1xRun Thru Interview
I’d love to talk right now but…by Remi Rough
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Remi Rough: The original was in a show at Yves Laroche Gallery in Montreal, Canada. I painted the piece especially for their ‘Lines Into Abstraction’ show. There were some amazing artists also in that show so I kind of had to pull out something new and special! I’d been putting translucent white washes over my paintings for a while and I thought this would be a good opportunity to attempt something a little darker in nature. They still have it for the time being although I think I may actually have it shipped to Detroit at some point.
1xRun: Anything you would like us to highlight?
Remi Rough: I guess you know when a painting has something extra in it’s ingredients… I felt that as soon as I finished this piece. It felt like there was a synergy flowing through it.
1xRUN: When was this piece created and with what materials?
Remi Rough: The show was in September this year so it’s pretty recent. There was some fantastic work in it by Augustine Kofie, Pose, El Mac, Bacon and Kwest amongst others. It’s a mixture of graphite, matte house paint and spray paint on premium 9oz canvas.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Remi Rough: I had a drawing of some of the shapes in the piece but the rest just happened organically. It’s a good 85% expressionistic, the rest is calculated.
1xRun: How long did this piece take? Did you encounter any issues while painting this piece? if so how did you get through them? if not why did it move so fluidly?
Remi Rough: If I remember rightly it took me roughly about 2 weeks… I sometimes work on a couple of paintings at the same time. The only issues I had were actually with the varnishing. I like to give a painting a few coats of varnish and for some reason drying times seemed to take forever on this one.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Remi Rough: I haven’t really made any work like this before or after as yet.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Remi Rough: I’d like to think anyone who wants a little colour in their lives would appreciate this.
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Remi Rough: But…
1xRun: Can you talk a bit about your color palettes, how you choose them for your pieces and how they are applied to each?
Remi Rough: I have some very staple colours I tend to work with. But for this painting I went largely out of my comfort zone. The dark reds and black are quite new for me in this context, I’ve used them before more minimally, but I definitely tried some new ground with this one.
1xRun: We had a chance to see you when you recently came to Detroit for the first time, tell us about what your preconceptions were before the trip and a bit about what your time here was like?
Remi Rough: I had an amazing time in Motor City! It wasn’t at all as I expected. I think I thought it was going to be a lot grimier and falling apart, I’m sure there are parts that are more like that, but all I really got to see was an immense push on regeneration and lots of opportunities. I really liked Detroit and I’d like to get out there again as soon as I can. Smash had told me I’d love it and he was totally right. Library Street Collective also looked after me really well and everyone I met including all the 1xRUN family were perfect hosts.
1xRun: You are a founding member of the Agents of Change (AOC) tell us a bit about the group, who the other members are and how you all came together ?
Remi Rough: AOC comprises of 12 artists; Myself, Timid, Jason System, LX One, Jaybo, Stormie Mills, Derm, Carlos Mare, Augustine Kofie, Jerry ‘Joker’ Inscoe, Steve More and Juice 126. The first Agents were myself, Timid, LX One and System, Stormie was the next to join ranks and the rest of the guys are either friends for years that we all respect and love their work or artists like Kofie and Mare who are just astonishing artists and simply fitted into the fold perfectly. I doubt it will ever grow anymore, it’s pretty much the absolute dream team as it stands.
1xRun: What have been some of the projects you have all engaged in over the years?
Remi Rough: Our first big project was ‘The Ghost Village Project’ where we painted a huge village in the west coast of Scotland that had been derelict for almost 40 years. It was a major move for us and kind of put us on the map so to speak. After that we were asked to create a massive project for the ‘Future Everything Festival’ in the UK, then we painted the ‘Megaro Hotel’ which is currently the largest mural in London. There have been numerous smaller projects but those 3 are main ones thus far.
1xRun: Any big projects coming up for AOC?
Remi Rough: We’re working on 2 really major projects for 2014 and 2015, the first in Morocco and the second hopefully in London.
1xRun: You are also in the Graffuturism movement, how did that come about and how has it continued to evolve over the years?
Remi Rough: Myself, Poesia, Joker, Kema, Dial, Codak and Augustine Kofie all happened to be in San Francisco at the beginning of 2010 for a show myself and Kofie were both in. Apex hooked us up a wall to paint and that wall was the incentive for Poesia to start the blog and the subsequent movement that’s grown from that initial blog has been a bit of a roller coaster! It’s a pleasure to be part of something that’s bigger than all of us.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Remi Rough: Funnily enough the most recent piece of art is an amazing piece I bought in Detroit by Nick Jaskey! I saw it and bought it there and then. My wife absolutely loved it when I gave it to her. She has excellent taste! She’s a huge Marco Grassi fan too.
1xRun: What else do you have on your schedule as 2013 winds down and 2014 begins?
Remi Rough: I have a show coming up with John “Crash” Matos this January at Dorian Grey gallery in New York City.
I also would love to get another book in the works as well, there are just a handful left of my last book “Rough Sketches” that are available at my website, grab one while you can.