Studio Visit: John Richey

studio 02.jpg

John Richey is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His work can be seen in PLEAT's March 2018 exhibition as well as

Please describe your work.
I make hand-drawn animations, sculptural installations, and digitally fabricated commonplace objects using themes and images borrowed from various personal collections. My most recent body of work seeks to allow elements of chance and flexibility into a labor-intensive process that grapples with the transformative nature of information; including information retention and loss. By working back-and-forth between and with different combinations of hand-made and digitally fabricated elements, my work investigates physical or conceptual glitches that occur in the spaces between human and digitally rendered objects.
What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices?
internal factors: I try to think about the big picture of any given project or group of works. I am interested in how the materials, processes, and imagery I use can elicit a response from the viewer. I think about where the images come from, whether that’s a real-world place, a nostalgic place, or a fictional place; and I question what their histories and tone bring to the conversation. 
external factors: Having cultivated collections of various materials during my artistic career, I draw inspiration from an amassed textile collection that includes black t-shirts and multi-colored flannels, as well an archive of found photographs and ephemera. I am constantly referencing these collections while brainstorming and creating new works. Although I wouldn’t call myself a photographer, I take a lot of pictures that indirectly motivate my production.  

studio 03.jpg

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them? 
Paul Thek - material innovations coupled with a beautifully well-developed personal visual language.
Allen Ruppersberg - stamina and persistence in amassing an impressive collection of ephemera.
Charlotte Posenenske - restraint in perfecting a breathtaking body of minimalist sculpture.
B. Wurtz - whimsical tone and accessible use of everyday objects.
Mary Heilmann - sense of style and use of color in creating iconic abstract works.
Alex Bag - early performance-based video works that are formative to my practice.
Eve Hess - innovative use of materials and unflinching desire to create.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres - simple, elegant, and understated works about love and loss.
How has social media affected your studio practice? 
I enjoy social media and feel like it’s affected my practice in a positive way. I’m pretty active on Instagram and think it’s a great platform for sharing new work with a broad + global audience. I enjoy seeing the creative and innovative things friends, artists, and galleries are doing.

Studio Visit: Nina Stolz Bellucci

Nina Stolz Bellucci is an artist living and working in Massachusetts. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's March 2018 exhibition as well as

Please describe your work. 
I collect materials, such as various shapes of cardboard, found pieces of metal, tape, my children's drawings that I scavenge from home, etc. I use these materials to make collages, large paintings on cardboard, and small installations. These collages and installations then become actors in my studio and inspiration for larger paintings on panel or canvas. The paintings are an analysis of my playtime, an excuse to slow down and think about why I'm doing what I'm doing. I also really enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out how to create different textures and how to express a range of marks with paint.

What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices? 
I am very much influenced by light and the passage of time. I have beautiful windows in my studio, which cast intense shadows and also give the objects that I'm painting from a lighted charge. On an especially sunny day the light moves with the shadows across the studio walls, and it inspires me to capture the charged objects and their intrinsic charm. 

The light in my studio also fuels a spiritual investigation in my work. Everyday that I walk into my studio I feel grateful for the few hours I get to play and to do what I love to do. The light, a wonder in itself, literally helps me to see the extraordinary in everyday objects and experiences. It also leaves me energized and hopeful for what's to come.

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them? 
I am a member of Musa Collective, a Boston-based group of emerging artists supporting each other's artistic endeavors. I am consistently inspired by this amazing group and how they manage to juggle jobs, families, and life's hurdles, all while maintaining a practice. We highly value each other's feedback and encouragement. I found after finishing graduate school that having this type of support system is so imperative to the survival of a practice.

Artists I am currently looking at include Lois Dodd for the magical way she captures light in layers, Katherine Bradford for her humor and unique approach to storytelling, Rose Wyle for her fearlessness, and Richard Tuttle for his sensibility. Of course I often refer back to such greats as Matisse, de Chirico, and Guston in painting, and I am influenced daily by Eric Carle, Lucy Cousins, and other children's book authors as I read to my children at night.

How has social media affected your studio practice?
Instagram, especially, has been great for discovering artists who are working now and also those who are working close by- it gives the sense that the art world is actually smaller and more accessible than it seems. I look at it everyday for a quick inspiration and to gain new ideas. It's great to see what other people are doing and what techniques they're using. I also use it to gain quick feedback on works-in-progress. However, just like anything else, I know I have to use it in moderation and leave time for things to stew in the studio, deciding for myself what's working and what's not.