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Thursday - October 1, 2015 11:44:32 AM
Gumshoe Mural and Interview

Who are you? Where are you from?

I am Gumshoe, I am originally from Baltimore, MD but I currently live in New York City.

What are the inspirations behind your work?

I am inspired by a lot of artists. I study the Masters and am really inspired by Picasso, Matisse, and Rubens. Although my works are not direct translations of their work, I love to study their process and delivery and use it as inspirations for my works. 

What issues are you trying to address with your work?

My signature image is legs wearing Christian Louboutin's shoes stepping in gum. Louboutin's shoes are designed specifically to appeal men. They are extremely uncomfortable for women to wear and made to look sexy for men. Louboutins are also works of art, they are highly recognizable shoes. Their color palate provided me with a distinguished palate to work off. I started out doing street art and pop art was a huge inspiration for my art. I wanted an iconic image that would be equally sexy and identifiable. I also wanted to touch on the facets of societal expectations on women. It just worked.

I know you have no formal training, How did you get started in fine arts.

I painted the very first gumshoe painting before ever considering selling a painting. In fact, I hardly considered myself an artist.  I was living in an art studio, and I didn't even realize it- to me it was just a messy living room covered in paint supplies. 

I had many other "prosperous ventures" at the time. I was working part time in an ad agency, Night clubs, personal training and attempting to produce my own television pilot. Honestly, I was mostly just doing a lot of drugs.

One day a wise person suggested that I pick one path and "stick with it." I pondered this. 

Shortly after, I was sitting at the table in my agents office when I had a vision- of a girl, stuck on a piece of gum. The road in front of her was split in all different ways; representing all the different paths I was trying to take. 

I wanted to paint it from an interesting POV. I would focus on only the legs and the shoes. And they would be the most recognizable pair of shoes- the ruby red slippers. And the girl would be Dorothy- the epitome of a lost girl, on the famous yellow brick road. 

As the painting progressed, the road simplified into two paths, dark and light. I called it "stuck on the yellow brick road," because that's where I was. 

Something shifted in me upon completing this particular painting. I realized it was Painting that would be my focus in life. I dropped everything else, including the drugs. You could say I chose the light path. That was four and a half years ago. 

Since then, the idea has evolved into a sexy, more modern version of the original. Now she wears Louboutins in the streets of NYC, which can sometimes feel like the yellow brick road. But the painting will always contain the same core message. That sometimes we have to get stuck in order to get unstuck. 

Tell us about your upcoming show at Treason Gallery?

My show at Treason is titled "Red Bottoms", as you know red bottoms are kind of like my signature. This is my first solo show and first time in Seattle. I am showing a wide variety of work. For my gallery pieces I work only in oil. I am showing some of my trademark imagery as well as some other works that step out side of the traditional "gumshoe" series.

Gumshoe's show Red Bottoms opens tonight at Treason Gallery. 6pm-8pm. 319 3rd Ave S.

Photographs by Robin Goodfello. Interview by Treason Gallery owner Matthew McMurry and Art Primo Blogger Joey Large.
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