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Home FEATURES Joshua Petker Interview

Joshua Petker Interview
Written by Manuel Bello   
Friday, 26 September 2008 04:59
It's not all about the girls. This LA based artist's solo show opens Oct 4th @Corey Helford.

Joshua Petker is a southern California artist who pulls no punches when it comes to cutting the shit right down to the bone. He spends his time suffering over canvas, diving out in his Hollywood living room, die-harding for the Dodgers, and all around keeping his feet planted flat on the ground. He has a style that you might night not want to take home to mom, but would defiantly want to take home from a seedy LA bar. Seductive, scandalous, and downright hot in the worst way. His paintings are like that girl that you know will destroy you but somehow you just can't resist. -Manuel Bello

Candy Water

Where do you come from?

I was born in Van Nuys, CA in 1979. I currently live in Silverlake, which is a neighborhood east of Hollywood in LA. I've lived here for about 6 years now.

What is it about Hollywood that sparks your enthusiasm?

Hollywood is primarily a flat bit of land right beneath the Hollywood Hills and the mansion homes that tower there. The area is a mix of apartments, 1920s bungalows, and houses that have castle towers attached to even the most modest 1 levels. Palm trees line famous streets and there is no end to motivated people pursuing huge dreams or spending all of their time pretending to be one. It's dreamy here. That's not to say dreams come true here. Because they usually don't! Hollywood to me at least, feels like this great big quiet soul. It smells more like failure than success but there is no better place to feel close to the edge yet quiet and alone at the same time. Deep huh?

Um yeah, so deep... What is your primary medium?

I almost only use acrylic paint. At times I've used ink, paint pens, glitter or nail polish but 97% of the paintings are acrylic.

Alice Axes

You seem to work with bright happy, neon, pastels but your work still has a very dark undertone, what inspires such contrast in your work?

I like juxtapositions. Putting blue on top of red is fun for me. Life and the world can be pretty dark but I believe, all in all, in good, even when it's bad. I see the bright neon colors like too much sugar. Like the way too much happy, makes you sick to your stomach. Not sure why I'm attracted to that. Life is brutal yet so awesome and great! I think I'm trying to paint what I cannot to say.

Do you base your work on photo reference or models, or is it from thought?

It always starts from photo reference but the face is just the framework for whatever comes. I don't invent the figures initially but sometimes regardless of the photo reference I often change the entire face of the model just because it happens while painting. I've never drawn a painting before painting it. I do draw but mostly with the paint.

Cats Are Always Black

You once did graffiti, how would you describe that work compared to the work you do now?

It's very different. I only even mention graffiti when talking about my art because I'd feel like a liar if I said I just started drawing only 5-6 years ago, which is pretty much when I started painting and drawing girls. I had been doing graffiti for years before and so was always creating one thing or another. For me graffiti was more about my friends and doing what we did rather than it being about art. But, it was graffiti that led me into fine art, so I feel I should I mention it as a part of what I have done in the past.

Why so many girls? (like I need an answer)

Well, besides the obvious of finding women beautiful I basically started painting girls when I attempted painting because I wasn't really looking to anyone but Klimt for guidance. Since then, I've sort of built my visual language through the expressions of women. Unfairly or not, women have been used objectively in art for so long that I can paint and feel like I am referencing this objective historic subject all while trying to paint the inner emotions of a person, subjectively. Plus, I am primarily only attracted to art that I consider beautiful, so a beautiful women is an easy subject for me. But, when I say I only like work that is beautiful I should point out my opinion of what is beautiful is definitely artistic and at times ugly.

Red Deluge

Klimt (one of your main influences) was very influenced by the Tarot, would you say you are in any way?

No, not so much. But, I am really interested in life, meaning, understanding, black magic, and skeletons on horseback?

He was also known for his use of gold leaf and some other techniques. Have you dabbled in any of this, or is that something that interests you?

Gold Glitter

I have used gold leaf before but in no way as technically as Klimt. I love how intense and demanding bright gold is on a painting. Klimt was much more decorative than me, but if it wasn't for his persistence with it as a medium I might not have tried it. I often think of the palaces in Europe I've visited and all the gold rooms and to me at least gold feels classical and special. I love using gold. Especially mixing it with black and a sad subject.

How come so many of the girls in your paintings have trouble with their lipstick?

Because they all have issues?

Hunting for Witches

What is your social scene like, you out rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite?

No, not so much. I actually paint most nights of the week. I go out to openings on the weekends sometimes but more often than not I work at home. If I go out for the evening it usually ends up being an all night affair and I can afford less and less of those evenings these days.

When you do venture out what is your favorite Hollywood dive bar?

