We’re thrilled to present new works by San Diego-based painter, muralist, and sculptor Christopher Konecki in our project room. The exhibition Size Matters is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and will showcase Konecki’s self-taught techniques experimenting with new materials to create mixed media sculptures. In anticipation of the exhibition, our interview with Christopher Konecki discusses his creative process, the piece that challenged him, and dream collaboration.
SH: For those that are not familiar with you and your work, can you give us a brief look at your artistic background and zodiac sign?
CK: Well if they are not familiar with my art then they are blowing it! Naw, just kidding. I am a self-taught artist out of San Diego. I began painting at a young age and learned how to scale my work up to murals a few years ago. I became fascinated representing architecture in new ways wanted to express my ideas in the third dimension. With the help of some mentors and endless experimentation, I learned how to build my ideas as miniature mixed-media sculptures. I love the versatility the media provides and the way that model making brings out the child in the audience. Now I get to travel and make art – which is awesome. Um, I think I’m a Libra?
SH: What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work?
CK: With, SIZE MATTERS, I wanted to display the current political and social climate through the lens of degrading Mid-Century Modern structures. I tried to capture the irony of the optimism of the American nuclear generation and the monuments they erected that are now faded crumbling remains.
SH: You’re a muralist and sculpture artists. How did you get into sculpture? What made you want to explore that medium? How do the different mediums inform each other?
CK: l have always tried to envision my paintings as sculptures. I just needed the physical skill and time to create them. I began building with simple forms and then added complexity as my skill level increased. Sometimes I will paint something I deem too difficult to build and while painting the piece will begin to unravel the 3d design. The murals inform the sculptures and vice versa.
SH: How do you capture ideas for pieces; do you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just a note to yourself in your phone?
CK: I use a lot of reference for my work. I never know what might inspire me – maybe a small detail on a corner or some sign somewhere. I get the idea down as fast as I can using whatever I have near. Usually, I have my ipad with me and can bust out a quick sketch.
SH: What excites you about your work / creative process?
CK: It is limitless. The extent of my imagination is the well in which I draw from. I’m not concerned with exact replication as a scale model maker. I try to display the world as I see it.
SH: What frustrates you about your work/ creative process?
CK: No one sees all the mistakes. Sometimes I will destroy or lose a small piece that I have put time into creating and have to start over.
SH: If your body of work inspired an ice cream flavor, what would it be called and what are the ingredients?
CK: Rusty Road- Like Rocky Road but with rusted metal flakes and some lead-based paint chips.
SH: Who is an artist; musician, director, any art form – who would be a dream collaboration for you and what would you create?
My dream collaboration would have been to create models for a Kubrick film. That guy was a genius so far ahead of his generation. That would have been a great honor for me.
SH: Is there a particular piece in this exhibition you feel really challenged you? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece?
CK: “Smoke a Bowl” was the most interesting build by far. I wanted to make a piece that was about zoning out and smoking weed but not have it be typical ‘weed art.’ I need to find a balance between the Mid-Century signage and the practical fact that its a bong. I feel that the message is the primary focus of the piece and weed culture is secondary.
SH: Favorite way to celebrate the completion of a project/body of work?
CK: I love to travel and paint. Maybe a few days off where I don’t have to produce and can simply create for myself. However, I’m super busy and don’t see time off in my immediate future