Your web site is Unpiano (www.unpiano.com). How long have you had the domain name? What’s the story behind the name?
I think I’ve had it for maybe 4 years or so. There’s really no story behind the name. I just like taking nouns and then removing them by putting ‘un’ before the word. Sort of ‘speaking without speaking’. The name just sounded good and was easy to remember.
Did you go to art school by chance?
Art school? No I never even went to college. Actually that’s a lie. I got my certificate in recording arts a while back, but to be honest, I’m not even sure what a certificate means.
Where are you showing your work right now? Where has your work been published?
Right now my work is being shown under my bed. I’m working on a show for sometime soon in the future, but mostly you can see stuff in magazines and on various websites. I put out photo zines every once in a while under the name Catch A Bad One.
As far as published stuff I don’t really keep track, but you can see photos I’ve taken in everything from Weekend Magazine to Hamburger Eyes and everything in between. I’m sort of indiscriminant when it comes to taking assignments.
What galleries do you frequent in the bay area?
There are so many in the Bay Area that it’s hard to have favorites. I just finished the gallery guide section for Fecal Face a while back and it came to something like 84 galleries and those were just the ones that we hand picked.
In San Francisco there are a couple of places where I try to make it to every show because they always have good artists and the openings are super fun. Places like, Jack Hanley, White Walls, Needles and Pens, Giant Robot, Queen’s Nails, Luggage Store and Receiver Gallery. I try to go and see first Thursdays at places like 49 Geary, but it can get to be a bit much. I have some problems with social anxiety, so I like to keep the crowds small.
You’re originally from Boston. How did you happen to migrate to the Bay area?
I have family in the Bay Area so I’ve been coming out here since I was little. In 1999 I moved to Portland and then when I realized how slow Portland was, I called some friends and moved down to
Oakland. I love the bay like crazy, but I miss the snow. I like to have seasons and it makes me feel a little weird sometimes when it’s 70 degrees in December. Also, the people here are too nice. Even after 6 plus years, I’m not used to that.
Did you already know the Fecal Face crew before moving? How did you hook up with FecalFace.com?
No, I didn’t even really have a computer until I moved to San Francisco so I didn’t even know anything about the internet, let alone anyone that was a part of it.
I met John (Trippe) through friends mostly because he was always taking photos for his blog and when some one is always shooting a flash off in your face, you naturally think ”Who the hell is this person?”. I liked the site right off the bat and started thinking of ways to get involved. I started contributing interviews and features and before long it had turned into something I was doing every day.
You’re currently the managing editor for www.FecalFace.com. How did that position come along?
Well, you have to understand that Fecal Face is really just John most of the time. We have a bunch of contributors but they are pretty scattered all over the country and we don’t have a payroll, so they are all pretty much pro-bono freelancers. The volume on site is so high that the day to day can be overwhelming for one person (although John does a damn good job). So when I noticed that things were falling through the cracks, I approached John and offered to take on some of the work.
What’s the story behind the name Fecal Face? How did it start and such?
It started off as a small zine that John started putting out before the site got started. I think the name mostly just sounded good. The zine featured new artists (much like site) and before long the zine moved into web form. The name tagged along.
Let me just tell you that writing grants with a name like Fecal Face is just awesome.
How has your own work on Unpiano influenced how you edit for Fecal Face Dot Com? Do you find your own personal artwork influencing your choices ad an editor?
Yeah of course, I would never post anything on the site that I didn’t think was great. I do try and taper my tastes a little on Fecal Face since it isn’t really my website. We don’t limit the content for advertisers or anything, but there has to be a standard of quality that you can feel good about. As far as my site goes, I could care less. If I like it, it’s going up.
Do you have any advice for a fledgling art site starting out?
I love when people get inspired to create new art sites and provide resources for the whole community. The only thing you need to do is make it your own. Have a design or concept that is new. Otherwise what’s the point and it just comes off a lazy?
Any advice for artists just starting out? Any advice for an artist who is not in one of the larger scenes like New York, or San Fran, and how they can get connected to the larger art world?
I think it depends on what your stance as an artist is. Some people like anonymity and don’t seek such a large audience. I always admire that, and if that makes you happy then you don’t need a scene. If you want to have your work seen though, you need a website straight out of the gate (although having good work on site is important as well) and should be meeting people like crazy. I know it sucks but putting a name with a face is sometimes the only way I remember people. Of course, this is just my opinion as someone who runs a website. If I haven’t seen your work how can I post about it right?