Gideon Chase is locally grown and spent a couple of years at SOTA before heading to the East Coast for art school. He has a contemplative nature and, when it comes to fine detail and insightful conceptual imagery, he kills it. We visited him at his family's home (and urban farm) where he's staying for the moment while he cranks out some art and contemplates his next move.
EKG: Tell us about your show at Eleanor Harwood Gallery.
Gideon Chase: It's called And Suddenly This, and it's a series of new work that I made in the last three months in Baltimore. There are some paintings, some sculptures, and they're all small moments that take common scenes and interpret them in unpredictable ways.
So you're from the Bay Area?
I grew up in San Francisco and then I moved to Baltimore for art school, I went to MICA. I graduated last year and I've been going back and forth, I'm kind of nomadic right now. I'm trying to find a new home so we'll see where I end up. I've been moving around trying to figure it out.
We read that you have some other artists in your family.
My mom's an artist; she makes children's books. One of my brothers is a fashion designer in New York. I grew up in a very art-friendly, supportive environment, so I've been doing art my whole life.
What's a recurring theme in your work?
I started doing this kind of work because I was interested in diagrams. I think of them as diagrams for sculptures, but it's also about finding boring, mundane objects that people don't think about much, and the combinations of these objects. Making something beautiful out of something that people don't ordinarily think is beautiful, like a rug and a brick wall -- if you put a wave on it, it becomes a wave. Just trying to take ordinary things and make them special.
Talk about the sculptures in your show.
There are two that are miniatures, and then there's a full size sculpture, which is a table that's been broken apart and then put back together with tape. They're similar to the drawings in themes and ideas.
What would you like people to think about when they look at your work?
I would like people to take away a new way of interpreting the world, and maybe think about things they ignore. I feel like artists see beauty in things that people sometimes overlook. So this is me trying to point out how things can be beautiful, and how you can appreciate the little things.
Are there any examples of a story behind a particular piece that you can share?
I don't think there's something that happened that gave me the idea. It's more of a process of thinking about the objects and what message I'm trying to get from them. The imagery for me is all kinds of things that are nostalgic. Childish, boyish things like castles, knights and horses, and beds with cloud sheets. They're all things from my childhood that make me nostalgic. They might not be that way to other people, but it's definitely where I get a lot of my imagery, from these boyish memories.
Any artists who have influenced you that you'd like to mention?
I like painting a lot, but in terms of people who inspire me, I don't look at a lot of painters. Mostly conceptual artists: my favorites are Fischli & Weiss, Baldessari, Roman Signer, and people like that.
What music could best accompany your work?
My favorite band right now is Television Personalities. They have a really endearing sense of humor, and they're a little sloppy. I think that'd be a good match.
And Suddenly This runs through July 17, 2010 at Eleanor Harwood Gallery.