(Photos and words by Laurie Markiewicz)
Everybody is familiar with the bright fluorescent orange 99cent sticker from the grocery or discount stores. They would be slabbed onto boxes of crackers or single pairs of white tube sock packages. Eye-catching to say the least, but other than that what other use would they have? Well, Brooklyn-based collage artist Chad Gordon has taken how we view those stickers and others in their family to a new level.
I was first put onto Chad by Blust. We looked forward to the pieces he was throwing up on Instagram and grew fond of his series “The Consumer Culture” which utilized different images of indigenous people in ironic scenes. After realizing both Blust and Chad are Columbus College for Art & Design alumni, we felt inclined to reach out and learn more about what was behind the “generic price tag sticker” creations and who was Chad Gordon.
We got the chance this past holiday weekend to visit Chad in his home/studio. With much hospitality from he and his wife, we had many conversations about art, creating, the artists mind, process, the art and job market, and of course raising children. Chad brought me to his area of their joint working space. Stacks of books, magazines, scraps of cut up paper, and rolls of those infamous stickers covered and surround his desk. A cozy creative nest where Chad cuts and constructs.
Soft-spoken and a generous soul, here is a little bit of Chad Gordon for you to enjoy.
Name: Chad Gordon
596: Describe your initial revelation for becoming an artist.
I don’t know if there was a revelation. It’s something I have been doing since I can remember. I was drawing all the time when I was a kid. I started painting and collaging from there.
596: What is it that keeps you motivated? Your inspiration
I am always motivated to make new work. As I work, I guess the motivation just builds. I love realizing there’s so much more
exploration and new ideas spark as I’m making a new piece. It motivates me to keep working and push the idea the further.
596: What connection are you trying to establish between you and your viewer through your work?
I grew up outside Cleveland, Ohio, where the landscape is all 99cent stores, strip malls and Discount Super Stores. I like to use recognizable, everyday objects like price tags from those stores in my work. I guess I was trying to make connections through my environment and maybe some viewers can relate too.
At the moment I am listening to extremely loud Caribbean music. It’s shaking my apartment. My street is blocked off and the West Indies Day Parade in Crown Heights is outside my window. Right now I’m into a lot of instrumental music like Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, and Odd Nosdam. I like switching it up and don’t feel tied to any specific genre.
596: Describe your ritual before making work.
Finding books and magazines, then ripping out at the pages that I might use for my work.
596: What do you think is the role the artist plays in society?
596: Things are constantly changing all around us, what specifically in the environment you grew up in do you wish hasn’t changed?
That’s difficult. Nothing ever stays the same. I had more free time back then. I miss that.