Chris Nosenzo is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He works in a variety of media as well as publishing a biweekly art publication called Packet.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Pratt Institute in 2011. Since graduation I’ve primarily worked in the art department of weekly magazines, first the New York Times Magazine, then Bloomberg Businessweek where I’ve been since last August.
Last year I began a biweekly art publication called Packet. We’ve produced 21 issues to date, with work from dozens of artists and writers. I also maintain a practice of my own work including photo, drawing, digital painting and publishing projects.
Who is your ideal studio mate? A few Aaliyah LPs. Maybe some Missy too. Also, a few little plants are always nice. I just got a cactus that looks like a lumpy crocodile.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Recently reprinted a book I made comparing the work of Yves Klein to Tobias Fünke of Arrested Development. It’s the “Revised and Expanded Second Edition” with additional content from the new season of Arrested Development and a more comprehensible critical essay thanks to editing from Christine Zhu.
Have been doing a lot of digital painting and drawing as well, both in an ongoing project called Black Goth Paintings, or just one off works in RGB. I got into digital painting in high school and it has been rewarding to revisit the medium with a different set of ideas almost 10 years later. So many cool photoshop filters to mess with now too.
I also just finished a project following the news of Syrian chemical attacks. For about two weeks I photographed my computer screen while visiting websites covering the “Crisis in Syria.” I’m fascinated by method and context in which we discover about “news,” this sort of flattened globalism. Personally I feel very far from truly relating to what happens in Syria on any level, and I wanted to bring that to tension with what is presented to us in western media.
Of course Packet is my biggest project. Just put out our first issue with Nicole Reber doing cover “headlines” which I’m really excited about. Issue #021 will be available within the next few days.
Tell us about your work process and how it develops? Herzog’s self-identification as a “soldier” always comes to my mind. Work is my process. “Head down, power through.” I’m also very restless and try not to repeat myself. In this way especially, I’m more reactionary than creationary, but creationary might not be a word––it’s getting the red underline. My photo approach is a good example. I carry around a black Olympus Stylus, taking exposures of moments I’m drawn to, then later develop and arranging ways to narrate, pair and bring together these banal pictures to a larger conversation with it’s own harmonies and hypocrisies.
It’s often about pushing something until it starts to feel wrong in a way that surprises me. I think a lot about choosing what decisions I don’t make. I like to keep it dumb. These ideas have come out a lot in Packet, where both the contributions and their presentation are in many ways unresolved. This approach is beneficial though in fostering an environment similar to an academic one, where ideas are more upfront and autonomous.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? Realization and education are important, hand in hand with confusion and senselessness. Binaries, always with one door closing another opens. With this though, I like to be content, and I hope those who encounter my work see it embraces balance warmly.
What are you reading right now? I just finished McCarthy’s Child of God. Currently reading Baron in The Trees by Calvino and finishing up Meaning Liam Gillick. Just started No Is Not an Answer, Marie-Louise Ekman is really inspiring me right now as well.
Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? A launch for Packet Vol. III will happen at Printed Matter November 14th. There will be a panel discussion between myself, Bridget Collins, Anthony Cudahy, and Nicole Reber, who have all made covers for Packet. The talk and the event will make up the content for the next issue following the event. It’ll be fun. Bridget, Nicole and Anthony are three artists who are both great friends of mine and equal sources of drive and inspiration in everything they do.
Describe your current studio or workspace. It’s my bedroom. There’s a large Risograph machine and a small desk with a MacBook. Papers are everywhere. There’s a photo I took in Cape Cod of a whale skull hanging over my bed.