INTERVIEW: SEK Shares His Inner Life, But Not His Identity, in “Paginae Conscissis,” Opening at the Container Yard Gallery on March 16, 2019
The name of SEK’s solo show, “Paginae Conscissis,” is Latin for “Torn Pages.” The exhibition, opening Saturday, March 16, at the Container Yard Gallery, features pages from his personal journals, going as far back as 2007.
SEK was one of the artists involved in Art at the Rendon’s Hidden Rooms, curated by Cartwheel Art’s Cindy Schwarzstein, last June. Whether it’s on walls or in notebooks, he’s comfortable sharing his innermost thoughts with the public. He says, “I’ve always been transparent with what I was going through for whatever show and whatever work I’ve done.” One of the rooms in Paginae Conscissus recreates his art studio, so that people can see him in his element.
As SEK selected work for the new show, he included pages created during the darkest times in his life. He says, “It’s a collection from like fifteen Moleskines that I’ve written in throughout the years tracing this art career. Some of it is from before that, and some of it is from when I suffered from a heroin addiction and drinking problem. Some of the writing is just quick thoughts and ideas, kind of like an inner dialogue, which I hope people get. I want them to see that struggle and that mindset of being in these situations.”
When he gave a few friends and collectors an early look at the work, he says, they had the same response: “Dude, are you sure you want to share this with the public? This is some pretty gnarly stuff, man.” He understands their concerns, but says, “I don’t want to hide anything.” He has come to terms with the fact that some people will see him differently after this show.
SEK’s work is deeply personal, except in one aspect—he makes it all anonymously. He plans to keep it that way for now, because he likes the idea of people getting to know him through his art before they meet him as a person. He says, “I want to show people what my mind is like and what my work is like and what I am on the inside. If I ever do eventually decide to show them who I am—what I look like—that comes after. It’s sort of a reverse of getting to know somebody.”
SEK created a 240-page book, Paginae Conscissis, Vol. 1, to accompany the show. He gathered pages from different books, including journal entries, ideas, notes, sketches and drawings, and compiled them into one book. The idea was inspired by the time he had a show in his studio and several people walked out with his notebooks. He says, “I handwrote each book that I’m selling—all 240 pages. I’m at 85 right now, but it’ll be an edition of 150. I wanted to do it this way because I wanted the people who bought it to feel like they’re walking away with something personal, like the people who walked away with the books from the last show.” This time around, if they want the book, they can pay him for it.
March 16, 2019 (7 – 11:30 pm) – RSVP here
March 16 – March 30, 2019, by appointment only
The Container Yard Gallery
601 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023