Host Christopher Kardambikis and artist, photographer, zine-maker, curator, and educator Louis M. Schmidt sit down for a special midnight chat at Minotaur Projects in L.A., as part of the Paper Cuts Los Angeles Zine Fest tour.
Here is what Schmidt has to say for himself:
I was raised in rural Illinois, a bookish nerd skateboarder back when skateboarding wasn't cool and like 5 people skated. I finished high school in rural Pennsylvania and MUCH later lived in Colorado for ten years, during which time my dreams of being paid to skate and travel were met with radical disappointment. So, I fled a horribly soul-sucking mid-management career at Whole Foods and, out of pure desperation decided to pursue one of the only other things I loved as much as skateboarding- art & art history. I earned a BA in Art History and a BFA in Studio Art (with Summa cum Laude honors) from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. Three years later, I was finally accepted into graduate school and moved to San Diego, CA to study in the Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego. I finished my MFA in due time and afterwards co-founded a small exhibition space & shop called Double Break, where I curated 13 exhibitions and a bunch of readings, performances, signings and other events. When Double Break closed its doors, I made a brief and heart-crushing move to New York before crawling across the razor's edge back to the west coast. I've now been in Los Angeles, CA for three fairly miserable years, where I make money working as an art handler whilst doggedly pursuing my own drawing/photo/publishing/curatorial practices. I've recently exhibited at Park Life in San Francisco, CA; Joshua Liner Gallery in New York, NY; Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh in Raleigh, NC and elsewhere. In the past six months, I've made probably ten or so zines and participated in art book fairs in Tokyo, Mexico City and Los Angeles. Upcoming... I'm headed to Hong Kong to work at Art Basel Hong Kong; when I get back I'm curating a few shows in my studio; I'll be steadily chipping away at a big multi-book photo project based on photos I shot in Rome in 2013; also working on a series of 6' x 8' oil pastel drawings and a bunch of color pencil drawings... and as usual, I'll be holding my breath hoping for some good opportunities for my work, hoping maybe a few nice drawings will sell so I can afford to make more drawing and zines, so I can afford to sleep and breath and eat and think about the what/why of my art practice. I'll be hoping my hope will hold out a little longer.