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CULTURE
Flat425
Skater Chad Muska opens conceptual art space in LA
by Julie Wolfson
on 31 August 2012
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Merging his love for skateboarding, music, art and mayhem, Chad Muska has opened a conceptual art and studio space next to his store, Factory 413 on Fairfax. Flat425 reveals Muska's prolific output as part of "Deconstructionism," a constantly evolving installation comprising mixed-media vignettes with chaotic twists of oil paint, cement, found materials, shredded bills, neon vinyl, projections, and even a teepee. Challenging viewers to "decode the message," Muska has created highly textured pieces from more than five years of sourcing materials and exploring the notions of destruction and creation.

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Art has always been part of Muska's life. As a teenager his sketchbooks and graffiti projects developed alongside his skateboarding skills, and he then became involved in realms from apparel and shoes to graphic design and, eventually, music. Today he maintains his original team rider status with Element and Supra Footwear, but after tearing his ACL, Muska began to turn his attention to visual art in a way that rivaled his obsession with skateboarding. With his work at Flat425, shows in New York, and a recent piece in Untamed, Muska has fully committed to the craft. We caught up with him at Flat425 to learn more about his latest venture.

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Does your sport influence any of your visual work?

I think everything we do in life influences the art you create. I like to use cement a lot and feel that it is the backbone for everything from skateboarding to graffiti. So I guess that is one direct influence and connection.

Why do you spend so much of your time at Flat425? Why this work? Why now?

I have no idea. I am not in control anymore of what I'm doing. It's as if I am a remote control robot and somebody else is making me do all these things. I love it. And I could not want to do it tomorrow so I will give it everything I have today.

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You showed us that some of your assemblage pieces being made from your shredded bills, what are some of the other materials you are working with?

Cement, resin, drop cloths from the floor of my old studio, acrylic skins and anything else that accumulates and looks interesting to me.

Who are some of your favorite street artists, painters, and sculptors?

Rambo, Haculla, Sabio, Warhol, Rothko, Jasper Johns and I like what Anish Kapoor is doing at the moment.

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With a space that is constantly evolving, including the new teepee, what other recent additions have you have added to the gallery?

I am working on a video projection installation at the moment. I like all aspects of creativity and video and photographic image sequences are a part of my creative process. I also have an obsession with fluorescent lights and arranging them in patterns.

What are your goals with this space?

I want to create an environment that will inspire people to find something out about themselves that they didn't know existed and to bring that experience with them after they leave the space. And continue a creative plague that never ends.

Images by 2wenty

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