Contemporary art isn’t something we normally cover on this site, but Case Simmons and Andrew Burke are music and barbecue enthusiasts who just happen to make incredible art.
The boys met in high school in North Carolina and kept in touch through college. As Andrew told us over the phone from Los Angeles, “When Case was finished with undergrad at the San Francisco Art Institute where he majored in New Genres and when I was finishing music at CCM we started thinking about the future. We realized how much we enjoyed working with each other and started collaborating on some art work. Kim Light, an art dealer out here in LA saw some of our work and decided to represent us as out first dealer and here we are seven years later!”
Case gave us his side of the story too, “I was living in San Francisco and bummed out about the painting department I was in. I started making projects on laptops and really enjoyed it. In school you work on lots of short projects so when we started working together we wanted to work on projects that took much longer. We started making collages that took a long time and they ended up really standing out. Once we started showing them things happened pretty quickly. We have been evolving – our older work was taking everything we could find and putting it into a piece, but the newer work is focusing on the singular.”
Each of their collages takes lots of time. We are talking thousands of hours of work. The next project could take a year and a half, but it all is paying off as the art world is taking notice. As the Los Angeles Times described them, “working like naturalists to comb the web for denatured specimens of media and pop culture. The prosaic glut of data at their (and our) disposal is both their subject and their raw material.”
When they are not scouring the internet for images, Case enjoys the occasional DJ session. He has a monthly DJ spot on KCHUNG radio (out of Chinatown) called ‘Sad Tuesdays’ every week with a group of friends. He only plays moody music from the likes of George Jones and John Prine. Andrew spends his free time on barbecue. “My family and friends are considering an intervention. I have a smoker at my house and about once a week I smoke a pork shoulder or brisket. I’m always trying to find new things to smoke! I’m a Bengals fan and I cook each Sunday based on where the Bangles are playing. So if they are playing the Jets I will smoke pastrami. Or if they are playing the Texans I’ll make brisket,” he explained.
Below the boys talk more about their individual style:
Case always has much better style than I do! I sort of look at clothes as utility. I favor durable over what looks really nice. I tend to wear clothes until there are so many holes they just disappear! I wear hoodies and see how long the sleeves last.
Shoes: Red Wings -I have had two pairs in 15 years and you can send them back to have them resoled.
Blazers: I have a tweed one that belonged to my grandfather. Its the blazer he wore in his viewing at his funeral. It was then removed and given to me. It’s hugely personal and a tad Southern Gothic!
Jeans: I have worn APC Jeans for a long time since someone said they were cool to wear.
I did get some Levi’s, the nicer ones, and they are actually more comfortable than the APC. I hate it when I have holes in my pockets and zippers stop functioning. I want them to last about two years- I’m a hard customer to please! But I’m willing to spend a lot of money on jeans since I wear them almost daily.
Outerwear: I have a Patagonia jacket and I love it because it has vents and it’s ergonomic. Perfect for walking my dog in LA at night.
Favorite piece of technology: My girlfriend gave me a refurbished vintage turntable. It’s completely rewired and has new counterweights.
Favorite App: Once I started using Instagram I stopped using FaceBook. Once it gets loaded with ads I may stop. The NYT app is great too since I read news on my phone
Next piece of tech: We are in the process of buying new Mac Pros. We will buy as high powered as we can since we work with really large photo shop images. They kind of look like little trash cans. iTrash! ha ha. But apparently they are incredibly powerful. The ones we have now were the best on the market five years ago. But we have to stay with the latest computing power. Oh and an Amazon drone.
Let me say what Andrew has worn to all openings:
Band of Outsiders Shirt
Tweed jacket or Margiela Blazer
That’s it for years! But it is a good look on him.
Jeans: I wear a brand named Tuki out of Japan. Really small release. I wear APC too but these are the best.
Pants: I wear this great brand called Ami.
Shoes: I have a few pairs of Quoddy’s, Shoes Like Pottery out of Japan. I bought my first pair of dress shoes – a pair of plain toe Oxfords by Alden. I’m trying not to wear them too much! But I want to wear them all the time.
Blazers: Christophe Lemaire. I have a wool blazer and some more casual ones that are great. But this one is made well and it isn’t too crazy.
Favorite piece of Technology: my iPhone!
Favorite App: The one I use the most is Instagram.
Next piece of Tech: The Mac Pro. We need the power! We want Google Glasses to mess around with but haven’t gotten around to it.