NAME: Eli Ping
STUDIO LOCATION: 1717 Troutman Street, #329, Ridgewood, Queens 11385
BUSHWICK OPEN STUDIO HOURS: Saturday June 2nd, 2012, 12pm-6pm, Sunday June 3rd, 2012, 12pm-6pm
TIME IN BUSHWICK: 2 Years and change
SHARED STUDIO: I have a private studio, but the door opens onto Regina Rex, a gallery I and 12 friends run together. On the other side of one of my studios is the studio of my friend, the painter Lauren Portada. She’s also part of Regina Rex.
[Editor’s note: Over the next three days we’ll be recommending artist studios we think readers should visit during Bushwick Open Studios this weekend, providing interviews with selected artists and compiling it into handy AFC maps you all can use to get around. We know the size of this event can be a little overwhelming. Hopefully, our work will make navigating the Bushwick terrain a little easier.]
Do a search for Eli Ping on the Bushwick Open Studio website and his name will come back nine times. He’s in a lot of shows. None of these results, though, bring back his studio, which will also be open during the event. There, an assortment of Ping’s work will be on display, many evoking a seemingly enormous number of vaginas.
We consider Ping an artist to watch. His paintings resemble woodcuts, but are actually made with Tyvek, a lightweight material used to make Fedex envelopes and tents. Layers of paint peek through the work, creating surfaces that look worked or, alternatively, aged. Ping shows at Susan Inglett Gallery in New York.
When did you start using Tyvek? Is this material important in any context beyond how its used in your paintings?
I started using Tyvek about a year ago. Before that I was making sculptures. My sculpture practice had moved from the room to the wall, then flattened into painting. That change was driven by formal concerns that overlapped with my desire for greater simplicity in the nature of the art objects I was introducing into my life. Along those lines I arrived at Tyvek as a painting surface that was lighter, cheaper, and generally less fussy than canvas. That said there are works for which canvas is the more desirable substrate.
Is there a single concept or theme that drives your work?
I’m interested in the representation of draped fabric in art as a metaphor and example of dynamic and creative force.
I noticed that you had a curatorial project at Susan Inglett. What’s your approach to curating? Does your curatorial practice ever overlap with your artistic practice?
I curated the show at Susan’s and I’ve done some curating at Regina Rex. In late June, I’m opening a gallery on Eldridge just south of Delancey. All of these endeavors are part of a larger whole. In my art practice or in putting shows together, I am exploring the themes, relationships, and materials that interest me, and trying to make that exploration visible and cogent.
What music do you listen to in the studio?
Most recently: Heaven’s Jail Band, Lupe Fiasco, and Paul Dresher.