J Stroke

J "Stroke" Ivcevich in his Brooklyn studio
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Tell us about your favorite childhood object...

Couldn't find my first/favorite which was a ratty old beanbag frog with a busted eye. This one was a close second and a hand-me-down from my mother's childhood days. An antique Jerry Mahoney dummy. Never got the gist of ventriloquism but loved his creepy grin and beat up wooden head. It also turns out my grandma made the suit after the original got worn out. This quite possibly led to my affinity for custom tailored suits and bow ties.

When did you live in Atlanta? how did you end up there?

1990 - 2004 I went to Emory University because I got accepted and it was a good enough school to please the folks. I appreciated the weather and music scene since I was coming from the relatively sleepy state of Indiana.

At what point did you realize music was something you wanted to pursue?

1983 Police Synchronisity Tour + 10 years at a summer camp playing music live every night for a captive audience of 7-15 year olds and my fellow counselors many of whom were cute young ladies.

Describe your sound. How did you get into playing that type of music?

Mega-eclectic-soulful-ambiance. I've played in hip-hop, post-rock, dub, Indian drum & bass bands, etc....Always striving for the next filtered through my personal taste.

Which music medium do you prefer to use and why? Vinyl? CD? MP3?

A mix of all keeps it flexible and interesting and in NYC, very practical.

How do you discover new music? any secret resources you want to turn us onto?

I have a freelance gig where I can check progressive internet radio stations, podcasts, etc while working. I also a have access to an exclusive site where members upload obscure and amazing music every day - Ethiopian Jazz, African Garage Rock, Cambodian street music, rare groove soul, 80's lost gems, contemporary hits, on and on and on. New York Noise:

Take us through your creative process.

I usually work in a modular way based on a riff, loop or sample. I just keep piling on sounds and then strip away to arrange. Reductive composition in a way.

How would you say Southern culture/living in Atlanta has influenced your work?

From 1994 on, I hung out with a very active crew of musicians, DJ's and music enthusiasts. MJQ in both locations and permutations, Yin Yang and the early days of Nomenclature/Crescent Room were fertile and fun places where we all DJ'd, performed and talked endlessly about new music and old discoveries. There seemed to be a laid back and accepting attitude that allowed for a cross pollination of genres.

Who/What are some of your inspirations?

My old house on Marlbrook and the parties held there over the years were pretty inspirational. Gilles Peterson is a selector who has very similar tastes to mine. I've been listening to him for 16 years. Still solid. Many great live bands, outdoor concerts, etc...too many to mention.

Who are some of your favorite Atlanta artists?

Outkast, Prefuse and Cat Power are all great for carving out their own unique sound, sticking to their guns and being deservedly rewarded for it. Great to see Deerhunter and Atlas Sound succeed as well. I remember tolerating early Bradford experiments at Lenny's and was shocked and quite pleased to hear the evolution. Wonderful music.

Where is your favorite atlanta hang out?

Dunch at the E.A.R.L. is always nice. I only get to Atlanta once a year or so but always try to hit the Starlight, Highland Ballroom seems to be a nice addition, and of course, Youngblood.

What music/album are you currently listening to?

Mostly old things that somehow got by me. The Go-Betweens, Rotary Connection "Songs," Model 500 "Starlight," Gun Club "Fire of Love," some new stuff like the latest Animal Collective and Friendly Fires.

What is one thing you love about your life?

I have been extremely fortunate to live a very stress-free lifestyle for many years.

Not only does J have fun in the world of sound he is a talented artist: click here to view his work at David Lusk Gallery

John Tindel answers our questions

John Tindel's WORK

How long have you been in Atlanta and how did you end up here?

I moved up here in 1999 after college and a hard night of partying in Mobile, Al.  A girl said I am moving to Atlanta, I said sure Ill go.   I moved to South Florida in 2003 for about  a year and a half.  Then we moved back up in 2005.

At what point did you realize art was something you wanted to pursue?

I was going to school to be an anethitis but then transfered to Design.  I guess after my first design job, I saw that I could make some cash in art.  So I hustled my stuff until I could stop working doing design.

Did you go to art school or are you self-taught?

I went to the University of South Alabama.  Graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing.  All the painting came naturally and I nurtured it myself without any education.  

Who/what do you feel influences your style?

Just about everything.  Other peoples work, conversations, architecture, cultures, a moment and my life.  I am always experimenting within my style and I let it go where it goes sometime.  I guess one of my main influences is simply the random nature of things.  The random nature of my process.

Take us through your creative process.

