ARTIST OF THE WEEK #1: ST.FRANCIS ELEVATOR RIDESeptember 4, 2014
As his name might suggest, St. Francis Elevator Ride is no ordinary artist – in fact, from looking through his mesmerizing portfolio of work, you might be inclined to believe he has travelled from the ‘60s and been asked to illustrate his awry mind. In reality – St Francis Elevator Ride is the moniker of Tennessee artist, Josh Breeden.
Exploring the themes of love, sex, delusion, and visceral emotions,Breeden’s works are both impressively precise and hypnotising in equal measure. So we called upon him to share a few words about his creative process and better understand his artistic form.
“I enjoy making an audience feel really uncomfortable. To achieve this end, I often marry low-brow retro ad clippings with images culled from old anatomy/botany texts to make something completely new, beautiful — and unsettling.”
“Lately, I’ve been addressing the issue of American overconsumption by introducing surrealist settings filled with disgusting food photos from gimmicky ’60s recipe books (Google “frosted ribbon loaf” or “ham and bananas hollandaise” for a general frame of reference). I’ve always been drawn to the pop approach of making art from domestically banal things, be it household appliances or the jello mold rotting in the back of Grandma’s fridge.
The end goal is always the same: get the audience’s attention by upending the commonplace (or even gross), and then challenge them to find beauty in unexpected places.”
“I collect lots of source material from old books and magazines depicting bygone days, most often those ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s. I scan the images so they can be cut, color-corrected, saturated appropriately and then finally collaged into an end product. Each work is enhanced through minimalist illustration and design practices, often resulting in surprising iterations of negative space.
The entire process takes anywhere between two to fifty hours per individual work, and GIF creation can be even more tedious at times because it requires building animations frame by frame.
I think all artists must be at least a little bit brain damaged to put so much work into a thing with no reward except getting to see what the inside of their heads look like on the outside. And I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”
St. Francis Elevator Ride – www.stfranciselevatorride.com