Interview with Troy Lovegates for ‘Would’ | Exhibition on view May 7 – May 28, 2022

Thinkspace is thrilled to present Troy Lovegates’s latest solo show, ‘Would.’ The artist, formerly known as Other, brings his vast knowledge of street art and work with found objects to the gallery, presenting his first collection composed entirely of his intricate, hand-carved wooden sculptures.

Lovegates has carefully crafted a diverse cast of characters in the hopes that it will encourage interaction and provoke thought from viewers. The grizzled characters are sure to provoke conversation, bringing attendees together to wonder about the history and personality of each and every one.

In anticipation of “Would,” our interview with Troy Lovegates covers the inspiration derived from exploring the world around you, the opportunity that comes from unstructured creation, and how the past few years have influenced his creative development.  

Can you share a little bit about your upbringing and where you are currently based?

I was raised across Canada with a little stint in Michigan … my dad was a professor and we moved quite often … Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Saskatoon on and on … currently my wife, son, and I left California and moved back to Quebec to take care of my father … sort of the middle of nowhere but close to a quiet city … between a large river and small lake.  

What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes were you exploring?

Hmmm… I would say the theme I was exploring was sanity … the last winter was another lockdown, curfew, and -30 snow storm … I am working out of an old farmhouse surrounded by wind and cold, blizzards with not much communication from the outside world … the show is almost entirely wood carvings which has been a fun place to be carving, whittling and sawing in the hinterland  

What was the most challenging piece in this exhibition? How did it help you grow as an artist?

The challenge for me has not really been the work itself … it has mostly been missing city life and the experiences there  … seeing new things every day… watching people and getting new ideas … events happening … really for me it is probably a 4-hour ski before I even see another person … the snow is deep (and yes it is warm right now but it was still snowing last week late April) … I was more focused on skiing each day with my Dad to feel alive and outside … other than that it was mostly created in a vacuum … hard to find people to capture when they are bundled up and masked and in a hurry when I did get to town. 

You’re extremely well-traveled; your exploration of the world sometimes included train hopping and hitchhiking. How has your passion for travel informed your artistic voice? 

Travel is magical to me … part of it is that I am actually quite a terrible traveler… I am horrified of flying and get major anxiety during transit … when I arrive I am so excited to still be alive that my energy just explodes … I wouldn’t really say I am much of a train hopper as I have only gone on maybe 5 or so trips … I actually prefer hitchhiking because I like engaging with new people, fumbling over languages, getting lost … the last big trips I have been on have been long meandering bike trips which I really enjoy … yes, you take in so much more just wandering, I have struggled for ideas out here in the deep snow winters when you see the same thing day after day…refresh the eyes

What are your traveling essentials? 

Not much really … lots of t-shirts… a little container for watercolors, brushes, paper and pens … earphones … too many cameras  

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

My ritual is exercise … I think I spend more time walking and thinking or biking or skiing or swimming depending on the season … it is verging on being destructive –really like I will get the dog and head over to the studio and end up 20 km away, having just walked right by and off into though… but usually, this has worn me out and the next day I will be in the studio trying to get what I saw out on paper or wood etc.  

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days? 

Sort of same as above … I am not very good with structure. I do not arrive at the same time to the studio every day and have lunch at exactly noon each day… i might get in at 9 am or 9 pm… might spend my whole time at the studio looking up music… things happen every day but they seem to come in erratic spirts… like super intense hours where a lot gets done and then bumbling times listening to podcasts and dead ends.  

If you could collaborate with any artist in any medium (i.e. movies, music, painting), who would you collaborate with, and what would be making?

I think I would just be wandering and meeting up with photographers in cities that nobody cares to visit … exploring and taking images  

What is one of the most memorable meals you’ve had? The kind of meal that sticks with you because of the food, the company, or both.

All I can really think of is a slice of pizza in New York city … I am always really happy if I can get a lot of food for a really good deal … not really the sit in a restaurant all night with a bunch of friends and chuckle over some wine type… rather be wandering with a beer and eating cheap street food… a couple of years ago my wife and I went to South Korea and this was the perfect place to just roam and find little night markets with many different pickled spicy treats, rice cakes hot from a stand… sort of like tapas spread out across a whole city… eat a bit and wander then eat a bit more.

 If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/ be an expert at?

Oh too much … engraving … I would like to learn to engrave… better intuitive understanding of light to be quicker with my film cameras (and internal light meter)… a master at the synthesizer and drum machines… video editing… languages many many languages  

What did you find to be the biggest challenge of 2020 or 2021 for you?

Fuck… where do I start… 2020 my mother died while we were trying to get back into Canada and stuck in quarantine… January – May 8 pm curfew in Quebec in 2021 was brutal… moving to a new place when everything was closed and nobody was on the streets… and throw in that every mural I was supposed to do was canceled and traveling just stopped… I would have to say the entire 2020-2021 was the biggest challenge.  

What big projects do you have coming up that you’d like to share more about?

I am off to Germany in a few days to meet a collaborator for a large wall in Dortmund … I am hopeful that in 2022 some of the projects that have been put on hold are actually going to happen!  

May 7, 2022 – May 28, 2022

TROY LOVEGATES – Would (Gallery II)

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, May 7, 2022
6:00 – 10:00 pm

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