I start.  I add music.  then just experiment.  Lately I have been using razorblades to handcut out drawings and designs.  It seems to sharpen up my designs and elements that I use in my work.  I feel it is a new level.  
My studio has colors and paint and pens laying everywhere so what is present to work with, sometimes is what dictates the work.

What does the bird symbolize in your work?

I guess they symbolize to me what they have always symbolilzed universally...  A freedom.  Letting your mind just fly through your influences and creativity to come up with something solid visually.
Other times, I use it as an omen, or a marker for someone to figure out something I may be trying to convey.  I am usually not very obvious on the meanings of my work, I like people to figure out their own interpretation.  Sometimes too, it is simply a painting with no meaning, just more experimentation within my style.

How do you feel about Atlanta’s art scene?

The artists in the scene are great, strong and determined people.  The scene tries harder than any other scene in the world, but we are here... and those of us that want to stay here keep chugging to make it work.  But there is little support from any aspect of the city.  Only reviews you get are bloggers, the only shows you get are private galleries (not museums in the city).   I have seen some of the best artists ever leave and go to the staple cities of New York and LA.  Just easier there I guess.  People actually support and collect your work.  Some of us in the scene want to live here for the rest f our lifes, so you try to make it better and deal with what you have.  I guess I will just have to try more government art and have taxpayers pay for my art (ha).

How would you say Southern culture has influenced your work? 

It is my life.  It is my family... my grandparents. it is my childhood.  It is what I see.  I love the difference we have then other cities.  We are less politically correct.  We acknowledge the truths of the world and society and dont pretend things dont exist.  I think that it has only started its influence.  It will build more as I get older and wiser. Michi the other day saw a huge Escalade full of Black folk flying a huge confederate flag... where else.  We are the only culture in the US that is still developing under its own rules.  It is unique.

Who are some of your favorite local artists?

Michi, Dosa, Sam Parker,Maxwell Sebastian, Urban Medium and any one else that is pushing there styles.

What is your favorite local hang out?

Honestly, I am a rare person to site out on the town.  My favorite place is my backyard - from there it would be Michi's studio.

What music/album are you currently listening to?

I dig the thing.  A little Young Dro... going back to Medeski, Martin and Wood again.

What is one thing you love about your life?

My sons.  Blaise is almost three and Reid is still in the belly making his entrance in Early December.  I cant wait to paint with their imaginations.

Rene Arriagada

click on image for a larger view

Rene Arriagada (AKA Transmit Device, Ne Ne Bling Bling), was raised in Atlanta, GA. As a teenager he developed his artistic style from his love for building things and defacing public property. He first gained recognition as a street artist and has branched into gallery settings. Utilizing methods he developed for painstaking pre planning and fast execution in stencil works, his mediums now vary in mirror etchings, wood stains and cutouts. Old fashioned methods are preferred to create modern iconography; finding inspiration in punk rock, Star Wars, "Foxy boxing," dive bars, etc. Arriagada has been active in the Atlanta underground art community for years, putting together art shows and events. Although easy to work with, he will occasionally threaten to cut you ("cheek to cheek.")

special thanks to:
thunderbox studios for providing studio space,
special projects for supplying all props,
rag-o-rama for supplying clothing,
ransom the makeup artist for providing us with her time

Kiki Blood's American Appeal

for the full effect click on image for larger view

kiki blood is an atlanta based performance artist, this image is also part of the american appeal campaign, a collaboration between kiki blood and neda abghari

favorite local artist?
kirstin mitchell

what album are you currently listening to?
gary wilson, brian eno "music for airports"

your favorite local hang out?  
amy cobden's house

one thing you love about your life? 
my boyfriend and my dog red, oh thats two things

all clothing and accessories in this shot were provided by our sponsor RAG-O-RAMA

Karen Tauches

please click on the image for a larger view

favorite local artist?

I think it's divisive to call favorites. that said, atlanta has a fine group of avant-guardes, living at the edge of what on the surface is a very mainstream, commercial, corporate city. Atlanta can be like casablanca for creatives; it's a place you end up for various reasons other than for art, while waiting to go somewhere else. it's also a polarized, cultural battlefield. this makes those on the edge more eccentric, fierce & independent. hell, there's nothing to lose here, and a lot of opportunity to experiment. that's something that atlanta has to offer.

