Inside the box

Mike Stilkey Doesn't Judge A Book by Its Cover

Mike Stilkey has found an ingenious use for old books. After reclaiming tomes from library dumpsters, the stacked spines and covers become canvases for his playful, whimsical paintings. His latest work is on display in The Box and Lobby at The Standard, Hollywood. We chatted with Mike about his installation and life in Los Angeles.

STANDARD CULTURE: What was the inspiration for Framework For Uncertainty?
MIKE STILKEY: I wanted the show to be a reflection of life. The work captures those absurd moments that, even when witnessed, are hard to believe. The Box pieces were inspired by the incredulous happenings in the world, like missing planes, wars, extinction, and unexplained craters.

How do you feel about your art sharing a space with a live model?
My only hope is that she doesn't have bibliophobia.

Rules For Old Men Waiting, on display in The Lobby.

Describe your perfect day in Los Angeles. Where would you go? Eat?
It would be an overcast, fall day in the mid-seventies. I would take my wife and son to Flore for a breakfast of vegan chicken and waffles. Then we would go up the mountain and back down to the beach. Lunch would be served with a view of marine life. We'd take a helicopter back home for nap time. Dinner is easy, as long as there is delicious food and beers at home, and kisses for all. I would cap it off by driving to El Monte to visit Golden Cue Billiards for some late night pool.

An Understanding of Futility by Mike Stilkey.

What’s up next for you?
I have two group shows coming up: Small Indignities at Alix Sloan Gallery and Ten-In-One at The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Both are opening in September. I have a large solo exhibition planned for late 2015 in Los Angeles.

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