Kristen Liu-Wong and Luke Pelletier
CURATED BY SUPERCHIEF GALLERY
Shown at 1700 Naud November 7th-25th 2020
In the midst of Covid19 I have taken to gallery hoping as an alternative to social gathering. It is hard to resist the opportunity to have single person visits at galleries. There is literally no one to get in the way of capturing and being with art. What better time then now to take in new works.
PhotoBALLARD: Mr. Pelletier, may I call you Luke?
Luke: Sure thing! that's what I go by.
PhotoBALLARD: I truly enjoyed being with your art today, I took a few pics and ran some slo motion video of the pieces I dig the color pallets and contrast, wackyness is always alluring to me as well. As far as collaboration, can you explain the process? How did the two of you decide the direction of the works?
Luke: We usually start with an idea. and then one of the two of us starts sketching the composition. then we draw all the elements separately and put them together in photoshop. then we transfer the image and paint it. we decide on colors as we go We decided on the direction of the work by listening to the old folk song, The Big Rock Candy Mountains. We just loved the idea of creating a specific paradise. so that was the jumping off point.
PhotoBALLARD: After a little research I learned the two of you met or got together via a collaborative show a couple years ago, has it been just two shows together?
Luke: We've been in heaps of shows together. but these are the only two collaborative shows we've done together.
PhotoBALLARD: Looks like a presser to me, who are we looking at? Can you elaborate on the this?
Luke: On the left is our friend David Maxwell. and on the right is Nicholas Lowry. In the front of the picture, Kristen and I are manning the cameras. This is a painting we did of the show poster for Wishful Thinking being appraised for an exorbitant amount of money on the Antiques Roadshow. We definitely romanticize what it'd be like to have our art highly collected and saught after. so this image reflects that.
Personal thought, viewing work in this new format, in Covid times. Having attended thousands of openings, not hearing the buzz from droves of people really brings a new sense to taking in a show. My thoughts were challenged more then in a crowded setting, I actually like this.
PhotoBALLARD: What are your thoughts on Covid era openings Vs. mass gathering openings?
Luke: I had the same feeling. I miss the party of the openings, but I think people engage with the work more intimately in this setting.
PhotoBALLARD: Are these self portraits?
Luke: In a way, I think all the paintings are self portraits of the two of us. When you juxtapoz or iconography/styles, I think kristen's women stand in for her. and my alligators/skeletons/men stand in for me. We didn't plan it that way, that's just how it sort of came out.
PhotoBALLARD: Sex is somewhat of a theme or sorts, are you both driving this theme?
Luke: Definitely. Kristen has always had themes of sexuality in her work. and mine has had some elements of sex in the recent works. So when we paint together, it's just natural that it comes up.
PhotoBALLARD: This piece threw me off a bit, lobster and fruit cake, shrimp cocktail and parallax. What have you about this piece? I love it.
Luke: Going on the theme of paradise, we wanted to do a feast painting. We had also recently seen a copy of Dali's cookbook where he displays the food in an artful way. so we really wanted to play around with that.
PhotoBALLARD: Is food a passion at the home front?
Luke: We cook a lot, but nothing like this.
“ESCAPE TO JOSHUA TREE”
PhotoBALLARD: I spent the most time looking at this, it has a real sense of normalcy until you look at the clouds, the setting is more in line with Utah or Northern Arizona. I would love to hear you thoughts or inspirations for this piece?
Luke: We spent my birthday in an airstream in Joshua tree a few years back. So that was the starting point for this painting. Kristen used to paint tons of cut aways in her art. So I wanted to revisit that with her in this piece.
PhotoBALLARD: Amazing piece, is it a croc or a gator? Whats up with Garfield?
Luke: Gator. This painting was made for our friend Parker Day. And she requested a garfield phone in the painting.
PhotoBALLARD: These seem a little off topic for this show, for you are they in spec with the show? what are they made out of?
Luke: They're bronze. While we were in lockdown, our friend, David Maxwell, gave us some clay and told us to sculpt some stuff with the intention of making some bronzes. These pieces aren't collabs. so they're a little off topic in that way. but we made them together while we were making all of this work. We just wanted to show em off.
PhotoBALLARD: I am curious about your thoughts on this one?
Luke: This painting was made a few years ago. But I think the jumping off point was "Let's make a painting of a bored woman feeding alligators." Seeing it now, I think It represents my youthful manic energy and Kristen's ability to put up with it.
PhotoBALLARD: What do the creatures represent?
Luke: The gators definitely represent me.
“CASH AND ROSES”
PhotoBALLARD: The bags of money and roses, initial thoughts are of Love and Money. What does this represent to you two?
Luke: The roses are a tribute to a job well done in the arts. When the opera singer hits the big note, Let the roses fly. I feel similarly about the money.
PhotoBALLARD: As of this writing many of the pieces have been marked as Sold. Will the remaining pieces be available for sale at Superchief Gallery?
Luke: The rest of the pieces will probably be hung in our house. or traded to our friends.
PhotoBALLARD: What are you two up to next?
Luke: Kristen has a million shows. and I'm taking a year off from shows. I just want to focus on the work for a bit.
PhotoBALLARD: Where can we keep in touch with what you are doing?
Luke: Definitely instagram. Thanks for the thoughtful questions and the great pictures. stay safe
Kristen Liu-Wong @kliuwong
Luke Pelletier @lukepelletier