here are some names (no particular order) and apologies to anyone I left out: the late gretchen humpfel, nat slaughter, brian parks, andy ditzler, robert cheatham, eggtooth, kiki blood, shana robbins, cece kane, daniel osborne, matt proctor, bill taft,, omar, hormuz minina, patrick holbrook, naz, shana wood, zano, alison rentz, alvaro avillar, linda armstrong, ruth laxson, marshall avett, ana balka, jody fausett, benita carr, the art taxi, craig dongoski, julie puttgen, krispin harker and mary mae, sara hornbacher, lisa kemp, kristopher lamey (in person), that homeless guy who ties capes around his chest in little 5 and is so damn stylish, albino mattioli's animations, jason johnson's black paintings, nicholas fraser, don cooper, silas reeves (I just know he's an artist), travis pack's scratched photos (where the hell are ya?), stan woodard's transparency piece, chea prince, katie ridley, caroline smith, martha stiles, carlos tardio, evan levi, john otte, joe peragine's phallic, inflatable tank, benjamin solomon (words). . . . . . . .

what album/music are you currently listening to?


favorite local hang out?
ballroomm lounge, carlos's treehouse, the oakland cemetery, amy's house in c'town, pal's lounge, carroll st, northside tavern, aurora on weekdays.

one thing you love about your life?
my personal freedom. . ."

for updates on karen's work please check out her website :

EVEREMAN: the man behind the face

favorite local artist?
Mr. Fangs

what album are you currently listening to?

The Asch Recordings Vol. 1-4 Woody Guthrie

favorite local hang out?
Carol Street Cafe

one thing you love about your life?
I love the fact that if I give my art away, I can't keep it in stock. It flys outta here! No advertising costs, no middlemen, no salesmen calling, no warehousing fees, no taxes. Hey Capitalists, take it from me, you wanna move some product? Give it away! You'll be astounished at how much merchandise you can move. Your business will be booming and you'll have a more refined and introspective life. This will lead to thinking for yourself and the realization that your religion is nonsense. As a byproduct, we might stop killing each other! Anyway, I love communicating with fellow inhabitants. It's primal.

find EVEREMAN everywhere by paying close attention to your surroundings or check out his website:

Steven Dixey

favorite local artist? i'm going to have to say, in no particular order: Stenvik Moström, and Jason Murphy. Hands down...

what album are you currently listening to?
The Sword, High On Fire, Iron Maiden, Pelican, Isis, Two Gallants, Lucero, Explosions In The Sky, Johnny Cash, Baroness, The Melvins & Big Business, Torche, Tom Waits, Old Man Gloom, The White Dove Frisbee Team... there's way too many to list.

favorite local hang out?
The Local, the Cleremont, and 97 Estoria, those are about the only places i go, except for maybe the Earl to see a show

one thing you love about your life? I don't know... not being dead, or in prison... i'm not sure how to answer this. I would like to say that I'm very grateful for my loving and supportive family and friends. I wouldn't be anywhere without them. So there, i guess i love that.

Dec 01-30, 2007, Eye Drum Gallery, Atlanta, GA. Two man show with Jason Murphy
Steven will be showing new paintings and giclee prints, Jason will be showing his "drill site" series.

Dec 07, 2007, New Street Gallery, Atlanta, GA. group show

Dec 14, 2007, Eastside Lounge, Atlanta, GA. "Sons of the South", group show
this is the launch show for the SOS collective.
prints will also be available at foundation one gallery and rabbit-hole gallery

dates TBA, stay tuned to for details about the following shows

-group show of Atlanta based Ringling Alumni at beep beep gallery
-curating a group show at LAS gallery in Phoenix, Az.
-co-curating a top-secret show with Stenvik Moström at Eyedrum... get ready to run to the hills motherfuckers......
-more to be announced...

Special Thank You/ We Love You's to the individuals whom made this shoot possible...

Sister Louisa went without one of her "last supper" chairs for the weekend and...
Geoff allowed us to scare the neighbors with his AR15 rifle. maybe he'll let me practice my aim next time we go to the range... please? i hope...

We would like to thank Charlie Vlass and Vivian Mann owners of Army Surplus Sales Inc. for providing us with the great gear seen in this photograph. Their store is filled from floor to ceiling with amazing millitary "you name it"... I was so excited to find my buddy Charlie Owen's his Xmas gift for under 10 bucks. Seriously unheard of these days!

All ammunition was provided courtesy of Ben Autry, owner of Autrey's Armory Inc. I can't wait to take all my friends back to this great shooting range (ladies free on Wed nights ;)... their selection of guns and ammo is top notch... You'll know where to find Dixey and I on any given weekend (after taking Geoff's AR15 hostage)... come join us!

