Carri Skoczek – Freak of the Week

Do y’all know about BINGO! Gallery? At Shire City Sanctuary there is a sweet little gallery space with all the professional accouterment to make it real. We call it BINGO! ‘cause it is located in the former bingo hall of this amazing building. Each month we feature a professional artist that ties into what we do in some way. This month, until Halloween, we are very pleased to be showing linocuts and original paintings by Carri Skoczek. She is New York City based and her work is truly, not to be missed.

10.22.15 Mistresses

Learn more about her here and then, if you are local, come take a look at her work in person while we still have it here to show off! She is my Freak of the Week, and if you are a regular around here you know that being Freak of the Week involves answering a list of questions via email.  In Carri’s own words, here goes:

A brief history..

10.22.15 Carri portraitBorn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1956. Many moons ago I’ve been drawing since before I can remember. Took art classes when I was a kid at the Milwaukee Art Museum. And ended up teaching kids classes when I moved back. Studied drawing and printmaking at UV Eau Claire. Helped start a “healthfood” (thats what they were called back then) restaurant there in the mid 70’s.  I designed the logo and then became a waitress, baker, and food maker. One of the best jobs I ever had until it went bankrupt. Then I moved to Denver because I had a ride and a place to stay. Dicked around for a while then went back to art school. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design It was small and fabulous. Moved back to Milwaukee with the intention of moving to Chicago, but found the loft of my dreams..3500 sq. ft 200 bucks a month heat included, top floor, skylights, freight elevator . . . stayed for 13 amazing years, 84 til 96 when I moved to NYC after meeting the most incredible man from New York in New Orleans. . (long story, killer small world connections) and here I am, almost 20 years later. Painter, printer, costume designer and doll maker

10.22.15 Vert PortraitWhat am I passionate about?
Art. Making weird hats. Theater. Music. Cooking. Mexico. Egon Scheile. Swimming. Chickens. France. Riding my bike. Good friends. Weird dolls. Shoes. Oysters. That truly magical 2 degrees of separation. My Cuisinart. Our killer art collection. Tomatoes. The Met. Voodoo flags. Reading, real actual books. BAM.

10.22.15 Egon SchieleMagical moments.
My life has been so full of them! It’s all magical.

-That moment when I finish a piece and it makes me do the happy dance.
-Selling my first painting when I was 12 to one of the judges in the competition.
-Getting that killer loft because the owner hollered to me from the street, “did I know anyone who wanted to rent 3500 sq ft heat included for 200 bucks?”
-Finding my first studio in NYC from a sign on a lamp post.
-Every moment I’ve ever spent in New Orleans.
-Becoming the costume designer for Theater X in Milwaukee with no theater experience. Being hired based on my paintings,
-Building costumes in Trinidad for carnival with Peter Minshall’s crew.
-Riding the rhythm truck with The Laventile Rythm section.
-Smearing my body with mud and dancing all night in the streets for Jouvay.
-That moment right before dawn when all the rhythm trucks are gone and all you hear is the shuffle of hundreds of tired dancers.
-Making dolls on the beach with kids in Jamaica from junk we found after 10.22.15 Bernice Fordthe reggae beach parties.
-Trading paint for art with Reggie the Tin Man .
-Skinny dipping in Monet’s lily pond in Giverny.
-Swimming in the seine.
-Winning the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
-Swimming in the Caribbean way out where the water turns from turquoise to violet . . . breathtakingly beautiful.
-Having lunch with Willem DaFoe.
-Dinner with John Waters.
-Getting a thank you card from Harvey Keitel for the mermaid t shirts I painted for him and his wife, and the pirate sock monkey I made their son when they were king and queen of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
-Nick Cave installations. (the artist)
-Bruce Springsteen performing at the first jazz fest after Katrina.10.22.15 snake lady
-Eating my gramma’s cheesecake.
-My first oyster po boy.
-The first time I ever had concord grape sorbet.
-Learning how to ” squeeze the tips and suck the heads” eat crawfish.
-Firing a raku pot in the mountains outside of Puerto Vallarta.
-Seeing the green flash at sunset on Playa De Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta.
-Letting my students at the Milwaukee Art Museum paint my car.
-Cate Blanchette in Street Car Named Desire.
-Kevin Spacey in Richard lll.
-Actually everything I’ve ever seen at BAM.
-Seeing Kazuo Ohno (Butoh performer) perform when he was 90 with his son who was in his 70’s at the Japan Society.
-Meeting Iris Apfel and giving her the linocut portrait I did of her.
-Meeting Gemma Cubero the film maker whose film Ella Es El Matador, inspired my my matadora series.
-And meeting you Crispina! Finally live and in the flesh at Artists and Fleas, buying a pair of your undies. Our mutual friend Liz Olney singing my praises and you offering me the show at BINGO!!

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop now. What a wild ride its been.

10.22.15 Studio Shot

My goal for the next 12 months?
Quit smoking?
Practice and improve my Spanish. I’m going back to Mexico October 25.
To make art. Bigger and better paintings for my next solo show at Causey Contemporary in 2016.
I’m working on a series of female circus performers and sideshow freaks.

10.22.15 Carri HandPrized possession?
My eyesight.

If I could spend the afternoon with anyone??
That’s hard. No way I could pick just one. So I guess it’s gonna be a party. A picnic. On a river or near a pond, so we can swim. With fabulous food and wine . . with Frida Kahlo, Diego, Egon Scheile, Louise Nevelson, Manet, Lautrec and his dancers from the Moulin Rouge, Hemmingway, and Manolette the bullfighter, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Deren, Julia Child, Tennessee Williams, The German Expressionists, Puccini. The list is actually endless. . . This would be one hell of a party!

Ok I think this covers it.

Cff:  Yes!  I think it does too. This girl knows how to live and make awesome art. Come see. Tuesdays – Saturdays 11-7pm 40 Melville Street in Pittsfield at Shire City Sanctuary’s BINGO! Gallery.

10.22.15 Carri finale
Freak of the Week