Last week Karmaloop launched its inaugural Employee Art Show, bringing to light the various interesting creative pursuits of our staff. We couldn’t help but give these guys a little love, so keep checking back for individual profiles on the amazing submissions…
Artist: Mike Rheault, Senior Web Designer/Front End Developer
What did you show last night?
A few older silkscreen/woodblock prints that I did when I was still in college, plus one print that won a design competition around the same time. Unfortunately I don’t have any silkscreen prints newer than a couple years due to a lack of space in my apartment and access to a studio. Silk-screening requires some decent space.
Tell us the inspiration for your current work.
Honestly I have always been interested in science and was good at it in high school, especially physics and astronomy. So when I ended up taking the path of going to art school (my mom was so disappointed!) I tried to marry my two passions. The result led me into this abstract art that is trying to capture that overwhelming sense of space that happens when you think about the universe and ultimately how (infinitely) small you feel.
What is your most used medium and why?
Silkscreen hands down. The whole process of making a silkscreen print is so amazing, from cutting rubylith to the actual printing process. It’s very meditative. Most printing processes are the same way, like woodblock printing. It’s very hands on, chiseling away at a block of wood – very cathartic.
Is your art background formal, self-taught, or both?
Both. I grew up spending hours in my bedroom when I was growing up drawing sketches and comics. Years later when I was 21, I was dating a girl who would sneak me into her school’s printing studio at night so I could (learn to) print. It was then that I realized I needed to go back to school to get my BFA. Best decision of my life.
Who is your favorite artist?
Ooo, that’s a tough one. I love Matthew Ritchie, mainly because he is tackling the same things I am trying to but on a whole different level. His stuff is amazing and I look to him to try to be better at my art. Nicola Lopez would be a close runner up. She also deals with a sense of space but set in a very chaotic urban/architectural sense. Her prints and drawings look like mangled urban landscapes after a bomb went off.
MFA or ICA?
Both. I like seeing what contemporary artists are doing at the ICA, but sometimes you have to look at what came before you and the MFA is filled with masters that have a lot to teach you.