Scrolling through Gordon Holden’s website it’s hard to tell what is art, what is product, and what is just a big joke. But the California based artist isn’t trying to choose one path, his irreverent, pop art products are consumable and never take themselves too seriously. His installation of bizarro humanoid trees at PULSE art fair shows off his branded motto, Consume Cool written as the Coca-Cola logo, perfectly. We spoke to Holden about his art products, the best things he’s seen while in Miami, and just why the shock value of the Art Basel experience has started to wear off.
Who: Gordon Holden
Medium: Products, clothing, sculptures and paintings
Installation at PULSE Art Fair: Sunsets, 2015
Red(consume cool), 2015
Fruit fur, 2015
What’s the concept behind Consume Cool? Do you think of your art as a brand?
Yes completely…we live in a world of branding and the challenge is no longer informing, but using/responding to taste. Everyone knows what Coca Cola is. And it is a natural as a house plant.
The line between the product and art seems to be blurred in your work. Do you think of the products you sell on your shop, like a gold dustbuster, or a hundred dollar bill for $100 or a tee shirt, all as art, or is all the art a product?
Everything is a product, and brands ideally are trying to make products that are practical in order to make our lives more convenient than they already are. Art in today’s world is to question that convenience. So in a way my work is art as product.
What are some of your favorite and least favorite things about coming to Miami for Art Basel.
Definitely the Cuban sandwiches, going on yachts, and going to VIP parties and seeing all the internet art people IRL are my favorite things; the blisters on my feet from walking so much are my least favorite things. Although I did get 2 pairs of $1 socks at CVS that are making my experience more enjoyable. I also like swimming in the ocean.
Is there anything you’ve seen here that has shocked you?
Not so much shocked; the first time I came to Miami for Art Basel, I wanted to be shocked. And I was. This time around, the shock value has somewhat faded, but the art and people that converge on Miami for Art Basel still bring the excitement.
What’s next beyond the Miami madness, what are you working on?
I’m working on a consume cool camera app that I will be releasing in winter 2016; I’m also releasing another Consume Cool project that includes exclusive products and color ways for museum shops. Most recent consume cool product display at the San Diego Art Institute
How would you describe the Art Basel Miami experience?
“We Just Have This Feeling” About Artist Cheryl Louise Humphreys
I want to give artist Cheryl Louise Humphreys’ phone number to everyone I know—she may be the best texter you’ll ever meet. Her refined sense of symbolism in the tech era makes some seriously interesting—and wordless—communication, putting our reliance on familiar icons on display. For her first solo show opening at Paul Loya Gallery, I Just Have This Feeling, she removed text content from a phone and left only the shapes and the emotions. She knows the torture provoked by the three-dot, typing-in-progress bubble so well that she suspended its shape in Plexiglas. She then took the best conversations in her phone and turned them into stencils to press on paper. She calls these “friendship bracelets.” And because an emoji says a thousand words, she has drawn a bra decorated with a thousand fire icons that will leave you speechless.
But this does not make Humphreys an advocate of all technology. She is especially against time lost on one particular social media platform: Instagram. She even deleted the app from her phone. Bold move. As someone who dedicates a lot of thought and care to her work, Humphreys prefers designing visuals IRL to uploading images that you’ll quickly scroll past online. With a show coming up and her first visit to Art Basel, Humphreys has been busy. But when she’s not alone at the printing press, she runs the design studio Arms with her boyfriend Mike McMullen out of their Fairfax District abode—literally a labor of love.
“I’ll probably never go back on Instagram,” Humphreys says. When her show opens, I’m sure we’ll all post it for her.
Paul Loya Gallery is located at 2677 S. La Cienega Blvd., 90024
November 7 – December 19, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 7th, 6 – 9 pm