Updated: Apr 20, 2020
The painter known as LORDSCIENCE is an enigmatic character. I first met him way back in 2016 in the graduate studios of the University of Delaware. I’d seen him bombing the hill outside of the building on his skateboard probably 100 times but I’d never spoken to him. Now, through a mutual friend, I was entering his studio and I was thoroughly impressed at what I saw. He was working on what I would later find out is known as the Divine Chaos series where he created vibrant, smooth and chaotic yet controlled paintings based on piles of scrap paper and tape on the window sill. He then showed us these sheets of plaid that he’d recently stretched like canvas and planned to paint on, and would later become the Plaid Like Visions series. LORDSCIENCE is a painter that combines classical painting style and control with fantasy and otherworldly elements, and since meeting him I’ve followed his work very closely. I got to see his work progress, first hand, from the Divine Chaos and Plaid Like Visions series’ and into the wildly intriguing Abstract Voids and Landscapes series, a body of work that is still growing. I recently got to talk to LORDSCIENCE about his work, artistic journey and career, and I think it’s something all of you readers will enjoy. The work of LORDSCIENCE is definitely something to check out if you’re a fan of painting in any form, because there’s certainly something for all. Enjoy!
1. So to start off, who is LordScience? What inspires you? what makes you the artist you are?
Who is LORDSCIENCE? I am LORDSCIENCE. I’m a huge fan of causality, I get really inspired when things happen. It sounds vague, but happenings are constant, and it takes a little getting used to pausing long enough to know when something is happening. When I’m not literally living my life on pause waiting for the moment to unfold, I find great happiness connecting with animals and spending lots of time outdoors. Being an artist can make you a bit of a hermit so it’s good to get outside and remind yourself that being an artist is also about connecting with your greater environment. As an artist, I also think it’s really important to look at art, so I try to go to as many openings, exhibits, and museums that cross my path daily.
2. When we first met, you were working on your Divine Chaos Series and at a glance you were just painting these piles of crumpled paper and tape on a window sill but they became these incredibly intricate, deep and vibrant pieces that looked like far more. What brought you to create works like this? How important is studying life and working from your view to your work?
Divine Chaos definitely happened! This rather large pile of colorful tape started to take form in my studio. It was a byproduct, derived from a previous series of works called the Plaid Like Visions. Each day I would apply and remove tape on my project and then throw the discards into the corner of my studio…. And one day… it decided to move on its own. I was writing at my desk and the music was off and I heard this sound coming from the pile of tape in the corner. I sat very still and I noticed the pile was slowly moving. I took quite an interest and began regular documentation that became studies known as Divine Chaos: A literal homage to a colorful pile of trash that decided to have a will of its own! This is the kind of happening that I find terribly inspiring.
3. What inspired the Plaid Like Visions series? How important was the information that the material itself gave you when deciding what to add in with paint?
Plaid Like Visions were inspired by light and perception, particularly the relationship between light and illumination of space. The plaid material was an experimental leap of sorts.
The patterns I was observing were somewhat plaid in their organization and it seemed like a natural step to stretch plaid like a canvas and use each pattern as a grid for the structure of the paintings.
4. Abstract Voids and Landscapes, a mash of real life, geometry and explosive color that creates vivid and incredible landscapes, what got you to this style of work?
Abstract Voids and Landscapes are a hybridization of sublime landscapes and abstract elements. They are a blend of reality, dream, and historical art combined with the stylistic approaches that I had developed while studying Studio Art at the University of Delaware.
5. How do you decide what goes into a piece? There's so many experimental elements, how do you control it all?
6. How much of the imagery in your current work (be it real or fake) is painted from life? How much do you just let come off of the top of your head?
Usually the beginning of each piece is loosely based on a snapshot from a camera, a moving landscape taken through the windshield of a car or the window of an airplane. From there things tend to evolve and there might be many instances where chance and lack of control take the place of representation and reality. Very little is planned out, but a great deal of thought takes place before I ever make a mark.
7. Your colors are always so vibrant and explosive yet expertly controlled. What goes into your combined process of acrylics and aerosol paints?
I believe it’s important to cultivate your own color palette. I have traditionally used aerosol in my youth, as a street artist, so I have tried to adapt certain things I learned writing graffiti and apply it to my current studio practice but I don’t limit or exclude mediums. I have been known to use colored pencil or sumi ink when I feel like it. It’s best to experiment as much as possible, that is one of the greatest benefits of having a space to make art.
8. Any advice for students or young painters on how to discover their styles? Enter the professional world? Anything?
My advice is: create, explore, experiment! Then you apply it to your practice, refine it, and repeat. Style comes from studying, practice, and repetition. Everyone has a different style, thank goodness, but it usually starts someplace or from someone, so study and work towards mastery.
9. What do you have going on these days? Any exciting new projects? Where can people find you? Plug yourself!
I am currently living and painting in my hometown of Palmer Lake, Colorado and am working on a new collaborative series of paintings with my sister and fellow UD alumni Carrie Ann Baade.
You can find LORDSCIENCE on instagram: @lordscience or on the web at http://www.lordscience.com