These business owners are graciously supporting our project. Please take a minute to check out their websites and return the effort of support:

Charlie Owens in tha' Dirty South

Check out Charlie Owens and his ladies.

favorite local artist? John Tindel, hands down! been a fan of his work for years! Local music: Gonzalez and Zoroaster

what album are you currently listening to?
Itunes is set to shuffle – The Sword, Down, Doomriders, Sleep, Fireball Ministry, and Buzzov-en

favorite local hang out?
Righteous Room, Clermont , and the Wall Crawler Rock Club

Sorry ladies, you probably won't run into this handsome man of a Charlie Owens on the streets of Atlanta any time soon, he is busy preparing for the following shows you do not want to miss:

Dec 1-29, 2007, Windup Gallery – Mesa, AZ. "Sk8 Deck the Halls",group show

Dec 7, 2007, Alcove Gallery, Atlanta, GA. "Wonka", group show

Dec 8th 7-11, 2007, Young Blood Gallery, Atlanta, GA. "Seasons", group show

Dec 14, 2007, Eastside Lounge, Atlanta, GA. "Sons of the South", group show

January: Date To Be Announced, Eastside Lounge, Atlanta, GA. "Skull Fuck II", group show

April: Date To Be Announced, Cry Baby Gallery, New Jersey, group show

Charlie Owens the Interview (11/28/2007)

Born and raised in the South, Charlie Owens moved to Atlanta the summer after he graduated from high school. The 33-year-old artist is a bit of a recluse who would rather hole up and produce art than talk about it. But despite his reserved nature, his art is bold and daring with obvious nods to some of his favorite things (namely wide-eyed girls with tattoos, muscle cars and monsters). He reluctantly took some time away from preparing for four upcoming shows to share his thoughts on Atlanta, tattoos and other inspirations.

How long have you been in Atlanta?

I moved here in ’92 to go to the Art Institute. It’s great, and I haven’t moved away. My art teacher in high school kind of pushed the topic of moving down here to go to the Art Institute. It was descent, I guess, but I think I got more experience once I got out on my own and started freelancing.

How would you say Atlanta’s art scene compares to other cities?

I haven’t done that many shows outside of Atlanta. Other cities seem to have a certain group of artists, which seems to be the way it is here – it’s the same artists kind of rotating in and out. That’s the good thing about [The Atlanta Creatives Project] is I knew who a lot of artists were, I knew their names, but I didn’t really know their faces. I like the art scene here. It’s a little cliquish, I guess, and sometimes it’s about who you know. But overall I like it, obviously, because I’ve stayed here for a while.

When did you realize you were an artist and when did you decide you wanted to pursue it?

I always liked to draw as a kid. My mom used to always tell me stories about me sitting around drawing horror monsters and stuff. I was always into monsters, but I guess skateboarding magazines were what really got me into it in high school. I was just constantly drawing stuff I’d see in Thrasher and Transworld and stuff like that. I guess that’s really what got me into it.

How do you go about creating art?
What’s your creative process?
It kind of varies. Sometimes I’ll actually have a concept in mind and do a lot of pen-and-ink sketches. A lot of the stuff that people are starting to know me more and more for is the girl illustrations. With those I’ll have a general idea in my mind but I’ll usually find reference. I’ll start with rough pencil sketches to get the poses down and then I redraw those in Illustrator on the computer so I can move things around. Those are one of the few things I draw like that; everything else is usually by hand. I use a lot of screen-printing, a lot of paper and just a lot of mixed media really.

The girls are definitely what you’re known for, but you also do stuff without girls in it.

When I first started painting, it was always really bold cartoon characters with big heads and weird bodies. I’ve seen some of that around town, but not much. Lately, I’ve been trying to mix the two together and have the girl illustrations with the characters. It seemed like there for a couple of years I was just experimenting and kind of was all over the place. But now I’m trying to marry the two images together because it’s really weird how some people just completely hate the girl illustrations and say, ‘Where are those weird characters you do’ and other people are like, ‘That’s a little childish, I like the other stuff.’ In the end that’s why I experiment so much because I’m just trying to find what I’m happy with. If I can figure out a way to marry the two together and complete an idea I have in my mind, I think it’ll work out better in the end. But it’s an ongoing experiment and I’m still trying to figure out my own style. I get kind of bored doing the same thing over and over; I think that’s why I started experimenting out of the characters themselves. Then I got into doing paste-ups around town and screen-printing and things like that. At first I was trying to do just big marker images on paper, but you can’t blow them up and keep them clean so I started experimenting in Illustrator and figured out a few techniques to get the lines perfect and you can blow it up as big as you want and it still looks exactly the same.

