Riverside Art Museum


Excerpt from Interview with Free News Project, June 26, 2008
Images: 16 page Skullphone photo diary, Faesthetic #10

FNP – well that brings me to your most recent show at Riverside Art Museum. The show had a strong environmental feel to it, it seemed your art displayed was only a small piece of the environment around it. The photos you sent me of the install show your work utilizing unused and somewhat odd spaces of the museum…what exactly did you show?

SP – ha ha I showed my stickers. I was first thinking of building something grander but then reality hit. This is Riverside, sort of a sleepy town, why not show what I would normally show in this type of town, and yet with a sense of sadness show what may not be. The alcoves were cutouts of this anytown USA. This was the starting point of the Skullphone History Museum at the Riverside Art Museum. From there I wanted to know what other spaces of the museum were unused. I asked Lee (the curator) and Daniel (the director) where their storage was, where the basement was, and what’s behind locked doors… and then I told them I wanted to install some stuff that would never be available to the public.

FNP – yes I saw you had a full sized digital billboard hardly visible in some storage area…like it must look amazing if only I could climb back there and look directly at it. Did you want people to struggle with that idea?

SP – it was definitely a contrast to the alcoves installations which are reminiscent of a natural history museum with taxidermied wolves standing on a hillside. I was working on that and trying really fucking hard to be honest with myself and anyone else clearing through there. And the billboards were a recent advent, something misunderstood, by myself even, if that’s possible. I wasn’t ready for it, the bloggers that is, and the bloggers couldn’t look past the packaging. So I threw a digital billboard back into the storage of the gallery with all their document filing. A huge broken billboard in storage, circulating the eight different images that skullphone shared space with up there, like the Brady Bunch.

FNP – I feel the billboard stashed n the storage room, sticker on a dumpster or parking meter may come off as more of a natural installation than a wolf on a hillside. That’s what I love about L.A. and any other city for that matter. Our natural atmosphere is not always what we expect, nor do we have an explanation for everything. That is what attracted me to your imagery in the first place, confusion…and being able to forge my own idea about what it means.

SP – well, that’s why I am a working artist, my work isn’t yet done, and perhaps it takes too much work for someone to figure out when digging in, and for them to conclude its an inch deep and a mile long, that’s not the outcome of the confusion I’m hoping for. There’s those who see my work at face value as cool for being illegal or “cool”, and that’s not a seal of approval for me either, I have yet to properly inspire perhaps….

FNP – that’s debatable

SP– what?

FNP – what indeed.