Interview with Thad Kellstadt
q)Who are you? Where are you from and where do you live now?
a)My names Thaddeus Kellstadt. I was born in Ohio. I lived in Pittsburgh, pa for many years before moving to Chicago, IL. Which is where I live now.
q)What is it that you do? What media do you use?
a)I do a lot of different things. Painting, sculpture, video. I make zines and play music/make sound. I would say if I had to pin down one media that I work the most in it would be painting. Even though it’s the most frustrating.
q)What do you think sets your work apart?
a)I sign the back every time with my name. That’s a tough question. I guess I have worked long enough and had a particular vision in mind that I feel comes through in what I do/make. Is that style? I don't know. Style is a scary thing but also inevitable.
q)How long have you been showing your work for? Did you have a “big break?”
a)Around ten years. The first real show I took part in was in an old horse livery. That was 2001. A big break? Is this my big break? I’m not sure that’s happened yet, but if it has I am calling off work tomorrow.
q)What are some things that have inspired you?
a)American Midwest culture. Psychedelia. My wife. My friends. Music. Some days I look at a weird pile of garbage and get totally motivated. So many different things.
Skateboarding was an early inspiration. Not only the graphics but how you look at things, things that may seem useless or arbitrary can become really
useful and amazing.
q)What have you been working on recently?
a)A collaborative video with my friend Jerstin Crosby. We are working on two videos where we work on the sound and video independent of one another. Not knowing what each other is doing, just working with a set time frame.
The first video I worked on the sound and Jerstin worked on the video. You can see it here- http://vimeo.com/16488565
We are working on another with the duties reversed. It’s turned out pretty rad so far.
q)Do you listen to music while you create your work? If so, would you give some examples?
a)I love music. Old folk music. A lot of music from the nineties like older dinosaur jr, pavement and guided by voices. Old punk. Psychedelic music. As far as new bands deerhunter, animal collective and lot of my friend’s music as well gets played in the studio. Wu tang clan or old hip hop if I am a little depressed. I do that instead of taking prozac. Will Oldham is one of my favorites.
q)Do you do work in any other media? Other projects not necessarily related to your main body of work?
a)I work in a variety of ways/mediums. Mostly painting and video though. Sculpture but not in the traditional sense I guess. What ever means that I can execute an idea to the best of my ability. Sometimes an idea should manifest as a drawing and sometimes it should be a physical object. So I go from there and figure it out. I like that challenge. I like working outside of my comfort zone. But that can also lead to stress and to throwing away 50 percent of what I make. I also write poetry and I make little zines of those from time to time. And I am playing in a band called BEAST. Its two drummers and a strobe/synth player.
q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?
a)Find the right space. Be nice. Eat right. Get enough sleep. Don’t drink too much at your opening and let people talk you down in price. I think doing it yourself is a good start. Get some like-minded friends and have a really fun art show. Don’t waste money when you don't have too. Have fun. Embrace utter defeat. At least for a little while. Then again, don't get defeated if you don't have too.
q)Do you have any upcoming exhibitions of your work that you can mention?
a)I just had a solo show at Lump Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina. That was great. Amazing space. Bill Thelen runs it and he is one of the best art dudes/artists I have ever met.
So that was then, now, I am showing some work at Future Tenant in Pittsburgh, PA in Jan. and a few groups here in Chicago.
q)Where can people see more of your work on the Internet?
a)My website www.thadkellstadt.com. There are links to my videos and all my friends work there. Thanks for reading!