Are your girls based on real people? I’m guessing from the photos that they are?
It’s funny because sometimes I just find people on MySpace. But they’re just for inspiration; I’m not really trying to make them look exactly like anybody. Sometimes it’s people I don’t know at all that just have unique facial features or whatever and I just go from that. If they look like a character already, I usually just pull from their facial features or kind of come up with my own ideas for them. There are definitely some people who just always look so animated, like characters themselves. Those are the ones that as soon as I see them I see what I’m going to draw.
I’ve actually never drawn any of the girls in the shoot.

But you probably will now.

Tattoos seem to be a big part of your work as well. What attracts you to tattoos and who are some of your favorite tattoo artists?
It just seems like a more interesting style for someone to have than just a Plain Jane person walking down the street. I mean, visually there’s just more going on. I’ve just always thought tattoos looked cool since I was a little kid, especially girls with tattoos. There’s nothing too meaningful behind it.
There are so many tattoo artists that are good.Phil Colvin did everything on my left arm and my back, which one day will be complete.Deano Cook did my entire right sleeve. But there are a lot of good artists in town. All the guys down at Liberty are awesome. I don’t want to leave anyone out, so I’ll just leave it at that. If I had more money and free time, I’d get something from everyone.

How has Southern culture influenced your work?
Growing up in the South, there’s definitely a style to it. A lot of it just goes back to growing up and seeing the things that were around you. My dad and people like that had pictures of some of their old cars from when they were younger. That was just something that always stuck in my memory and I kind of gravitated towards those things as I got older.

What are your opinions of Atlanta’s creative scene?

There are tons of great artists, but everyone’s doing their own thing. It doesn’t seem like there’s competition or anything to me. Everyone has their own unique styles and most people, not everyone, seems to be open and willing to help other artists out. Either with sharing a technique or method to help someone figure out something they have been trying to pull off in their own work, or just sharing resources, networking, things like that. I think influences from other artists are important and help an artist grow in his or her own style.There are certain artists that are probably my favorites that I’ve always seen throughout the years and I’ve seen their styles progress more and more. Overall, Atlanta’s a great arts town to me. I wish there were more parts of it that would accept certain styles of art. There’s definitely a split between lowbrow and high end. Of course there’s going to be art that you just don’t like personally, but I think you can find good art on both sides. It’s just opening up and seeing it a little bit. It seems like the higher the price tag is, the more important the artist is and until you get that high dollar tag on there you’re not considered a real artist no matter how accomplished you are.

Who are some of your favorite local artists or artists in general?
Man, you’re going to make me piss people off. John Tindel is by far one of my favorite artists in Atlanta. I mean, for years I’ve been following his work and it just keeps getting better and better, but there are tons of great artists here – Bethany Marchman is awesome, Tyson McAdoo is awesome, a lot of the tattoo artists are great, Rene Arriagada is great. All of those people have completely different styles.
I’d say Blaine Fontana’s probably my favorite artist around right now. He’s not local, he’s out of Washington, but his work is so good.

Do you have any words of advice for up-and-coming creatives?
I always say not to worry about what others think about your work. In the end you should be doing it for yourself, not trying to adapt your style to fit the mold of what's hot at the moment to make a buck or to get the approval from some art critic who’s opinion means nothing anyway. If you believe in what you're doing, stick to it and it’ll pay off for you down the line.

Interview by:
Jonathan Williams

SNEEK PEEK: Bethany Marchman

Here is a sneek peek of the photo shoot with Bethany Marchman.

favorite local artist? Rene Arriagada and Eric Thrice are two of my favorites (there are a ton of amazing local artists that I greatly admire, too many to name them all!)

what album are you currently listening to?
Elevado's "The World Is On Fire"

favorite local hang out?
East Atlana and the Clermont Lounge

one thing you love about your life? "I'm in love"

Bethany Marchman's work can be viewed at the following exhibitions:

November 12, 2007, permanent exhibit, Strychnin Gallery, Berlin, Germany

December 6-9, 2007 art, ARTNow MIAMI, Micaela Gallery (San Francisco), fair

Dec 7, 2007, Alcove Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, "Wonka", group show

Dec 8, 2007, Foundation One, Atlanta, Georgia, "The Grind" Skate Park Benefit, group show

Dec 15, 2007, Cry Baby Gallery, New Jersey, Anniversary Show, group show

Special Thanks:

We have made a couple of new community friends. We would like to thank Maggie Monatesse owner of Decatur Estate Antiques for allowing us to use beautiful jewelry and antiques from her store. Our fabulous wardrobe was provided by Debbie Hitchcock the "Painted Lady." You can find her lovely booth #Z11 at Kudzu Antiques . These business owners are graciously supporting our project. Please take a minute to check out their websites and return the effort of support:
The Painted Lady