TBC|Interview takes a deep dive into the minds of today’s most vibrant and enigmatic creators across the world. The series takes a uniquely intimate look at some of the most intriguing voices working outside of the mainstream spotlight. TBC|INT aims to create a uniquely curated mix of artist profiles that will serve as an alternative to other related outlets. We strive to go the extra mile in capturing the individual perspective that drives each artist’s work.
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NFTs on Billboards: Blurring the Lines Between the Tangible and the Digital

Written By Devin McmAHON

On February 7, 2022, The Billboard Creative debuts its ninth and latest billboard exhibition: a showcase of thirty NFT photographs by emerging artists from across the globe, located in clusters throughout Los Angeles neighborhoods. Developed in partnership with Obscura.io, a community-run platform facilitating opportunities for photographers to pursue projects through the sale of NFTs, the exhibited works were submitted in response to a public post on Discord and selected by Artist Mona Kuhn and Obscura’s co-founder Alejandro Cartagena. By bringing the emerging digital medium of NFTs to the streets of Los Angeles, the exhibition blurs the line between the tangible and the digital, the traditional and the modern, and the micro and the macro.

We sat down with curators Mona Kuhn and Alejandro Cartagena to discuss the upcoming exhibition and value, ownership, and reactivity in the digital art space.
 

Interview

New Interview | Tommy Kha

Tommy Kha

At Home, I Am A Tourist

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

Tommy Kha's photographs flip the genre of self-portraiture on its head, by substituting the artist's body for 3D printed masks, cardboard cutouts, plaster busts, digital scans, and an endless ensemble of doppelgängers bearing his signature deadpan likeness. "Self-portrait photography has been tied together with identity so much that it's become a synonym for it," he says, "First and foremost, I am interested in how truth is easily dislodged." Growing up queer and Asian in the American South, Kha now uses the camera to control his own representation.”

Arne Svenson

Neighbors

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

Neighbors is a departure from Svenson’s usual studio-based practice, inspired by the gift of a bird-watching telephoto lens. Applying a reporter’s gaze to the quotidian activities of his downtown Manhattan neighborhood, the images are framed by the grid of Svenson’s own apartment windows. Daily events are thus presented in a theatrical format, cropped and oriented to focus the viewer’s attention.

Arne Svenson is a photographer based in New York City. From landscape photographs of Las Vegas to portraits of worn-out toys and medical museum specimens, his work has broached numerous and varied subjects. The common narrative is Svenson’s interest in the inner life or “essence” of humans and inanimate objects alike.

Cornelia Hediger

Photomontage

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

In the Photomontage series, Hediger explores internal human emotions, notions of the uncanny and the subconscious / conscious mind. Exploring the concept of the “Photomontage” as a ghostly apparition of living person, a feeling of claustrophobia and timelessness permeates the work. The hand of the artist is also readily apparent—in pencil marks, irregular cuts left exposed or hanging strings—drawing further attention to Hediger’s unusual angles and focal planes.

Cornelia Hediger is a conceptual photographer based in NYC. Over the past twenty years, she has turned the lens on herself, creating self-portraits that blur the boundaries between fiction and truth. Her work also reflects an enduring interest in photo collage and montage, combining pigment and gelatin silver prints with such varied sources as scans of household textures from the artist’s studio or photography from her native Switzerland.

Sharona Franklin

talks about living with disability | Instagram | leveling the playing field

written by  Jasper McMahon

Sharona Franklin’s works in a variety of mediums share a personal and collective connecting thread telling the story of disabled people. Her work includes the making of gelatin molds, woven blankets, graphic design, and writing. These pieces tell the story of a disabled artist, creating her own world from inside her home. It felt particularly synchronous to be speaking on this theme of domesticity now in the age of the coronavirus lockdowns, and was illuminating to get this much-needed perspective. Her gelatin sculptures combine a mysterious collage of ephemera, from both the alchemical/botanical, to the sterile, seemingly mundane/ domestic elements of her life. These sculptures themselves are ephemeral, and subject to a natural decomposition from the moment they are created. Franklin maintains multiple Instagram accounts through which she filters different aspects of her work. She has used multiple avenues of her art and social media to advocate fiercely for the lives of disabled and otherwise marginalized people.
Interview

Heather Benjamin

Talks About being censored on Instagram

Written by Jasper McMahon

Heather Benjamin was among the first people who came to mind when the idea came about to curate the series on Instagram artists. Her distinct style has emerged from the New England punk scene, where she began forging her own unique brand of drawing and painting that is simultaneously emotionally introspective, and sometimes, grotesque or viscerally hyperbolic. Her prolific oeuvre of self published zines shows a dedication to producing intricately crafted, and frugally reproduced art objects. Benjamin’s work explores the female body/ experience through a starkly punk lens. We spoke about her commitment to accessibility, and how her work has changed through developing a following and granting herself access to experiment outside her original limitations.
Interview

Interview With Artist:
PHUNG HUYNH

Written by Jasper McMahon

Part of the 2021 Billboard Exhibition
Board Location: Santa Monica NS 100ft E/O Hollywood Frwy F/W
Phung Huynh is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator whose practice is primarily in drawing, painting, and public art. Her work explores and challenges cultural perceptions of beauty standards and representations of Asian racial identity and culture. Her most current work of drawings on pink donut boxes and cross-stitched, personalized California license plates explores the complexities of the refugee experience in Southeast Asian communities.
Interview

Allison Tyler

Elusive Beauty

Written by Eve Wood

Tyler’s sculptures anticipate decay in the best possible way. Their simultaneous fragility and decomposition suggest our own human relationship to the natural world, and her attempt to intercede, to transform, if only for a moment, such a small and limited area be it a tree trunk or a leaf, mimics our all too human desire to control the world around us, or to believe that we have such power as to influence the laws of nature.
Interview

