Hannah Stouffer in conversation with Adam Feibelman:
Hannah Stouffer: Hey Adam, what are you wearing?
Adam Feibelman: I am currently topless in my hot summer time studio. I do have bottoms on, though, which are jeans.
HS Tell me about your process for your upcoming show 'Do With Me What You Will' at Guerrero Gallery- how long did the series take for you to put together? How do you feel your work has evolved at this point from exhibitions in the past??
AF About a year ago, Andres from Guerrero Gallery approached me with the opportunity, knowing that my work takes a long time to make. I think he wanted to give me some elbow room, time to fully realize an idea, and fill such a large space; so, I have been working on this series for a year. In terms of evolution, the large amount of time let me try new things, ideas for techniques were put into practice. It afforded me the time to really sink into some personally ambitious work, like a view of looking up at redwood trees that took seven months to cut. They are called "The Love Songs."
HS Do you typically show both the paper stencil and the final, layered painting?
AF Yes, a couple of years ago it started to become clear to me that people who were looking at the paintings weren't fully understanding of the process; I felt there needed to be another level of deconstruction. That is when I started cutting apart, collaging, and sewing back together the "tools" (stencils). I felt that it was the best next step for me.
HS How do you describe your work to others that have never seen it?
AF It usually starts with, "how much time do you have?" followed by a description of the process. I start with one of my photos, put into the CPU and enlarge it, and print it out. Then I use that template, to deconstruct the photo by tone: the darkest tones are layer one, the next layer would be one step brighter, until you're nine layers later at white, or brightest highlight. I think of them in black and white, because if you have the tones right, you can substitute in any color in the painting process. Then I reassemble the image using the stencils with spray paint to make a painting. Once I am happy with that, I then take the stencils and deconstruct them, as to reveal the most information possible and sew them together to make dimensional hanging paper sculpture things, haahaaa.
HS Do you consider yourself an illustrator? A craftsman?? A master-blade-handler??
AF There are aspects of my studio practice that are all of those things. In the end, I consider myself an artist at large. I believe in these times you kind of have to be a jack of all trades and have to be able to sink into whatever project is put in front of you.
HS Tell me about your studio set-up, what do you need to have on hand for a successful session??
AF I need my paper, I need some blades, NPR to keep me company, and a staple gun is nice. I have a large table with a cutting mat over the whole thing, usually three pieces going at the same time. Then the table is surrounded by shelves and another work station housing the typical artist hoarding, haahaa.
HS If someone were to come into your home who you had never met before, what would be the visual giveaways that you were an artist?
AF First off, they'd see my art collection, which is getting good. Then they'd notice little pieces of oddly-shaped paper that somehow got to my house from the studio, maybe in my shoes or on the floor. Beyond that, if someone is coming into my house and doesn't know I'm an artist, then they don't need to know.
HS After finishing this new body of work for Guerrero Gallery, what are your plans for the immediate, and not so immediate future?
AF I am super excited to get a little time to work on a side project for a couple of weeks, then I start in on a commission for the new 49ers stadium.
HS What do you imagine you would have become, or how your life would have unfolded, if you hadn't chosen this creative path?
AF I would have loved to follow in my Pop's footsteps as a scientist of some sort. I just don't have the right (or left) mind for it, so maybe homeless? Merp.
HS Plans tonight? Indulgences??
AF Tonight, beers with the buddies!