Artist Snapshot: "Finding Figures"

We interviewed the artists Pace TaylorGracie Ellison, and Nicolo Gentile’s featured in Finding Figures, curated by Stockpiler, and hosted by Project Object, whose mission is dedicated to representing the underrepresented, features artists who are creating works which explore the human form to discuss specific thoughts and ideas.


FINDING FIGURES OPENS FIRST FRIDAY, JULY 6TH, 2018 FROM 5-8 PM at PROJECT OBJECT


aaa_pace_03.jpg

I’m a non-binary (they/them) queer cat parent emotionally preoccupied with the busyness of intersecting identities.

What’s your background in art?

I’ve carved out a little hole in the illustrative world for myself over the past few years, but I originally set out to work in graphic design and earned my BFA in digital arts. I think these two practices pretty freely influence each other and the work that I’m currently generating.

What keeps you motivated and engaged in your creative practice and how do you maintain it?

People. The dream of community, as elusive as it seems at times. My work is always motivated by my queerness and the relationships I tend to both internally and externally. I make so perhaps someone else won’t feel quite as alone. I make because I feel I have a responsibility (or a “response-ability” as termed by Donna Haraway) to show up and make space for dialogue around queerness and all of the ways it intersects with all of these branching identities we interact with as we move through the world.

Do you have a favorite artist?

I recently came across Ben Shahn and R.B. Kitaj’s work for the first time and have just been swooning! I respect how deliberate they were in using their work to push back against social and political injustices, something I’m always scratching at the door of. I’m also in a never-ending love affair with Melanie Cervantes’ work, and to pull literature into it, I often have conversations with Octavia Butler’s writing when I’m piecing together my drawings.

Are you currently working on any projects you can share with us?

I’m just trying to stay busy making. I have a show coming up in September for Prequel, which is an artist-incubator program of sorts that I was lucky enough to participate in this year along with seven other local artists. I’ll have some new work for that show, but in the meantime, I’m just attempting to support myself and dig a little deeper.


grace_ellison.jpg

I’m a portrait painter, born and raised in Portland. My paintings are almost exclusively busts of surly faced women. I also love to play with color, texture and pattern.

Do you have a favorite artist(s), in general, and/or right now?

Amrita Sher Gil has been a favorite of mine for a while now. Her use of color and texture in her portraits is inspirational to me. Her paintings have a sort of grit to them that really resonates with me.  

Are you currently working on any projects you can share with us?

I am currently getting ready for Open Haus Market. It’s a design event this September at Castaway Portland, curated by Immaculate Space. There’ll be vintage, home decor, hand made furniture, and more!

What’s your background in art?

I’m self-taught. My mom is an artist and I’ve always been surrounded by art; that has largely been the way I’ve learned—studying the art around me. Art has always been a huge part of my life but only something I’ve taken seriously within the last year or so. Finding Figures will be my first show!

What keeps you motivated and engaged in your creative practice and how do you maintain it?

Painting is one of my biggest joys. I always want to paint, and looking for new inspiration always helps get me motivated to keep painting. I hate feeling stagnant so, while there’s a level of repetition in my portraits, I always need to bring in new elements.


nicolo_gentile.png

Sagittarian, ENTP, first generation Italian American from Upstate NY trying to make his way.

What's your background in art?

I’ve held my practice central to my life for the past eight years. I was able to study fine art full time when I first moved to Portland and have continued to run with it ever since.

What keeps you motivated and engaged in your creative practice and how do you maintain it? 

Art has an undeniable role in our society. This is to first mirror our current conditions and then to propose an alternative. That’s my motivation.

Do you have a favorite artist(s), in general, and/or right now?

Steve Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Are you currently working on any projects you can share?

I’ve been given the wonderful opportunity to attend the Leland Ironworks Residency this upcoming summer. I’ll be tackling alternative casting methods in picturesque Oregon City.

   Busted Balls  (2017) plaster 

Busted Balls (2017) plaster 

Exercises in Drawing : Lacoon Group after Agesander, Polydorus, and Athenodoros of Rhodes (2018) pencil on paper