Sculptural Form Creating Space by Kenneth Jeffrey
"I don’t think my work occupies space, it creates space. Planning the layout of my work is the hardest thing to do. Photoshop is my best buddy, I usually create a floor plan on photoshop first, you can do so many things on photoshop you don’t even think of."
Kenneth Jeffrey is a interdisciplinary artist based in the US creating sculptural installation work which aims to deconstruct and offer discursive on how objects and people occupy space. Influenced by popular culture and the internet Jeffrey creates dynamic spatial constructions which warp preconceptions on how matter revolves around our own space.
Tell us more about yourself and your artwork
I’m an interdisciplinary Artist who currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. My work is about how humans interact with their living environments such as nature, urban and rural areas, virtual space, and psychological space. I like to use the term “synergy” to describe my art process because I work with collage and png files a lot. I mostly make installations and sculptures but I started to make videos recently.
Your artwork mixes photography and sculpture in an interesting way. Could you tell us more about the physical process of your creations?
It’s really about improvisation, seriously there are no rules in my work, I try to be as free as possible. I collect a lot of found objects, mass products, dollar store stuff, posters, etc. I have so many stuff that I had to get rid of some of them last week. I have a giant sculpture in my bedroom, it takes up one- fifth of the space, it’s hilarious. I always try to find connections among the objects, and then organise them into different categories. I think freestyle rap and jazz really influence how I work. My objects are like lyrics, spitting acidic spirits. Damn, this is lit, just being narcissistic.
Your work occupies space in an intriguing way, how do you plan the layout of your work?
I don’t think my work occupies space, it creates space. Planning the layout of my work is the hardest thing to do. Photoshop is my best buddy, I usually create a floor plan on photoshop first, you can do so many things on photoshop you don’t even think of. I make a lot of shit there. I always think there are golden rules in spatiality. When I was in school a prof told me three is always a good number for art.
What work inspires you or has inspired you?
There are tons of artists have inspired me, I just name the important ones: Hannah Hoch (Dada), Louis Bourgeois (work ethics), Mel Bochner (serial system), Henri Matisse (colour and collage), Yayoi Kusama (colour and shape), Wolfgang Tillmans (photo arrangement), Pierre Huyghe (concept), Hito Steyerl (her writings), Rachel Harrison (colour and shape), Thomas Hirschhorn (craziness), Jean-Michel Basquiat (language), Arthur Bispo do Rosário (objects), Noah Purifoy (objects), Chris Ofili (colour and form), Jason Rhoades (craziness), and Phyllida Barlow(craziness)
Music, the internet (youtube, tumblr, and reddit), films, and fashion also inspire me a lot.
Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
I would say Realism, Dadaism, Conceptual art, and post-internet art. Realism is art that depicts humans’ life, working class specifically. It was the first time where real life was painted. Dada is how I work. I still don’t think I fully understand what Conceptual art is but it’s basically concept over aesthetics, I like it because it focuses on concepts. I don’t really consider Post-internet art as an art movement because we’re all post-internet artist, some people may disagree my statement but it’s true. We live in the internet age, we use the internet to do research and self-promote. There are a lot of artists that use online platforms (IG, fb, Tumblr, etc) to promote their work, the platforms thus become an art itself- how we edit, display, organise, and show it.
You’re the founder and director of a few other Canadian projects which have a global reach. Could you tell us more about those projects? FYCA is a particular favourite here.
Fucking Young Canadian Artists is an online platform that promotes emerging Canadian and International artists. It used to be a collective but it kinda faded out, I kinda forced it which was fucking bad. I remember two years ago I created FY-CA as a closed fb group thing where people could post whatever they wanted, there was a point where the group had over one hundred members, but then later on I was the only one who posted shit, I got tired of it so I deleted the group, since then I’ve been focusing on interviewing young artists. My goal right now is to create a physical copy of FY-CA. I gotta say that I’ve met a lot of cool artists online, and I actually met two artists in real life few weeks ago in Berlin and London.