Shooting Louise Parker in the middle of artist Jason Yates’ Boyle Heights studio gave us the opportunity to pivot from our so-called ‘usual’ turf. The always lovely Louise was the perfect idea: a recent L.A. implant, a model and a great photographer in her own right. See here and here and ok–we get it, Louise–you’re talented. Detroit-born, Los Angeles-based Yates had arranged some works of his–inanimate (barely), nostalgic and part of his exhibit Homemade Ice Cream–so Louise could stand in front of them, as one does, and role play a life as a gallery assistant. The artist and ‘miner of ontological garbage’ has been in L.A. some twenty years cultivating his work, and cultivating the art scene itself, but you won’t be able to see his Homemade Ice Cream there; it’s at the Wasserman Projects gallery–in Detroit. His largest solo installation to-date also marks a 25 years since his last exhibit in his hometown. Louise spoke to Yates for Models.com.
RIGHT Rachel Comey top and skirt, Vere Verto x Sissy Sainte-Marie belt bag, Maryam Nassir Zaheh boots, Rachel Comey earrings. LEFT Rachel Comey coat and shoes, Eckhaus Latta pants, ARC earrings. Credits.
How would you describe your work?
I’m usually trying to locate the beauty in dysfunction. I cherish the same pathologies people go to therapy to get rid of. I guess I’m a miner of ontological garbage.
Have you always worked with mixed media?
Yes. I’ve never been a purist. I mix media. I mix styles. I mix emotions. I thrive on anxiety.
Who inspires you and who are your favorite artists?
From the time I was young the work of Chicago artist Pedro Bell has excited me. He is a grand escapist with a visual and written language of great complexity. Most people would know him from the covers he did for Funkadelic, amongst others. He altered the greater consciousness and is a true source of inspiration that most people have never heard of. He remains relatively obscure and I fear most of his accomplishments were not preserved or archived.
Rachel Comey jacket, Tessa Matthias Pants, Fabiana Pigna Shirt, Rachel Comey shoes, Hartfield earrings, Mondo Mondo ring.
Gotta ask, what was it like working for and being a student of Mike Kelley’s?
It was expensive. It was also very rewarding. If I’m to being very honest–it was also stifling. Being much younger, his brilliance and tenacity was a lot to process and there were times that I was overwhelmed by this. I think of the famous quote by Brancusi on his time assisting Rodin, “Nothing grows well in the shade of a big tree”.
Being much younger, his brilliance and tenacity was a lot to process and there were times that I was overwhelmed by this. I think of the famous quote by Brancusi on his time assisting Rodin, “Nothing grows well in the shade of a big tree”.
What are your thoughts on the fashion industry? Have you collaborated with fashion before?
That’s a big question. Mostly, the “industry” is everything that’s wrong with humanity. That said, there is so much poetry and beauty located there, too. At best, it’s art. At worst…the worst. I absolutely love pouring over magazines like Pin-Up, Supplement, AnOther Magazine, and Purple…I really enjoy magazines. Tactility is very important to me. I did a project with Christophe Lemaire a few years back. It wasn’t a great experience. He and his people lacked integrity and failed to honor their commitments. It was a great lesson for me and I actually am very grateful. It reinforced how I wanted my relationships to be and to beware anytime someone wants to “collaborate”. It’s usually parasitic.
Tell us about your studio space…
My studio is an old dance hall in Boyle Heights. It was built in the late teens. I’ve been here for about a year and I share it with painter Jed Ochmanek.