ORIGINS // Miguel Farias

Our current photography exhibit at Crown Nine is body of work,'Ode to My Father' by Bay Area artist Miguel Farias.  Each small photograph shot in a color film that is no longer produced, the textures are vivid and eerie, the landscapes and small worlds photographed in California and Nevada over the course of two years.  Each image is perfectly hand framed by Miguel himself.

Miguel The Master Framer.  

Photo by Paul Mueller

I sat down with Miguel to talk to him about being an artist, his process and work.  Enjoy.

KE:

Why do you make art?

MF:

 I've loved making stuff my whole life.  I think making art is hard, so am constantly challenging myself to make stuff that interesting and perhaps if produced well, it becomes art. I may set out to make stuff with the intention that it will elevate itself to art, but that's not always the case.  I love the feeling I get when i make something good and someone is moved by it and then shares that with me, gives me chills when that happens.

KE:

What themes are in your current work?

MF:

 I've been making more portraits again.  I have a few ideas going at once, hoping one will get a little traction and I'll work those images through to hopefully produce an interesting and beautiful body of work.

Pyramid Lake 1995

Botanicals 1996

Old Car 2 1995

KE:

How has your work changed over time?

MF:

 Well, I think it's gotten better, thank god! I can finish pieces better, faster, stronger, kinda like the six million dollar man...

KE:

Best piece of advice you have gotten?

MF:

 Do a good job, ok.  Don't fuck it up, ok.

KE:

What artwork or artists influence your work?

MF:

 All of my teachers from art school had a huge influence on me.  Folks like Jack Fulton, Linda Connor, Reagan Louie, and Hank Wessel.  I also really like photographers that work in color, like Richard MisarachEdward BurtynskyLen JenshelPete Turner and John Pfahl.  But I guess the biggest influence on me has been cinema.  I love movies and watch a ton on a weekly basis.

KE:

How do you want someone to feel while looking at your work?

MF:

I don't really care how they feel, so long as they feel something.  Photographs carry so much representational weight that its tough to control how someone will feel about a piece but I guess that's what makes a piece of art or a maybe even a good piece of art.

KE:

How do you know when a piece is finished?

MF:

 It's usually pretty clear to me.  With modern tools, it's pretty easy to overwork a piece, so I usually do, then back it off until it feels right again.  I'm a feel player.

KE:

What do you admire in other people?

MF:

 Elegance, beauty, kindness and a good sense of humor

KE:

What special talent would you choose if you could magically gain one?

MF:

 I think I'd like to fly, I have flying dreams all the time.

KE:

How does destruction play a role in your work?

MF:

 It really doesn't.  I like being a creator, but am not opposed to burning all down and starting over, I just don't practice that in my work.

KE:

What design are you most proud of/ sentimental/ moved by?

MF:

 I guess I'm most proud of my last body of work, 'Gh0st L1fe', I produced it in 2010 with my dear friend, Allison Reilly, who was 18 at the time.  It got the most exposure of anything I've ever made and it was really well received.  It was shown in three venues over the course of two years, and it was very exciting to get so much attention for it.  Collaborating with Allison meant a lot to me.

Gh0st L1fe explores the nature of our relationships with technology, consumption, loneliness and solitude.

I love how these images capture a sort of passive attention that is very directional, it's almost as if the computer is in charge and the subject is just absorbing.

KE:

Current obsessions?

MF:

 Pliny the Elder, David Bowie, La Luz, starting a band

Miguel's show runs through the second week of August.  You can see his exhibition during our regular business hours, Weekdays 12-6 and Saturday 12-5.  Every image in the series in a limited edition pigment ink print in archival hand frame.  $180.