An interview with Timothy Karpinski


An interview with Timothy Karpinski

Coming up THIS Fri, Nov. 6th we are proud to present ‘My Heart Never Sleeps’, the second solo show at our gallery from Portland based artist Timothy Karpinski. This will be the first solo exhibition with the artist in our main gallery space, following ‘The Place I Call Home’, which took place in our project room in the fall of 2008. ‘My Heart Never Sleeps’ will feature a large installation featuring the artist’s ”Fear Fort” which he has been living in for the past few months as he worked on the show and he plans to be sleeping and living in the fort during the week-long installation of the exhibition itself.

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Please talk a lil’ bit about the general idea/vibe behind your new series of works for “My Heart Never Sleeps”? What’s the story with the show’s title?
The title comes from my friend’s band “lovers” – me and cubby the singer/songwriter are alot alike but she makes songs and i make art 🙂 With this show ill be telling a love story – the best one I’ve ever told.

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Tell us a lil’ bit about the idea behind your ‘fear fort’, which will be one of the highlights of your upcoming show with us.
It’s where I can go and everything is okay, no fears in the fear fort.


If you had an unlimited budget and time was not an issue, what grand artistic vision would you look to bring to life?
Hmmmmm…. i have a sweet idea about a traveling artshow via sailboat, a really beautifull and huge old shanty sailboat, kinda like a noah’s ark type thing, but Timothy’s Art Ark is where I’d maybe take one piece from all my favorite artists and friends and sail around the world. You wanna back this idea Andrew?

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Much of your work includes the use of found objects and old books. Do you have a favorite place around Portland that you go hunting for that perfect object? Old books? Do you gather items while traveling?
I’m a dilligent collector. I kinda plan my day around different thrift stores around Portland, I know which ones are near the bank or a gas station or on pretty much any errond, I sail thru a thrift store almost everday, and this summer me and my lady made weekend trips all around Oregon hunting for treasures. I have too much stuff, but I think I’m getting better at thrifting, I can now walk out sometimes empty handed 🙂


If you could stand by and watch the creation of any piece of artwork from over the years, which would it be and why?
I would have been interested in seeing Henry Darger at work for sure.

What do you consider your biggest overall influence?
I think love for sure, both loving others, myself and the work I make, but I’m also pretty influenced by my friends and my surroundings, NE Portland represent!

Do you listen to music while painting/drawing? If so, do you have a current favorite that inspires?
I pretty much listen to music around the clock, I wake up and sometimes have my headphones on from the night before still playing, and always all day in the studio, all my roomates also play music and there’s a mini recording studio in my basement, so my house is always shaking! Right now I’m really digging jazz of all sorts, Dizzy, John C. Miles and anything on 89.1 the jazz station. But for the muses, currently in the studio I have Karen O blasting from the yeah yeah yeahs, and for supe late nights like tonight it’s gonna be M83 – they always make the sun come up.


What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?
I guess the attitude among the community, everyone I know is doing something rad and creative, it seems everyday I see someone who’s workin’ on some new project or is playing a show that night or having an art show, so it’s really inspiring and motivating, and pretty dang affordable, plus my cats like it, NE Portland where I live has a huge cat community, they have friends coming over all the time.


What makes your cat cooler than everyone else’s cat?
Good question. I have 2 and they are polar opposites, one is the sweet and cuddly type and the other is the hunter, so I get love and protection!

You co-own and operate Together Gallery up in Portland, OR. Tell us a lil’ bit about how that came about and some of the ups and downs you’ve encountered thus far. Best show thus far? Upcoming show you are looking forward to?
Running a gallery is great and a lot of work, but it’s great for the community, I have sooo many people who come in and say wow, this is sooo inspiring, or kids who make zines and prints just to get there stuff on the walls. It’s got me way in tune with the Portland art communty and the community in general, and given me a real good understanding of the art as a “business” and helped me be more professional as a working artist. The downside is the backend of running a business, taxes, rent, managing employees, emails, countless sleepless nights hanging shows. Coming up we have a huge group show and our 2 year anniversary with over 40 artists, then next year a few solo shows by the likes of Doodles, Jay Howell and more!


What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your solo show with us?
Pretty much right back to work when I get home, I’m in the December group show at Whitewalls in SF, alongside some of my heroes: the Clayton Brothers and Thomas Campbell, I think it was some sorta mistake, but I’m gonna send work anyways 🙂 – j.k. – but really excited about that, then right after that in January I’m in a split show at Gallery Three in SF with the Shooting Gallery / Whitewalls crew with my studio mates Mark and James. Then some sleep 🙂

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Check out a great interview that Juxtapoz just conducted with Timothy Karpinski below:

View a ’sneak peek’ of Karpinski’s work for the show via the link below:

Timothy Karpinski
‘My Heart Never Sleeps’

Opening Reception: THIS Fri, Nov. 6th 7-11PM

Timothy will be in attendance from Portland for the opening reception, so please be sure to swing through and say hello.

4210 Santa Monica Blvd. (near Sunset Junction) in Silver Lake area of Los Angeles

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