Koplin Del Rio
Mar 31, 2020 8:33PM

We at the gallery acknowledge that this is an especially challenging moment in time, as we all collectively navigate this unprecedented event. While the physical gallery space is closed, we remain fully active online, and thought that we'd get around to a few projects that have been on our short list for some time, including a number of online exhibitions, as well as a series of interviews with the incredible group of artists that we have the privilege of working with. So, we begin that series with the two artists in our current exhibition: David Bailin and Maggie Jiang. David, a long time gallery artist, whose survey exhibition In Situ and Maggie, new to the gallery, whose group of paintings "Searching for the Wrong Turn" was debuted in our West Gallery. Below you'll find the first in a series of ongoing interviews offering what we hope is an interesting glimpse into artists studios & minds during this very surreal moment. Stay tuned for more, and as always we, and art are here for you.


Hi David, please draw your favorite object in the studio:

What is your studio practice looking like these days? Has it, or your work changed in response to this moment?

DB: I am spending more time working in my sketchbook–drawing out and thinking through ideas for the next series. I had been transitioning to a new body of work before, I don’t socialize and my studio is in my home, so I haven’t been too affected by the pandemic. However, having to teach basic and figure drawing on-line is taking away more of my studio time than actually teaching in person.

What music are you listening to, if any? Tom Petty, to get me started; Radio to keep me going.

How are you spending time outside of the studio? Little Rock has miles of trails and parks that span the surrounding area, its lakes, and along the Arkansas River. My wife and I get out when we can.

Are you cooking a lot? Care to share a favorite recipe? I’m not a cook but I do have a great comfort food recipe for those who are not vegetarian. Recipe below:


What is your studio practice looking like these days? Has it, or your work changed in response to this moment?

MJ: Like many other artists, I used to complain that life gets in the way of studio time. Well, that excuse is out the window now. With zero social engagements, I have been painting late into the evenings. A few days ago, I made up my “A pattern a day, keeps the virus away” project. I start with a 10x10 piece of paper, hand draw a pattern, stick to just using black and white paint. I have been either starting the day in the studio with this project as a warm up or finishing the day with it as a cool down. I have found the process to be therapeutic and rewarding so far. I also noticed that I have used a lot of red recently. Three most recent paintings I finished all have large areas of red in them. Red was not a color I used very much in the past. I suppose our brains do work mysteriously.

What books, or who, are you reading right now? Any recommendations? I am reading these three books at the moment:Metropolitan Stories by Christine CoulsonArt and Visual Perception by Rudolf ArnheimThe Souls of China by Ian Johnson

Recommended Reading: Robert Irwin's Ambient Odyssey & The Constellation of Frank Stella

What music are you listening to, if any? I have been listening to an 80’s playlist and Seattle Symphony’s YouTube channel (since we can’t go to the live performance anymore).

How are you spending time outside of the studio? Other than going for walks in the neighborhood, reading and catching up on Netflix shows, I spend most of my days in the studio.

Are you cooking a lot? Can you share a favorite recipe?Embarrassingly, I still do not cook a whole lot. My parents live nearby, and my father is a wonderful chef. We meet up with them and cook together a couple times a week. Most recently, we tried to make Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl) at home for the first time, it turned out to be a success. I can never seem to follow a recipe while cooking, a lot of improvisation goes on in the process.

Finally, please draw a flower: Drawing flowers is not really my thing. Although, I have started to hand draw a geometric pattern a day in the studio. Here is one from a few days ago. I guess we can consider these my imaginary geo-flowers.

Koplin Del Rio