Studio Visit: John Richey
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 johnrichey.org.
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.
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.