Nick Gagnon – Intellectual Profile

1. Give some basic information about your studies and fields of interest.

I am currently in my fifth year at CU. I’m in the Drawing BFA program but I also enjoy printmaking, sculpture, and creating interactive art.

2. Describe an exhibition that you liked or found impressive. Tell us why. Please provide a link to a website, if possible.

The MFA show last fall was less than impressive (personally), but the exhibit just in the next room was amazing. There were a group of private collections on display featuring original Picasso’s and the like. http://cuartmuseum.colorado.edu/exhibition/points-of-view-selections-from-seven-colorado-collections/ Chagoya’s “Cannibal’s” soup cans were also great. They reminded me of the Wacky Packages I used to collect as a kid. Here’s a very similar example: http://www.wackypackages2007.com/ans5/couponbacks/CANNIBALS.html

3. Which books did you read of late (art, fiction, non-fiction)? Pick one and go into detail about it.

Not much of a reader, sorry to say.

4. What are your main interests besides art?

There are a few things I like to do when I’m not doing art. Recently, I got into collecting old records and colored vinyl. The collection as of yet numbers about about two dozen 7”s, 4 10”s, and a dozen 12”s. Really into Third Man Records stuff!

I play a ton of video games (way too many) and I’m trying to cut it back.

Also, I’ve been making custom 12” figures since I was 13 years old for extra money. My recent ones are almost made entirely from scratch. You can check out my website www.theundergroundstudio.net.

5. Which blogs do you check regularly?

Never got into blogging; the only blogging I’ve done was for a couple art related classes with a heavy emphasis on it.

6. Which cultural event has really impressed you lately? This can be a museum, a concert, or anything like that, but also a sports game (if you consider this a cultural event for which there are good reasons). Or anything I am not even thinking of … Again, tell us why.

My brother and I have been Bronco fans forever and there’s been some ups and downs (more downs ha!) that come with it. After all these years of watching the team struggle with quarterbacks and the more recent (horrific) decisions made by Josh McDaniels, we were ready to call it quits and take down all our posters and banners and never to attend another freezing home game. If you’ve been following sports you’ll know what happened next. Tebow Mania. The way the media has covered him is reminiscent of the recent back and forth of Brett Favre’s retirement. I find it amazing how many times I’ve heard his name on tv, sick of it really. I think it’s great how he has brought some life to the team after Orton was released, but what’s more impressive to me is how people around the world have focused on this one player. The funny thing is, we were at the football game when Tebow replaced Orton but left early because they were losing so badly. About halfway through the parking lot, we the heard cheers from the comeback.

7. Please describe briefly an article in a newspaper or a magazine that got you thinking lately. Reading online is fine, and what you introduce here does not have to be about art. If the respective article is available online, please link to it!

I noticed a short article and guide on IGN that made my jaw drop a little. http://www.ign.com/wikis/the-elder-scrolls-5-skyrim/Marriage_Partners. Turns out this is more of a guide on how to find NPCs (non-player characters) to marry and how to divorce them. Yes, you can now find the virtual love of your character’s life. What’s more, someone took the time to root out all potential mates in the vast world that is Skyrim. Now, I’ve put more than my fair share into playing this new Bethesda title, but I never once came across this option. It got me thinking, when and where does a video game cross the line?  Have I already crossed many lines? Killing hundreds of things, stealing,  setting things on fire? After looking at this, I feel I have to reconsider what I consider acceptable.

8. Please share with us a thought or an idea that really widened your intellectual horizon. Again, this must not be limited to the visual arts. If possible, give a source for this idea so that others know where to go to if they are interested.

About a year ago, I ventured into interactive art. For so long, art to me was the untouchable object or image in a gallery space. After some experimentation with small personal artworks to be kept by the viewer, it wasn’t enough. I went as far as allowing my work to be destroyed by the viewer in order to receive my message to them. It was remarkably liberating.

Right now, I have an ongoing project and collaboration called the BAUBLE BOX. It’s a repurposed sticker vending machine which distributes student and faculty artwork. You may have seen in a couple times on the first floor this past year. Here’s a link to the website: www.baublebox.com. We are looking for more participants so please email me!

9. Have you been to the Denver Art Museum, MCA Denver and BMoca Boulder? Describe one art object or a show you remember seeing.

I’ve been to the Denver Art Museum and BmoCA. At the DAM there was a uninteresting set of leather boots and baggage on display on the third floor I think. Upon closer inspection as to why these would merit display in a major museum, I found them still to be unassuming. Then I read the information card. They were actually made of ceramic! Try to find them the next time you visit.

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