As part of 1xRUN’s Moon Landing Day Print Suite we welcome in Josh Keyes, Luke Chueh, Glenn Barr and Erik Otto who each bring us new interspacial editions for this year’s unique print suite. Artists of all styles have mused on a wide variety of spacial themes over the years and 1xRUN is excited to launch this new collection featuring 4 new unique editions from some of our most sought after artists. To kick things off first we caught up with Josh Keyes to discuss his latest edition Tin Can, which drops on July 20th at 12pm EST as part of this year’s collection. Read on to find out more about this edition and sign up for early access to be the first to get access to these highly sought after print releases…
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this image?
Josh Keyes: I was daydreaming about space, and our place in it, and what our mark has been in/on the universe so far. Wherever we go, or how far we venture, everything we are as a species will likely come along with us, the good, bad and ugly. There has been talk of escaping earth, all of its man made problems, but unless we change our way of life and perception of nature and one another, our existing issues and problems will be tucked away in our carry on luggage.
1x: Was this image part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Keyes: I have explored a lot of terrestrial themes, nature animals etc, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s space has always held my interest, are there real ET’s out there, or have we already had a close encounter? I think there are three or four paintings in this series, and another of a satellite dish covered in graffiti titled “can you hear me now?” I have a few other ideas percolating in my noggin using this space theme. I am also a massive fan of Jeremy Geddes astronaut series, while his vision has a solemn emotional magnitude, my take is a bit more Monty Python and tongue in cheek.
1x: When was this piece originally drawn and created and what materials were used to create this original piece?
Keyes: It was painted in 2016. I work in Golden acrylic paint, and I have found that wood panels really provide a nice surface for working up gesture and details.
1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this image?
Keyes: I searched for a strong image of the earths curve, and debated doing a soft blend of the atmosphere into the black of space. I like the hard separation, like an egg shell, strong but fragile. I also went back and forth between adding stars to the sky, I think the solid black lends itself to the idea of the void, and endlessness, emphasizing the idea that there really isn’t any other place to go or escape, we are where we are. I am a fan of all forms of graffiti and had a few favorite artists and tags that would be fun to see up there. I don’t know if spray paint could really and scientifically work in zero gravity, but sometimes you have to let go of fact in favor of fiction and the story.
1x: How long did each of this image take to create from start to finish?
Keyes: I suppose around a week or two, it was a larger painting size than I usually work on, but I really enjoyed the scale, up close it felt like you were an astronaut floating around it.
1x: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Keyes: I had to create a maquette of the shuttle and attach the graffiti elements to it, I’m not too savvy with computer modeling so I had to go old school and get out my hobby tools.
1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?
Keyes: It might make you chuckle, weep and ponder, “what if?”
1x: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.
1x: So this is our third edition with you featuring your iconic take on space melding with graffiti, where did the idea come to start combining the two?
Keyes: Space: Moonraker and Star Wars / Graffiti: The alley wall of a 7-eleven, 8th grade
1x: Did you/do you still write graffiti?
Keyes: I am horrible, I find many around the streets of Portland, and a few well known artists, but I primarily use a Microsoft word graffiti font.
1x: Where are you finding your reference photos for the tags/names in your pieces? Are they friends of yours?
Keyes: All over, some retro from the 70’s and 80’s, many from around town, Portland, or some that I find online. Sometimes an artist will send me some reference tags or photos. Most of the artists are excited to see their tag in the painting.
1x: What are some of the ways you’ve been trying to push yourself with your latest work?
Keyes: Gosh, well I was dabbling with some sculpture ideas and really getting into faux fur, maybe a result of turning 50 this year, mid life crisis work. ;)
With painting I am really working towards creating images with a little more impact, figuring out what is necessary and what to let go, and paying more attention to color. I spent a long time painting every blade of grass and the highlights on each, my hand can’t do that anymore, there is a desire for an impression, and in that expression, like holding a butterfly. Did I really say that?
1x: What are some of the strides you feel like you’ve made over the last year?
Keyes: To be honest figuring out how to be a good dad and husband is where my heart and mind is at. There is not time, or luxury of pondering on an idea for months, I’m learning to pounce faster on the important concepts and ideas and let others go.
1x: Any artists new or old inspiring you lately?
Keyes: Oh my god, have you seen Instagram! I follow about 7,000 artist and people. There is so much amazing stuff going on, it blows my mind. I can’t name one or even three, there are so many artist musicians dancers tattoo arts film makers etc. making incredible things. If anything, all the ways people connect and share today is so much different from just ten twenty years ago. All of these voices were already there, they just could not be heard, humans are really wacky and wonderful.
1x: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Keyes: My Little Pony, friendship is magic coloring book, also beautiful print by Zoe Keller, and Tiffany Bozic.
1x: Any upcoming exhibitions or group shows coming up?
Keyes: I have a United Kingdom show lined up with Thinkspace Gallery in October, so I’ve been work on some new pieces for that show. Aside from that I will have work at Scope Miami with Antler Gallery, and then a group show at the Bedford Gallery in CA, never a dull moment!