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Henry Gunderson Interview

Written by Trippe   
Wednesday, 27 May 2009 05:13
This first year student at SFAI is killing at only 18. His first solo show opens @Fecal Face July 23rd.
This 18 year old Bay Area native has just wrapped up his first year at The San Francisco Art Institute. His first solo show opens July 23rd in San Francisco at Fecal Face Dot Gallery. We're quite honored as we think this guy has a lot of talent... Get to know this Henry Gunderson character because we expect he'll be around for awhile.

Age? Location? Artistic education?

18, San Francisco CA, I'm a high school graduate about to complete my first year at the san Francisco art institute.

What do you think of SFAI thus far?

I'm enjoying it. As far as art schools go I think it's a pretty good place. The classes are pretty laid back... I feel like I have a lot of freedom with my work, and I'm still being challenged.

Do you live there on campus or do you commute?

I live in the student housing which isn't on campus. The campus is over in North Beach, and the housing is over on the edge of the Tenderloin close to Union Square in what used to be the Olympic hotel. It's like a 10 minuet bike ride.

Describe your process of creating a new piece.

Usually I have a sort of idea for where I want to go with a piece but don't really know where it's going to end up... might start by painting one image then work from there building up different images. I usually make decisions along the way and watch the piece unfold.

What materials do you normally work in?

I normally work in acrylic paint, ink and sometimes I use a little colored pencil or some spray paint.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, how would you do it?

I make paintings and drawings mostly. I use animals pretty consistently in them but they're not really animals and they're not paintings or drawings they're light machines.

What were you like in high school?

Well, I graduated way back in 2008. I probably wasn't too noticeably different. I guess I was more into skating than art in high school. I'm glad to be done with high school. Art school has definitely been a big change. I think I've learned a lot since high school. Still have a lot to learn.

What do love most about living in SF?

SF is a fine city. I like the size of it- not too big. It's one of the more beautiful cities I've ever been to.

If a friend came out for a visit what would you guys do/ where would you take them?

We'd take their car and go jump it off the steep hills like they do in the movies but we'd do it with the car moving in reverse and not wearing seat belts, and the car would be made of glass.

What are you really excited about right now?

My show at FFDG in July, and I'm getting excited about summer time.

When are you the most productive?

At night.

How late do you work? How many hours do you sleep every night?

I probably don't work any later than 2am. A lot of the time I'll work from afternoon into the night. But it depends on how bad I want to work. I don't have a very consistent sleep routine... I'd say I get plenty of sleep though like 9-10 hours on average.

Favorite trip taken?

I went to Egypt recently with my dad and my sister that was amazing.


I enjoy music. I think lately I've been listening to stuff like, Captain Beefheart, Johnny cash, Rolling Stones, Ariel Pink, Animal Collective, Joy Division, uh Leonard Cohen.

Upcoming projects and/ or upcoming shows, etc...?

Other than my solo show in July, I'll have some prints coming out from BLK/MRKT editions soon... I'm doing a board graphic for Atlas Skate Shop in San Mateo that should be out around August along with a little show at Atlas. About a year from now I'm doing a two person show with John Antoski at Subtext Gallery in San Diego.

What made you stick around the Bay Area?

I applied to some East Coast schools just cause I wanted to get far away from home and try a new place, but I found out that I didn't like any of the schools out there so I stayed in the Bay Area. The Bay Area's great. I don't know if there's anywhere else in California I would want to live.

You skate much these days? Where and what do you like to skate?

Yeah I'm skating, not quite as often though. I go to the Potrero Park sometimes. That's where I broke my teeth a few months ago. But I've been doing a lot more street skating. I think now that I'm living in the city just rolling around town hitting different little spots, the library is pretty fun to skate at night.

Here's some skate footage I have. A lot of it was filmed about a year ago

Any artistic family members?

Neither of my parents are artists but my sister Monica is. She always encouraged me with my own art. http://www.flickr.com/photos/monicagunderson/

You seem like a mellow laid back kind of guy... What stresses out Henry Gunderson?

I guess time stresses me out- trying to make the most of my time which I'm not very good at. Actually, interviews stress me out a little bit. I'm not much of a talker.

Some artists you're following right now?

I don't know who in particular I look at I guess just whatever I see on the internet or in galleries or stuff people show me. I don't really have favorites. I don't think I follow things too closely. I should probably try and keep up with what's going on more. I'm always looking at whatever's on Fecal Face... I don't know.

Henry Gunderson solo show
Thursday, July 23rd 7-10pm
@Fecal Face Dot Gallery
66 Gough St {moscomment}

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