Magic Trick

Photographs, Illustrations & Words by Graham Holoch
Interview via emails, July 2017

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From what I've seen, your work bridges photography and elements of sculpture, then plays with both in creation of physical objects. What were some of your first introductions to art making?

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Recently I’ve been working with clay and drawing. Clay is a new material within my practice, so everything I make with it seems unfamiliar and exciting. For me, drawing is more diaristic. I often draw without clear intention. It’s more exploratory and loose, and I don’t like looking at the paper. I think being uncomfortable with what I make helps me continue working. Both my clay pieces and drawings are made through a stream of consciousness and accumulate quickly. I started organizing them on shelves I had made for displaying books. For me they function as notes or collections,and the shelf allows me to organize them.

When I was younger, art was like a magic trick. My cousins would draw the coolest cartoons. All my cool older friends skated and did creative things. I decided I wanted to be an artist when I failed my government class in highschool. The teacher that flunked me sells vintage playboys at Alameda Vintage Fair, he is a great teacher but his class really gave me anxiety. I barely passed but I did make a decision after that class that I wanted to study art.

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What compels you about photography?

It’s portability. I have a LARGE collection of SMALL cameras. Joking aside, I think what’s always been exciting for me (and continues to be) about photography is how endless it can seem. A photo can be similar to another but never the same. It can be direct or abstract. A photograph can be extremely honest or completely fabricated, it can solidify trends and establish an identity. My photography occupies something more personal, I don’t think by any means I’ve “mastered” photography. When I leave my studio to take pictures, I might have an idea of what I want to photograph, but ultimately I return with something more spontaneous. There is so much to be done with a photo or a group of images. A billion variables, that’s what compels me about photography.  

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In what fashion do your projects typically develop? Are they carefully planned or more improvisational?

Recent projects have been more structured, but everything starts from notes, snapshots and doodles. I tend to have the a lot of ideas right before I go to sleep. Things start more improvisationally sometimes I’ll give myself assignments. The assignments involve doing something new, learning is a huge part of my practice. I’ve been trying to work with more unfamiliar materials. A lot of work is made because the process is new, I like feeling totally at a loss and working up (or down) from there.

What was going on in your life while shooting for Lemon Leddy Go?

Lemon Leddy Go is a creation story. The photos range in date and context, but all are from the last five years. I was laying out the book and editing the sequence of images and drawings the end of 2016. The final layout is chaotic and reflective of how I felt and still feel about what’s going on globally. The images are all from a transitionary period of time. I tend to read through my photos in chronological order. Time plays a big role in this book, I never feel like it’s totally apparent. Images of family members, specifically my younger brothers serve as personal reminders of time passing.

 A spread from Graham's book  Lemon Leddy Go

A spread from Graham's book Lemon Leddy Go

What has been rewarding about collaboration and publishing under Eggy Press?

Eggy is a group effort between myself, Megan Cerminaro, Eva Gibeau, Ry Allred and Sarah
Kim. We’ve worked with numerous artists, encouraging critical thought and lending a hand with
problem-solving. Eggy allows for different minds to approach various topics together as a whole. I
think what’s been really fun is that we’ve been able to participate in events and fairs we would
typically just visit. We’ve been working on Eggy in different forms since 2012. It functions as a working
archive. Seeing everyone’s practices change and grow has been the most rewarding.

Who are some of your greatest influences? What is it that draws you to their work?

My greatest influences are my friends, what draws me to their work is that it’s great. Also, I can talk to them about it and that’s the best part.

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