Director Morgan Spurlock (“Supersize Me,” the upcoming “Mansome” which is screening at the Tribeca film festival this week, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” and one of my bibles, “50 Documentaries to See Before You Die“) curates his first art show “New Blood,”opening next Saturday at Thinkspace Gallery. He also kindly gave MyFDL an exclusive interview about the show.
“New Blood” features important contemporary artists who have each chosen another up and coming artist to exhibit along them. Many of the established artists are included in Spurlock’s own collection. He told me in email:
I began collecting in 2004 with a small piece by Francisco Lo Castro. Since then, I have filled all the walls in my home, office and cabin upstate with art. After the Lo Castro, I got the original “MC Supersize” from Ron English, and then pieces by Nouar, Gary Baseman, Ray Caesar, Yoko Tanaka, & Sas Christian. I have a few pieces by Ron English & Gary Baseman. I also have paintings by Dzine, The Date Farmers, Camille Rose Garcia, Tim Biskup, Gary Taxali & Shepard Fairey.
“New Blood” includes all original works from established artists and the new blood they chose to exhibit with them: Camille Rose Garcia and Travis Lampe; The Date Farmers and Albert Reyes; Dzine and Jesus Bubu Negron; Elizabeth McGrath and Morgan Slade; Gary Baseman and Jesse Dickenson; Gary Taxali and Adrian Forrow; Jonathan Yeo and Charlie Gouldsborough; Mark Jenkins and Sandra Fernandez; Nicola Verlato and Marco Mazzoni; Ron English and Kid Zoom; Saber and ZES; Shepard Fairey and Nicholas Bowers; and Tim Biskup and Patrick Hruby.
Spurlock explained why and how he chose the established artists in the exhibit:
I picked artists who I believe had helped re-shape the art world in some way, artists whose imprint will be felt for decades to come. Each of them have created bodies of work that explore issues of censorship, free speech, human rights, voter’s rights, abandonment, depression, pollution, gun control, corporate & governmental malfeasance, & personal empowerment through art. Through art, you can create a truly inspired conversation and debate that forces us to engage with a topic.
Thinkspace’s Andrew Hosner, who met Spurlock through the filmmaker’s collecting, remarks:
We’ve worked closely with Morgan for a number of years now and ever since I interviewed him for our blog a couple years back I’ve wanted to run the idea by him of a curatorial project. Fast forward a year and one day while catching up via phone I just threw it out there to him and he loved the idea. He came back to us a month or so later with a fully realized concept for the show and a wish list of artists to approach. Morgan has always been about helping out and supporting up and coming artists, so to see his vision for this show come to life has been very rewarding.
Spurlock’s support of up-and-comers extends to his live-action projects. “Failure Club,” his webseries on Yahoo!, documents the weekly efforts of a wide group of people to put their dreams into action:
The members will meet every week over a year to help each other achieve the things they’ve only dreamed of — the stay-at-home mom who wants to start her own business, the market researcher who wants to become a stand-up comic, the 55 year old mother of a teenage daughter, who literally wants to get back on the horse and become an Equestrian, and others. Each member of the Failure Club will try and some will fail, but the journey will change them forever.
And Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope showcases the hopes and dreams of five Comic-Con attendees who are trying to change their lives with a trip to the mega-alt-world convention.
Is a documentary about art in the future for Spurlock?
I’ve been knocking that idea around for a while. I would love to, just haven’t found what the entree into the universe would be.
And Spurlock’s own, non-filmmaking, art?
I paint badly and take mediocre pictures. One day I hope to be able to paint mediocre paintings and take pictures I don’t want to delete immediately.
“New Blood” opens Saturday April 28 Thinkspace Art Gallery, 6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 558-3375. The opening reception is Saturday April 28, from 5 to 8pm.
All artwork: permission granted by Thinkspace Art Gallery
1: Ron English
2: Ron English’s New Blood artist Kid Zoom readies his piece
3: One of Dzine’s works in progress for New Blood