Jenny Kendler

Offering

Written by Eve Wood

Jenny Kendler’s performative based artwork entitled “Offering” finds its roots planted firmly in the history of environmentally conscious art practices whose luminaries include Ana Mendieta, Alice Aycock, Lita Albuquerque, and Andy Goldsworthy. Like these artists, Kendler’s interventions into nature are subtle and delicate and derive from a desire to understand our place in the natural world and our responsibility as stewards of the planet. Kendler sets up an alternate reality within the framework of a familiar and manmade natural occurrence, i.e. a hummingbird’s visit to a feeder. Kendler stages her own body as an alternate source of sustenance, having painted her ear a deep and enticing shade of red, and periodically filling her ear canal with sugar water, to attract the birds.
Interview

Myriam Ben Salah and
Lauren Mackler

written by  Jasper McMahon

A conversation with the Hammer Museum's Made in L.A. 2020: a version curators
Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler

We at The Billboard Creative are delighted to share our collaboration with the Hammer Museum on the production of this year's acclaimed biennial show, Made in L.A. 2020: a version.

To take a deeper look at Made in LA 2020: a version, The Billboard Creative arranged an interview with the guest co-curators of the exhibition, Myriam Ben Salah, and Lauren Mackler who organized the biennial with the Hammer’s Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, assistant curator of performance.

Interview
Image by Joshua White curtesy of the Hammer Museum

Interview With Artist:
Humaira Abid

Written by Jasper McMahon

Part of the 2021 Billboard Exhibition
Board Location: Highland ES 200ft N/O De Longpre F/N 
Humaira Abid is Pakistan born American artist working with sculpture and miniature painting. Her work challenges women’s roles in Asian and Middle Eastern culture, and pushes the boundaries of taboo in society. With her unique cross-cultural perspective, Abid aims to re-examine the way we see everyday objects, allowing for conversation and stories to unfold around subjects that are often buried under the surface.
Interview

Laurie Simmons

Talks About her Love Doll Series

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

In 2009, Simmons encountered a hyper-realistic sex doll on a trip to Japan, thus inspiring her Love Doll series. Leaning into orientalist cliches, Simmons positions the doll in unfamiliar all-American settings, much like one would find in a mail order catalog. This juxtaposition underscores the omnipresence of feminine narratives that drive consumer culture and intimate fantasies alike.

Laurie Simmons is a visual artist based in New York. Her work spans collage, photography and film, exploring the representation of women and gender roles in domestic spaces. In particular, her use of dolls, ventriloquists or other miniatures deconstructs and examines idealized representations of the human form.

Lissa Rivera

Beautiful Boy

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

Beautiful Boy reveals a more intimate perspective on identity and sexuality, featuring Rivera’s own domestic partner as a muse. Reimagining gendered imagery from a vast range of time periods and cultures, the project also reflects the fluidity of collaboration between photographer and subject.

Lissa Rivera is a photographer and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work explores the evolution of identity, sexuality and gender in relationship to material culture, earning her such honors as the Magnum Photography Award for Portraiture and the Griffin Museums’ Peter Urban Legacy Award. As a curator, she has produced six exhibitions for NYC’s Museum of Sex, notable for their inclusion of traditionally underrepresented voices—regardless of formal education or exhibition history.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel

talks about “Mama” (Beautiful Skin)

Directed by Ethan Christy / Edited By Sam Sarokin

In “Mama” (Beautiful Skin), Miguel continues to reflect the unique diversity of New York City. Traveling throughout Upper Manhattan by bike, he has spent the past eight summers frequenting neighborhoods that have been historically disenfranchised or ignored by both the government and the rest of society. Yet his portraits do not tell a story of impoverishment or neglect; rather, they display the richness and resilience of these distinctive communities. 

Ruben Natal-San Miguel is an architect, fine art photographer, curator, creative director and critic based in New York. Over the past two decades, his photographs of NYC have been celebrated by countless galleries, institutions and publications for their rich, layered perspective and vibrant storytelling.

Tiri Kananuruk

TK1971

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

Born in Bangkok, the artist’s experiences as a “broken English speaker” also inform her work, as her speaking often results in misunderstandings with both humans and machines. In TK1971, the artist layers spontaneous improvisation over the responses of mis-informed and mis-trained technologies, examining the inherited (and perhaps, flawed) humanity inherent in machine learning. 

Tiri Kananuruk is a performance and sound artist based in New York. With an academic background in Exhibition Design and Interactive Telecommunications, her work explores the manipulation of sound in the context of technological consumerism, examining human relationships through the use of transmitted signals and machine learning, natural language processing and bodily movement.

Sebastián Morales

BOTS, CELLS, AND HUMANS WATCHING

Directed by Sam Vladimirsky

In Bots, Cells and Humans Watching, Morales invites the audience to access his work at http://symbiosis.live. Part digital and part physical, the piece connects servers to a bioreactor growing living cells. This tension creates an environment influenced by both virtual and tangible forces, eventually transforming the server into a hyper-attractor of bots and other inorganic organisms. As humans witness the process, they add yet another element of interaction—the only element that does not actually penetrate and manipulate this environment.

Sebastián Morales is an artist, engineer and researcher based in NYC. Informed by a background in Mechanical Engineering and Interactive Telecommunications, his interactive works combine elements of robotics, digital culture and living systems. With numerous exhibitions across the US and Europe, his current installations explore the speculative symbiotic relationships between organic and inorganic forms of life. 

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