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Interview | David Kitz

On his process and his new series “Syllables”:

My process seems to work in phases.  I cycle through ideas, most of the time discarding them or leaving them for another time.  Every once in awhile I’ll feel compelled to move an idea straight into production, which basically means playing around and experimenting to see if the images or objects I’m producing function the way I had thought they would.  This phase leaves plenty of room for surprises, which I welcome. Maybe what I was thinking about originally begins to feel dead, but something new arises that has more teeth or feels fresher.  When working on these works in particular, I’ve been thinking a lot about visual information and how to rupture it or suspend it through a simple gesture like cropping.

In this series, I’m misusing the mat in the frame to obscure the picture being presented. I’ve been thinking about what it means to re-compose-- through cropping-- an image whose boundaries had already been decided upon, perhaps decades ago.  Does it become a new picture entirely?

The title is in reference to the pieces’ fragmented nature, to only being a part of a larger word (in their case, image), and thus merely being a sound with perhaps no fixed meaning or an altered meaning.

On Los Angeles:
LA is a place that is always changing and always shifting, always being torn down and rebuilt.  I grew up here and in a lot of ways I don’t feel like I live in the city where I was born.  I don’t think there’s anything that you could make here that wouldn’t make sense. It feels as though anything is fair game. I like to keep the door to my studio open to hear the sounds coming from outside.

I remember when I was fresh out of high school, I was working as a barista at a coffee shop in Venice.  I had a regular customer named David Quadrini who I’d see every time I worked.  We would always chat and one day he invited me to come see the show that was opening at his gallery in Culver City called Q.E.D (later Angstrom).  I went, and after seeing it and hanging out with everyone I told David that I was interested in working there—even if it meant sweeping the floors and painting the walls.  He took me up on it and that’s essentially what I did until I worked my way up to more involved tasks. I ended up working there for 3 years until I left to start art school at UCLA.  That job was my real introduction to contemporary art and I met some amazing people.  However, most of all it was David who took me under his wing and answered every stupid question I had about everything without ever making me feel like I was asking stupid questions.

Quick Hits:
Describe your practice in three words: Playful, relaxed, slow
What makes you nervous? Traffic.
What makes you laugh? My dog.
One habit you wish you could break? Hitting snooze on my alarm over and over and over again.
New thing you discovered in 2016? Sheep’s milk yogurt.  I didn’t used to like yogurt. I reaaally like this stuff though.
What you're most looking forward to in 2017? Spending more time outdoors.  And hopefully making a lot of stuff too.

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