Into the Void Wave, continued. Read Pt1: Jeff & Adam C here.
Through cosmic forces, artsts Adam Collignon, Casey Opstad, Adam Frezza, Terri Chiao, Tara Pelletier & Jeffrey Kurosaki, find themselves newly united, separately but together as a happy art family forming the Void Wave at 56 Bogart, #3M.
I met up with Adam F & Terri at Swallow Cafe, who had been out of town during interview Pt1. They have been collaborating since September of last year after meeting during karaoke. Inspired by lifestyle, hand-crafting, architecture and experimenting with breakfast, they invite you to play with their food for Bushwick Open Studios and make prints from pancakes in their loft cabin. Sounds pretty amazing, don’t it?
Tell me about your work in your own words.
Adam F: We collaborate a lot, you probably saw the small framed plant portraits. Terri is an architect and she had built a small model for a greenhouse / treehouse study to help give an idea of what that might be like, we made handcrafted miniature plants. We have ideas to make larger plants to make installations so you have this room of playful mysterious handmade plants. That’s one project.
We are also working independently on different projects, I’m making a little panel series of projects. I’m a nanny for a six year old boy so we watch a lot of cartoons together so a lot of background imagery is stuff I focus on cuz I start to space out after too many cartoons. So I find some inspiration in some of the things that are going on in the background is like a small little study of portraits of nature.
Paintings by Adam Frezza. Photo provided by artist.
What are some of your favorite cartoons?
Adam F: Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gum Ball. I think [cartoons] are brilliant, cuz obviously adults are making the cartoons so they are entertaining themselves as much as they are, children.
And you, Terri?
Terri: A lot of my work tends to focus on inhabitation and housing. I guess trained as an architect it’s something that I have a different skill set in, so lately I’ve been working on a lot of conceptual houses that I’ve been making little models of.
We have two little houses we have built in a loft space that going to be open for BOS. We’re trying alternative ways of occupying them. Right now, we’re having one of them being a bed & breakfast.
I’ve been focusing a lot on the form of a house, or of like structures that have roofs that you can occupy so I’ve also been building little models of them, and making paintings of them. Ultimately the goal is to build more, like full scale ones you can live in.
[ For an amazing place to stay in Bushwick >>> check out their loft cabin! ]
A cabin in a loft. Photo provided by artist.
You work with a lot of natural elements, right?
Terri: Yeah, a lot of natural materials. Recently we’ve trying to only use hand tools, so not using mechanical tools like power drills. So now we’re also experimenting with using different kinds of Japanese saws, and different materials you can cut by hand. [ ] It’s just much more precise detail to help you work in a natural way. It was a little bit also because we had guests now, and we can’t use power tools all the time, so there is elements of practicality as it’s less dust, less noisy.
Adam F: Also, when Terri build the cabins, she used an [utility] knife to cut the wood and also a circular saw to cut the lumber. When you look at the full form structure it’s like she basically built a house with a utility knife.
I’ve always loved architecture but when I think of being an architect, I think of a big firm, pooling over blue prints in an office all day. Your work strikes me as far more inspiring, can you tell me more about how you came to do these projects?
Terri: I think that I went into architecture school knowing that I was interested in the intersections of that and a lot of other disciplines, including art, design, writing. [ ] So coming out there, I worked for a little while, I realized that was not at all what I wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine spending some of “the best years” of my life in an architecture office so this thing came around because I think for a lot of young architects, designing your home is a point where you can experiment and have relative control over it.
When I moved back to brooklyn after grad school, I had a chance to do that with the loft. [ ] A lot of it is realizing I didn’t have to work in an office and there were opportunities to do something different.
How long have you been collaborating?
Adam F: Since September, we also have a project where we have small sketchbooks that we trade back and forth. We always have one at any given time, and they are filled with different patterns that we come up with. Some are better than others, but eventually we’d like to turn them into tapestries, pillowcases, clothing, something that’s more tactile.
Terri: Did we talk about the pancake prints?
Adam F: Oh no, we didn’t!
Terri: So a lot of our work is focused around domestic things, like utensils, house plants, and one of the other things we’re inspired by is daily rituals, like breakfast. One project we have is a print making project, we make pancakes on a griddle and then ink them and print them on paper.
Adam F: Use the pancake like a stamp and then each pancake is completely different than the last so we have a series of I think are beautiful little prints.
During Bushwick Open Studios on Saturday, I think we’ll be inking some fried eggs in the cabins. [ ] Every time we cook an egg there’s all these pits and weird kinda moments, so we thought why not ink it and see how it looks on paper.
I’m guessing you cook the eggs over hard …
Adam F: Yeah, though it might be nice to have a little yellow smear going on …
That’s crazy. How long have you been in Bushwick?
Terri: I’ve been here about three & a half years.
Adam F: I had a studio on Forest in the English Kills building five years ago. But I have an apartment in Chelsea so I would commute. And after meeting Terri, I’m doing that commute again.
Morning in the treehouse. Photo by Andreas Serna
How did you guys meet?
Adam F: Karaoke.
Really? That’s so cute. Did you meet through a song?
Adam F: Pretty much. She and a friend were singing ‘I swear’ by All for One, you know that one? And my inebriated ear at the time was like ‘they’re flat, I’m gonna go help’ and I just grabbed the microphone and started belting it out. And I couldn’t help but notice she was beautiful at the same time.