Artist of the Week: Steve Bishop

Born in Toronto, Steve Bishop currently lives and works in London.  He received his BA in Fine Art from Kingston University and his MA from the Royal College of Art.  Steve is also the founder of Mono, a free paper dedicated to publishing visual essays.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? The colour palette of the Listerine brand.

What are some recent projects you’ve been working on? I started an art-related newspaper called Mono in 2009 that comes out every 6 months. I invite an artist to have free reign to fill 20 or so pages with just images on a theme of their choice. It gives me a good break from thinking about my own work for a while, to think about
someone else’s.

How has your work developed within the past year? My work tends to swing like a pendulum in terms of how I see it, what I like in it, and where I want to go from there. I guess in the past year, the pendulum has been moving a shorter distance with each swing. More refined? Perhaps…

What is one of the bigger challenges you and other artists are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? I think the de-localization of culture, due to the effects of the internet, has already changed art practice. It’s just the way things go with technological change, but I can see drawbacks for art; having artists able to see such a magnitude of work endlessly rolled out in front of them daily. That was partly why I started Mono—to bring an element of physicality and consideration back to viewing a sequence of images.

What artists are you interested in right now? Matias Faldbakken, Alicja Kwade. A lot of artists seem to be Swiss, that I have been looking at: Kilian Rüthemann, Valentin Carron…. Ugo Rondinone has always been a favourite.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why? I’d like to go to Antarctica or Greenland. Somewhere really remote and cold. Or the Unalaskan archipeligo.

What’s your favorite thing about London? London is great in that there is a lot going on. It’s pretty big, and there are parts of it I don’t really know at all. It feels properly multicultural also which is great for food amongst other things. The best kebabs and Vietnamese food in the city are pretty much on my doorstep.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? The Pergola exhibitions at the Palais De Tokyo, Paris last Summer in 2010. There was a massive Valentin Carron show as well as a great room by Franziska Furter. I had just done a show in Geneva, when the Icelandic volcano grounded all the planes in europe, so I went to Paris for a few days by myself and it was really sunny and hot and it’s probably why that show is the first thing that comes to mind.

What do you do when you’re not working on art? I’m making a few websites for some friends at the moment, so probably that, alternated with playing guitar.

Top 3 favorite websites? Ebay, the New Shelton wet/dry blog and wimp.com

Favorite music? Dylan, Scott Walker, Miles Davis

What are you really excited about right now? I’m excited about a piece I’m making at the moment. It’s freestanding when everything seems to be wallbased that I work on now, so that seems to have my attention a lot of the time currently. I’m also excited about summer.

Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? There’s a big survey show of young artists based in London called “Young London” that the V22 Collection is putting on in May, which I am working toward now. I’ve also got a solo show on with Koal in Berlin until mid April.