We are excited to welcome Russ Pope as he joins us for his debut release The Complex. Pope will join Doze Green, Aiko, Brandon Boyd, Brett Amory and Brian Viveros for the inaugural 1xRUN x Juxtapoz x Scope print suite at this year’s Scope Miami Beach 2015. Please be sure to come by Booth G19 to score one of these prints from Russ Pope, he will be signing in person as well beginning at 6pm Thursday night. Read on as he gives some insight into his debut RUN…
1x: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale? Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Russell Pope: The painting is a pulled out simplified scene of a living complex. People inside their homes, seen from the street. The original was painted for my show I just had in September at The Antonio Colombo Gallery in Milano. It’s acrylic on a 54″ X 54″ piece of paper. It is still available and currently is in Italy.
It was one of 30 something pieces that were made throughout 2015 for the exhibition. It was made in a series of 6 or so pieces, showing people in their daily lives, in their homes. The whole show was based on social commentary and these half dozen pieces varied between more detailed images of room interiors and people through their exterior Windows to this simplified version of just people without place specifics.
1x: When was this piece drawn and created and what materials were used?
Russell Pope: This piece was created in August of 2015 using acrylics on canvas roll paper.
1x: How long did the piece take?
Russell Pope: This piece happened fast. It’s simple and gestural. I believe the painting was completed in 4 or 5 days towards the end of August.
1x: What is unique about this piece?
Russell Pope: I like the layering, color blocking, and way it’s almost graphic in composition and color, but very loose and painterly in technique.
1x: Why should people buy this print?
Russell Pope: Because they dig it. They should buy it because they want to live with it.
1x: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Russell Pope: Life.
1x: When did you first start making art?
Russell Pope: Early on. As a child for sure. I started working more seriously on a portfolio in my senior year of high school and won some very small scholarship monies in a juried show at the end of that year in a San Luis Obispo Museum of Art show.
1x: What was your first piece?
Russell Pope: Ever? A rabbit I drew as a 5 year old.
1x: What artists inspired you early on?
Russell Pope: Early early, Dr Seuss. I’d say Picasso was an early inspiration.
1x: What artists inspire you now?
Russell Pope: I’ve been and currently am inspired by: Saul Steinberg, Raymond Pettibon, Chris Johanson, Matisse, Nat Russell, Neil Blender, Jason Jagel, Ralph Steadman, still love Picasso, Jules De Balinqourt…I could go on and on…Calder.
1x: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Russell Pope: I do yes, always. Lots from the old jazz masters, blues, I love blues. I’ll go for long periods listening to heavier stuff, Pentagram, High on Fire or Sleep. I dig the Talking Heads, first couple Cars albums, the first ZZ Top album. I’ll do days of DEVO, to the Circle Jerks, OFF, X Ray Specs, I’ll bring it down with reggae or the Budos Band. I have a pile of obscure vinyl. Hawaiian, old movie tunes, bluegrass. Probably should call it there, I could go forever on this one too.
1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Russell Pope: I’ve been lucky to work on some cool projects with contemporary artists. I’d say Ralph Steadman would be a blast to collaborate with, can you imagine the stories he’d share about he and Hunter? I also appreciate his staying power, ability to stay busy, and I dig his technique.
1x: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Russell Pope: This is going to sound cliche but, working on an extended collaboration with Pablo Picasso would have to be quite an experience. Studio time, out of studio, all of it.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Russell Pope: Most art I have has been brought in through trades or gifts…I think one of the first pieces of art I bought was from a regional artist in Oaxaca Mexico. I don’t know that I have anymore. The last piece that I bought was a water color on wood from Gulliver Hancock of a building in New York City.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Russell Pope: I have a solo show next December in Portland, working on locking a date down for a summer show back in Milano. I have a book of black and white illustrations being released early spring of 2016 and I’ll be doing some book release/signing events to coincide with that. I have a handful of group shows that I’ll be showing in peppered in between those larger projects.
Russ Pope will be signing at the 1xRUN x Juxtapoz x Scope Art Bar Thursday at 3pm.