Czech-Born Vandal Bask Returns To Detroit For Solo Exhibition At Inner State Gallery
“Location, Location, Location” Features An Entirely New Body Of Work & Massive Installation
Opening Friday August 22nd at 7pm, Inner State Gallery welcomes Czech-born artist Ales “Bask” Hostomsky as he returns to Detroit for his first solo exhibition in over 2 years. An entirely new body of work “Location, Location, Location” showcases Bask’s blend of graffiti, punk and DIY styles into his latest exploration of Detroit’s unique textures and vast urban landscape. Known for his massive murals across the globe, over the top gallery installations and tireless work ethic, Bask’s latest solo exhibition is his most ambitious to date. Created over countless late nights and early mornings over the summer Bask has assembled nearly 300 pieces of original artwork for Location, Location, Location. Read on for more as we caught up with Bask as he put the final touches on “Location, Location, Location” to talk about the show and what else Bask has been up to this year…Read on for more with Bask…
1xRun: Tell us a bit about this latest body of work? Is there a theme throughout?
Bask: The inspiration behind the work I made for this show was Detroit’s strengths, struggles, and landscape. I took the opportunity to move to Detroit fourteen years ago, but for a number a reasons beyond my control, my stay lasted only 4 years. However that was long enough for the city to have a profound impact on my work as well as my consciousness towards social and political issues. And even though I haven’t called Detroit home in 9 years, the impression it stamped on me is something I hope I never lose. And it was this appreciation for the influence that DETROIT has had on me, that inspired the work I made for the show.
1xRun: You’ve got 10 different hand-painted multiples, tell us a bit about those pieces…
Bask: I wanted to do something special for the run that was going to coincide with the show. So the idea came to mind to not just offer a hand embellished print, but to actually make a series of pieces in sets that were all hand painted. No stencils or silkscreens, I wanted to offer actually painted pieces that are affordable to anyone who wants one. But as excited as I was about this idea, I then had to figure out how to make this happen within a reasonable time frame. Not to mention, coming up with 10 images that I would be able to duplicate almost identically 20 times over. Then the idea of bring back some of the faces that have appeared in past works. Characters that Detroit inspired me to create. So the end result is I made 200, 12″x 12″ paintings. Each painted on a custom panel off set panel that when hung, makes the piece appear to be floating. There are 10 different designs and 20 versions of each one. And though each image within its set is the same, each one is ultimately slightly different from the next. I have to add that this has been one of the most labor intensive projects I’ve taken on. There are over 500 hours in these between myself and my assistant. Each panel was painstaking worked over. Even though each piece was just one of two hundred, it was my focus to make sure that it looked as though it was the only one.
1xRun: What would you say sets this current body of work from your past works?
Bask: My style is always in motion and I am constantly experimenting in the studio. What sets these works apart from the last show I did in Detroit is that there is a meticulous complexity in how the layers of images within each piece fit together.
1xRun: What would you say ties these works to your past works?
Bask: The link between every series of new work from all the ones that preceded it is the medium, which is always on panels and most that are discarded debris, and the social political observation that is always at the core of almost every piece I make.
1xRun: You lived in Detroit previously, can you tell us a bit about what your time here was like ?
Bask: Yes, I lived in Detroit from 2000 till 2004. This was a profound experience in my life. Aside from my early years living in the Czech Rep, the only place I’ve lived was Florida. I mean, I traveled around the world and throughout the states but never really knew what it was like living someplace as an adult besides Florida. This was also the time I was starting to approach galleries and start to approach me making art as a career. Galleries in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and even Toronto were particularly receptive as was the general public. At the time I was also in a long distance relationship with a girl that was living in Detroit so all the signs were there to move and soak up all that Detroit wants to give me. The relationship with the girl didn’t last but my connection with the city did.
1xRun: Aside from living here, what were some of the reasons you wanted to do this show specifically in Detroit?
Bask: The esthetic of my work is similar to the Detroit landscape. The re-purposed nature of my art plays off of panels, wood, signs, that once were proudly displayed. But over the years they stopped serving their intended purpose and thrown out. That is until I come across it, drag it back to my studio, where hopefully I’ll be able breath a second life into the object. This is how I see Detroit and all the people that are fighting tooth and nail to pull the city back to the greatness it once represented.
1xRun: You’re constantly traveling and staying busy what have you been up to this summer?
Bask: This summer has been a nonstop marathon of incredible projects. I did a show in Denver at Blackbook Gallery and I had the opportunity to do a number of large and creatively gratifying private commissions. Most notably the work I did and continue to do for, #3 of theTampa Bay Rays, Evan Longoria. Red Bull had initially brought us together for a mural project in Tampa but that turned out to be just the beginning. I followed up by making a ten and a half long piece for his home and began working on another piece that is still in the works. I was very impressed with Evan’s genuine interest and appreciation for, not just my art, but the art-world. He’s a young guy, a star MLB player and most people wouldn’t expect the arts to be as much of a passion and priority as they are to him.
1xRun: Anything else about the show that you want to touch on that we didn’t address?
Bask: I just want to take a moment to express my appreciation and respect for what 1xRUN has done for artists and collectors alike. We’ve been working together for a few years and I love the diversity of projects and releases we’ve done together. And I can’t thank enough to the friends, fans, and collectors for making it possible for us to keep this going.
With that said, as a small token of my appreciation, I want to let everyone know that on August 22nd, the day of the 1xRUN release and the opening of my show at Inner State Gallery, I will included a hand embellished, signed/numbered exhibit catalog with every order made that day. The catalog measures 6″x 9″ and opens up to a 12″x 18″ poster.
So, thank you, 1xRUN and thank you, to all the amazing people out there for supporting our creative adventures.