one of my favourite artists working today and I wanted to share some of things she’s been making with her partner Brian, under the name Brook&Lyn.
Interview with Mimi Jung of Brook&Lyn
Jeff Hamada: Your dog, Sunday, is so cute.
Mimi Jung: Sunday has a bellybutton. I swear.
J: My dream is to drop everything and travel around the world eating things. When I get to LA to visit you guys, where should we go eat?
M: If I didn’t have the world’s most sensitive stomach I would join you. Ham Ji Pak is a small, no-fuss Korean restaurant that specializes in marinated pork bbq. Their potato stew is to die for. CaCao Mexicatessen has the best duck tacos, and Sapp Coffee Shop makes the most delicious jade noodles with real crab meat.
J: Ooh all those things sound so good! I know you like to cook, what kinda things have you been making at home lately? The Turkey Dumplings you posted awhile ago looked delicious.
M: These days I’m afraid cooking isn’t a big priority due to time. Luckily we get weekly “farm fresh to you” deliveries which is keeping us relatively healthy. What’s in the box dictates what I cook for the week.
J: What’s the story behind the name, Brook&Lyn?
M: The idea started as a two-sided zine focusing on art and fashion, but it never took off due to funding. Since then Brook&Lyn has taken many forms. We often get asked if my name is “Brook” and if Brian is “Lyn”. Thankfully (or sadly?) that is not the case.
J: I know you’re moving away a bit from the jewelry and focusing more on your own art. Can you talk a little bit about your desire to explore photography, and make art objects?
M: I come from a fine arts background, so being part of the fashion world was sort of a fluke. I’ve enjoyed learning about jewelry and growing as a designer over the last few years, but getting back to my roots was always the plan.
J: What’s the experience of working on a weaving like for you? Maybe not so much what you’re doing technically, but perhaps what you think about while you’re doing it.
M: I can’t multi-task when weaving. I think it’s like meditating. I have a general idea of where to take the design of the weaving, but since each weft takes a tremendous amount of time and patience, I can’t really get ahead of myself. It’s best to zone out and remain peaceful until I get to my next color block.
J: Is the whole weaving pre-planned from the start or do you have more of a freestyle approach?
M: I like to mix it up. If I’m doing a large scale weaving then it’s important to have a general idea of the composition sine each section will take days to finish. For the smaller weavings most of the time I like to keep it open and let the process lead the way.
J: Tell me about your partner Brian’s work. I’ve seen on your Instagram (@brookandlyn) that he builds your looms for you, is wood work his specialty?
M: Brian’s background is in art direction. It took me six months to convince him to leave advertising to pursue his own projects. I really believe that if you are passionate about what you create then the money will follow. And that’s been the case since we started. He finally made the jump and joined Brook&Lyn two-and-a-half years ago.
J: In what ways are you two the same?
M: His new sense of freedom threw him for a while, but now we’re on the exact same path. His most recent interest is woodworking. He has the type of personality that gets obsessed with one thing, I’m the complete opposite. I tend to be interested in 50 things at once. He has no formal training in woodworking, but I’m so amazed at how fluent he has become. We’re not trust fund kids, we’re not independently wealthy, we work hard doing what we love and figured it out.
M: We’re showing this sculpture at Parachute Market. The show takes place in the arts district, LA, and runs from 9/21 to 9/22.
J: I usually end interviews by asking about the last realization you had, could be big or small.
M: Small or big realization, for the first time I feel as though my multiple interests aren’t seen as a lack of focus, but a body of work.
This last image is a piece Mimi made for Levi’s out of scrap denim, it is her first weaving made using fabric and will be hung at their concept stores.
See more of Mimi and Brian’s work:
A few years ago Dallas Clayton wrote “An Awesome Book” to teach his son the importance of dreams and dreaming big! After several publishers passed on the book, he published it himself and put it online for free. The Internet went crazy, orders came pouring in, and Dallas set out on an epic book tour. He travelled all over the world, donating copies for every copy that was sold. You may have seen the Google commercial about him! (See here.)
He wanted to change kids’ lives and ended up completely changing his own. The book became so popular Harper Collins asked to re-release it. His second book “An Awesome Book of Thanks” was the first kid’s picture book to be published by Amazon. He wrote a third book “An Awesome Book of Love”, and has just released his fourth, a collection of poetry called “Make Magic! Do Good!”.
Dallas’ energy is infectious, and his emails always get me pumped. It’s downright impossible not to be excited if you talk to him on the phone. Hopefully some of that comes through in this little interview with the man I consider to be this generation’s Shel Silverstein.
Read the full interview below!!!
Say hello to Howie Tsui! He is one of the four Canadian artists who created work for our “Afterlife” project with Poketo. I am also giving away one of his wallets, details at the bottom!
HOWIE TSUI INTERVIEW
What was it like growing up in Nigeria?
I have romantic memories about living in Nigeria. I had this crush in Junior Kindergarten, Lindsay, who I’d bring flowers to. I had this bilingual African Grey parrot Oscar, that I’d always talk to. We had a chauffeur and a maid. There were violent thunderstorms, high fevers and the resultant hallucinations of melting Disney characters. Someone in our complex had a Bruce Lee figure on their motorbike license plate. I watched a lot of anime and kung-fu dramas sent to us by my uncle. I went to an American International School and our class looked like a Benetton ad.
Sorry it’s all in fragments. Just digging through the banks. Regardless, the irony is that I thought this was a magical wonderful place, while my mom was very paranoid that I’d get kidnapped and would pick me up everyday from school. We also had to get out because there was political instability and the airport had been taken over by a rebel faction.
JOSH HOLINATY INTERVIEW
I think I could live in Edmonton if summer lasted from January until December, how do you like living there?
It’s great, really. Aside from the long winter, out summer is incredibly beautiful. The river valley, the music fests, etc. Also, there is an incredible arts scene here that is hyper embracing. Everyone – from art, music, burlesque, film – just hangs out all the time. Everyone is always in a state of collaboration in a very DIY sense. There’s a stigma that Edmonton has ‘no scene’ because it doesn’t have a full on art college or something like that. But in the end it only drives people really hard to want to do their own thing – and the results are obvious. Zines. Garage rock. Public Art. In the past few years there’s been a serious blossoming in this town.
WINNIE TRUONG INTERVIEW
If I could only eat a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner in Toronto where should I go?
I’d urge you to go to Saving Grace in Little Portugal and brave the wait for breakfast, brunch and lunch, it’s just that good there. Dinner is a two-parter: you should go to Mandarin at Yonge and Eglinton and gorge yourself on all-you-can-eat chinese food, then head a block up the street to the movie theatre (half price on tuesdays) and enjoy that hard-earned food coma.