The Little Joy, hands down. Besides the smoking ban it's been the same for years. But there are lots of places I like drinking by my house. The Red Lion, this big 2-story German beer garden is fun in the daytime. More often than not though I drink in my own living room, which is in Hollywood, and at times pretty divey.

What are your thoughts on the recent stock market crash?

It is awful. The number of times that our government has failed us over the past 8 years is beyond staggering. I don't think the stock market crash will collapse the country. I do hope whichever Candidate (Obama) wins the election will usher in a new era for America.

What are your thoughts on the overall state of the world?

Eh, it's been much worse.

Bloody Mary

What was the last thing you smoked?

Hash!

Who would you like to smoke?

Sadly, that list grows daily.

Lost Girl

Famous last words?

If you think you know, you don't know... If you know you don't know, you know.

Be sure to check out Joshua's show:
Black Sugar
Opening Saturday, Oct 4th
Runs till Oct 24th
@Corey Helford in LA
{moscomment}

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contact FF

Jeremy Fish Opening a Solo Show in August at FFDG
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Met up with Jeremy Fish last night to catch up and discuss his upcoming solo show opening this August at San Francisco's FFDG. Don't want to give too much away, but the guy is very busy these days. You know the giant pink bronze statue will be built and installed at the corner of Haight and Laguna welcoming those to the Haight (check) in 2015? Going to be incredible.

Check photos from his last San Francisco solo show in 2012, and mark your calendar for August as his next solo show opens at FFDG.

Beering with Fish at his favorite watering hole, Zeitgeist

 

//////////
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:39


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///
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

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This approach was born and bred out of the Olympia, Washington independent music scene. There, local artists emphasized everything handmade and self-published. The idea was to do a lot with a little. The result was a rich community sharing artistry and ideas. McClure found herself deeply embedded in this community which shaped an ethic of hands-on and accessible artmaking. - show details

 

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We've noticed this mural on 19th St here in the Mission has been getting bombed over the last week.

Is going over a mural acceptable?

Isn't there an unwritten rule of not going over murals?

 

//////////
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:50


+SF

+NYC

+LA

FULL CALENDARS: BAY AREA | NYC | LA

 


 

 

 

Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.


John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

John Trippe, founder, owner and curator of FecalFace.com and the Mission District art gallery FFDG, announced today that he will stepping down from daily operations of the two ventures to seek new career opportunities.


High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels


"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.


Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


John French with Hasselblad by Lola Dupre

"John French with Hasselblad", photo collage/ hand cut paper on wooden panel, by Lola Dupre which will be part of tomorrow's opening of "Salt the Skies" at FFDG in San Francisco. 2277 Mission St. (6-9pm) - RSVP here.


"Salt the Skies" at FFDG Opening Fri, Mar 21st

FFDG's spring show "Salt the Skies" is set to open on Friday, March 21st (6-9pm) -- Featuring works by Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold, Mario Ayala, Jud Bergeron, Curiot (Favio Martinez), Christopher Burch, Lola Dupre, Michelle Fleck, Matt Gonzalez, Hiro Kurata, Marty Machado, Mark Mulroney, and Nicomi Nix Turner


Brian Barneclo's 225' Food Chain Mural

San Francisco based Brian Barneclo was commissioned in 2006 to paint a HUGE mural on the side of Foods Co on Shotwell at 14th Streets. After some time on its own, it got pretty taxed by misc graffiti and pigeon shit.


A short documentary following the late artist, Shawn Whisenant

Shawn Whisenant is a born and raised San Francisco Bay Area artist whose art can be found lurking in the streets or galleries and museums across the USA, Australia, and Europe. He has been working on the streets of the Bay Area since the mid 1990's, where his images continue to endure on walls, mailboxes, and other surfaces around the city. He enjoys making books and stickers, taking photos, painting signs, and moving about in the city’s shadows. In the streets and galleries, his work has seen many different forms. From rare-hand crafted books, to skateboard films and a signature pair of Osiris shoes, his creating doesn’t end with painting. RIP Shawn Whisenant.


John Felix Arnold @BRIC House, Brooklyn

In the year or so that I've known Felix, almost every one of his shows has had a live musical element and it seems perfect that he would be included in a show called Art Into Music. He commandeered the corner of the gallery to create an installation that houses not only his drawing, but also an entire drum kit, amps and a dude playing a guitar. The warm wood paneling stands out in contrast to the matte grey boom-box tower and the muted wall of album covers and looks like a beacon calling to the crowd saying "this is what you shoud be looking at." However, it's not in a "look at me" attention-starved desperation, more like a welcoming invitation into his world.


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