Morgan Riccilli Slade was one of 50 finalists of the myartspace.com Bridge Art Fair Miami competition. Slade was chosen by the myartspace.com panel of jurors-- which included, Elisabeth Sussman, Senior Curator, the Whitney Museum; Janet Bishop, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); JoAnne Northrup, Senior Curator, San Jose Museum of Art; and Michael Workman, Founder of Bridge Art Fair. His work was represented digitally by www.myartspace.com at Bridge Wynwood in 2008.
Brian Sherwin: Morgan, what can you tell us about your academic background concerning art?
Morgan Slade: I grew up in Los Angeles and got a degree in Studio Art at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1991 after doing some studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The University was a great place to study at the time because the art department was totally at odds with itself.
What was always an academic and traditional program, albeit a strong one, under the direction of Victor Burgin, it was being questioned. All of the sudden we were studying Roland Bartes, Umberto Eco, semiotics, and photography theories. It was all very exciting, and allowed for us extend dialog regarding our work, but did cause tension with professors teaching from a more formal and aesthetic perspective.
BS: At what point did you gain an interest in creating visual art? Did you have early influences?
MS: My grandmother is an avid painter and my parents were involved with the film industry growing up so I think there was a natural progression more importantly, support. The main struggle I had was trying to settle on a medium, which never happened so I work with several.
Refine : Refract 2 D100 by Morgan Riccilli Slade
BS: Morgan, can you tell us about your art? Give us some insight into the thoughts behind your work? Perhaps you can tell us about your refine : refract series?
MS: I think that the best place to start would be the refine : refract series. These works are about the deconstruction and modification of a sign, and re-construction with a very purposeful re-presentation of image and concept. Memorial and nostalgia are also ongoing themes.
One of the main things I got from studying under Victor Burgin, and we did not talk about art as craft very much, was to draw on varied references to come to a singular, distilled conclusion. Refine : refract begins conceptually and builds to a tangible product.
The mediums vary and in some cases utilize more than one. I feel that it is important to remember however, that we are dealing with a visual and sometimes aural medium that engages a viewer and needs to be ‘read’, so aesthetic values do play a role in the finished product.
I also enjoy working in a much more non objective and more singular manner were the image comes first and the final piece is more about graphic quality and immediate impact. Float by Morgan Riccilli Slade
MS: While refine : refract is open to employing elements of video, photography, audio and the kitchen sink, and the work is created over a longer period, a piece like Float which is made with dry pigment in enamel is designed to be a more physical process.
To read Part 2 of my interview with Morgan Riccilli Slade click, HERE
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