Trifecta Editions is a print collective based in Boston and Cambridge, and the brainchild of two talented and brilliantly creative women, Helen Popinchalk and Morgan Grenier. The two have fashioned and curated Trifecta Editions’ inaugural arts and culture event, Trifecta: Year One, which will begin today at Boston’s Fourth Wall Project and run through Sunday.
Q: Tell us about the pieces you will be showing at Trifecta Year One.
A: I will be showing a good amount of small-framed prints of pen and ink drawings I have created over the last few months that touch on themes such as love, anxiety, and the human condition. There’s a good mix of sarcasm, social commentary, introspection, humor and nostalgia, so I think there’s a little something for everyone.
Q: What are you most excited for during the Trifecta Year One event?
A: I’m looking forward to seeing the vast range of styles of all of the artists Trifecta Editions has chosen to work with over the last year. You can’t help but be inspired by the ladies over at Trifecta and their grind, so it’s sure to be a really positive vibe and good time. I’m excited to be a part of it all and contribute.
Q: What’s currently inspiring you?
A: Mainly isolation and introspection. I feel like I’ve been isolating myself a lot lately in many ways. That can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending. In a more positive light, I’ve learned to be less critical of my own work and harness my skills as well as acknowledge my limitations. I’m not trying to be anything more than who I am completely. I’m sure getting older plays a big part in that. When you’re young, you’re basically pressured to fit into something, or some scene. I developed this creative style by isolating myself and steering clear of being concerned with what was happening in a particular scene or worrying about pleasing people for the sake of being accommodating to their ideals. I enjoy spending my time with people who have no expectations of me other than being myself, for better or worse. I find inspiration and happiness in a lot of the same things I always have but primarily adventure and freedom. I’m learning to embrace my positive traits as much as my flaws and I think that’s super important in order to live a fulfilling life. Another major inspiration in everything I do is my late father Walter as well as my mother Christine, who have always been incredibly supportive and proponents of freedom and expression.
Q: Who were some major influences when you first started creating? Have your influences changed over the years?
A: I grew up painting graffiti and to this day, that plays a huge role in my life and has always inspired me. I never went to art school, and my brother Nick and I are both self-taught artists. Aside from him, the only people influencing me in art from the beginning were these almost mythical graffiti writers I would see in zines or on walls. This was really before graffiti had such a huge presence online, so if you wanted to be a part of that world, you had to REALLY want to be a part of it and sacrifice just to maintain a presence in the scene. Graffiti has always represented something real and raw, and in my fondest memories, something that has remained fairly untainted in my life. I am absolutely more likely to check out a freight yard than a gallery.
Q: What sort of projects are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently working on my contribution to the upcoming Say It Ain’t Southern zine, a couple of commercial projects for some brands I am into, and continuing to produce work for upcoming shows and personal endeavors.
|David Buckley Borden|
Q: Your background is heavily steeped in landscape architecture, how does this shine through in the your most recent body of work showing at Bodega?
A: Many of the ideas underlying this installation are the same ideas I explore in my landscape architecture practice. Part of my professional work is to analyze and communicate ideas related to landscape and this practice is often done through drawings. The drawings in this case go beyond typical plans, sections and perspectives to include more abstract drawings and prints and even a laser- etched mapping sculpture and some cow hide cartography.
Q: On your website you say, ‘When not leading his one-man campaign for sustainable cutis anserine Americana […],’ what does that actually mean? Isn’t ‘cutis anserine,’ the technical word for goose bumps?
A: I think this can be traced back to my previous career in the performing arts. For me, one of most satisfying creative achievements is moving someone to the point where they get goose bumps. You can only do this by creating a powerful experience. I’m constantly looking to have these experiences myself and also make them for others as part of my creativity.
Q: A lot of your personal work deals largely with landscapes, ecology, and mapping…how did you initially become fascinated with these things?
A: My interest in landscape, ecology and cartography are all rooted in landscape architecture. I initially became fascinated with these topics while a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. More importantly, I’m attracted to maps as a creative medium because they’re accessible. Generally speaking, people understand the visual language of maps. Cartography is meaningful to a broad cross-section of people, which is of great interest to me as both an artist and a designer of the built environment.
Q: Where do you see your art going from here?
A: I have a variety of related projects in the works. I’m working with Laura Harmon on a folk-mapping project of Super Storm Sandy. I’m developing a project with Andy Sturdevant that explores the cultural landscape of the Yankee Diaspora with a focus on the “Mid West of New England.” And, I’m working up some new spatial-experience branding with Ryan Habbyshaw and Kim LaFoy. Beyond that I’ll be digging into my Trifecta Editions artist residency.
Q: What are you most excited for at the Trifecta Year One event?
A: I am really excited to meet the artists of Trifecta! It looks like the event is going to be incredibly diverse and lively, and should attract a big crowd. I am also, of course, excited about the release of my book as well.
Q:Tell me about the pieces you will have at the event.
A: In addition to my new book, I am showing two large Mylar panels and a number of smaller works. I wanted to show the breadth of my practice – both large and really small works.
Q: What’s currently inspiring you?
A: Everything – a book I might read, a piece of music, a shadow of a tree, cracks in the pavement (there are a lot of them in Providence!). I am very interested in fragments of the landscape and what happens when they are assembled into imaginary environments.
Q:You work in a lot of different mediums and scales; which do you enjoy most?
A:The scale makes the works have different functions. The small paintings are like miniature worlds, a chance for the viewer to have an intimate experience. On the other hand, the bigger pieces are more meditative and allow the viewer to get lost in the image
Q: I read that you describe your style as “LauBrauBauHaus Pop,” can you elaborate? What is “LauBrauBau Pop?”
A: My description of my work as LauBrauBauHaus Pop is kind of tongue in cheek. It was an attempt to describe the many styles that I try to morph together. I’m a big fan of all of these movements and consider them a starting point.
Q:What’s currently inspiring you?
A: I’d say that I’m constantly inspired all day on a regular basis. I’m always on the look out for new color palettes. Whether it comes from someone’s outfit on the T on my way to work, to a bike tied up on a fence, or even the colors of an ad on a bus driving by. It’s all fair game. Music is always a part of my day as well. I listen to it all day, even at work. I’m a big Hip Hop fan. Nature is a big one as well… I try to get to the outdoors to hike as much as possible.
Q: Tell us about the pieces you will be showing at Trifecta Year One?
A: I’ll be setting up one of my installations with the wall painted element behind the paintings. I’ll be showing some paintings on assemblages made from wood that I find in my neighborhood in the trash. Roxbury is in the middle of a major gentrification and homes are being demoed and flipped at a very fast pace. They throw out a lot of wood. I’m just making the most of it.
Read Part 3 to Check Out More Artists in the Event>>>
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