What are you curious about? Jake:
The history behind things. Of cities, places, buildings, families, people. I am always intrigued by the stories that took place at a specific location or within the lineage of a certain family. I read a lot of historically based books and love visualizing on a map where the various events took place. I think this is why I like to focus on classic architecture in my work. There’s more to me than just an interesting looking building, there’s a story there.
Describe your art and describe your process. Jake:
My current work focuses on New York City industrial landscapes. I create mixed media silkscreens on wood panels and paper using acrylic paint, spray paint, markers, stickers and sand paper.
Each series features a different building or structure that I have scoped out and photographed. I will shoot one location from every possible angle to try and get the most interesting and dynamic image possible.
During the summer of 2013 I shot the Domino Factory which is featured in one of my most recent series. I tried many different angles to get the right photo, from the Williamsburg Bridge, from the roof of a building next door, across the river with a zoom lens, on the east river ferry passing by. I got some great shots but not the right one. Then a week before the demolition started at the Domino site I was able to get on a tour of the factory which is how I ended up with the final image where I am standing directly in front of the main factory sign. We were the last non-construction crew people to tour the site before the ball swung.
What superpower would you have and why? Jake:
I always wanted to be able to stop time and rob a bank. Erin:
You’ve founded some pretty cool companies- tell us about them. Jake:
Growing up I was really into punk and hardcore music so in 2001 I started a record label with my cousin and another friend called Dying Wish Records. We released a September 11th Benefit Album, the first-ever Jawbreaker Tribute Compilation and launched the band Bayside. In 2002 we did 3 weeks on the Vans Warped Tour starting in Seattle, Washington and ending up in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a fun experience and we learned a lot because it was a start-up so we were forced to do things we wouldn’t normally do. Erin:
What is your dream project? Jake:
Work on a series of prints with the late Robert Rauschenberg.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Jake:
Just devote some time every day or week to doing whatever it is you love to do and be consistent. Staying consistent helps me create a rhythm and the rhythm let’s me explore and build on new ideas. Also, one key for me is I always start the next piece before I finish the current one. Sometimes I’ll have multiple projects going at once. Erin:
Tell us one mind-blowing experience you’ve had. Jake:
I once pulled a guy out of car that had crashed off the Southern State Parkway into the woods. It took out a tree, flipped on it’s side and was leaking gas. My brother and I happened to be driving by and were the first ones on the scene. Erin:
What’s your greatest skill that no one knows about? Jake:
I have very good presentation skills, I am really good with an exacto knife. I am also a pretty good cook.
Big picture or details? Jake:
Chaos or order? Jake:
It’s a constant battle where I naturally want things to have order but I am always trying to infuse chaos to make things more interesting. This is definitely something present in my work over the past few years where I have been doing a lot more experimenting and trying to break away from a more planned approach. Erin:
Are you involved in any upcoming gallery events or shows? Jake:
I currently have a solo show called NYC Industrial Landscapes at LIC Market, a restaurant in Long Island City. It’s up through March 30th and features 18 pieces. Erin:
What’s the most incredible place you’ve visited outside of the U.S.? Jake:
New Zealand and Australia were two of the most amazing and beautiful places I’ve been.
We know you ride your motorcycle in your free time. What’s your favorite ride? Jake:
Anywhere outside of the city. We do a lot of rides in Long Island, Jersey and upstate NY. Erin:
What’s your favorite bar in Brooklyn? Jake:
I have 2 kids now so I don’t go out as much as I used to but the Metal Bar is one of my favorite local spots in Greenpoint.