1xRun Thru Interview
Booze Hounds by Jesse Kassel
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this series of original works, is it part of a recent theme you’ve been doing?
Jesse Kassel: It’s part of something that’s been brewing for a while, but this particular body of work was created during my time spent doing an Artist Residency at the Redbull House of Art in Detroit. I had a bunch of ideas floating around and hadn’t really nailed anything down by the time I started the 3 month long residency. I was probably about a month in when I made the “Brew Collection” piece. I liked it so I let the theme of that one run free.
1xRUN: What materials were used to create these pieces?
Jesse Kassel: I used a lot of salvaged barn wood that I had lying around waiting to be used. I also used a lot of old house paint that I found in the dumpster in front of my apartment building. I also used fancy new paint and new birch panels.
1xRUN: When were these pieces created and how long did it take to complete the entire exhibition?
Jesse Kassel: I started them back in June of 2013 and they took me a little over two months to complete.
1xRUN: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Jesse Kassel: If you like booze and old stuff you should like these paintings.
1xRUN: What is unique about these pieces?
Jesse Kassel: There are layers to them, and a story in the body of work as a whole, but they’re also kitschy and fun.
1xRUN: Why should people buy one of these original paintings?
Jesse Kassel: Nobody should do anything they don’t want to. If someone does, then they should. Don’t over think it.
1xRUN: Describe this series in one gut reaction word.
Jesse Kassel: Barf. 1xRUN: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Jesse Kassel: Probably before I knew what it meant to make art. I like some of the stuff I was doing when I was 8 better than the new stuff. My first piece, probably poop smeared on a wall.
1xRUN: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Jesse Kassel: As a kid I was really into vehicles and machinery. My Grandpa was an automotive illustrator at a few agencies in Detroit in the 50’s and then went on to do watercolors of old crushed rusted out cars. I grew up looking at that and reading manga and other old comics I inherited from my dad. That was mainly what inspired my desire to draw and be better at it.
A lot of artists inspire me now. My Grandma was also an illustrator, she did fashion illustration for department stores in Detroit. I have a lot of her old work up in my house now. I’ve really grown to appreciate her work more in recent years. I really dig Jim Houser, Richard Coleman, Gary Taxali and Stuart Davis are a few that come to mind. Flatter more graphic stuff catches my eye more now.
1xRUN: Do you listen to music while you work?
Jesse Kassel: Either trap music or complete silence.
1xRUN: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Jesse Kassel: I’d feel weird about collaborating with someone I didn’t know personally. I’ve collaborated with friends and it’s worked because we’re comfortable saying anything. I can’t imagine collaborating with Robert Williams and being like “maybe we should try this.” Maybe I just need to build more confidence. For the latter it would be my grandma, she died before I was born but I see something in her personal work that I feel a connection to.
1xRUN: What was the first piece artwork that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Jesse Kassel: That’s a tough one. I can’t remember. Probably not. The last was a painting of a building with a cow on it by my good friend Ed Foster. It was a steal.