Shane Guffogg Studio: August Newsletter
Recap of the launch party for The art of Art documentary series for digital streaming.
July 24th, marked the official launch of The art of Art episodes, beginning with the release of Part 1 of 3 of Los Angeles-based artist, Laura Hipke. In tandem also released, was the introductory episode Part 1 of 3 on The art of Art, host, Shane Guffogg, which explains his in-depth passion and dedication to the arts. The party was a huge success. Not only were the beginning episodes premiered but the 3-story Pacific Palisades home featured artwork on display by artists included in upcoming episodes. Artists in attendance were Mark Acetelli, Stanley Dorfman, Laura Hipke, Michael Rosenfield, Luke Rothschild, Holly Rothschild, Susanna Schulten, Mpambo Wina, and Shane Guffogg.
Guests also had the rare opportunity to mingle with some Hollywood producers, including The art of Art producer, Felix Werner, editor, James Fields, plus the rest of the Hieronyvison team, Tyler Osika, and Adam Dunlop-Farkas. HV is short for Hieronyvision, which is The art of Art’s official production team collaborating solely with host Shane Guffogg. Finally, also at the launch party were Los Angeles art dealers, Adam Gross, and Tim Yarger, there in support of The art of Art vision, and applauding the triumph of this series.
In order to create the 14 episodes, which will be released in short chapters ranging from 8 to 10 minutes in length, the Hieronyvision team spent months combing through film, audio, and photo files. Most of this footage was shot before collaborating with HV. Felix Werner and the HV team shot additional material to create a cohesive story for each artist. This footage, new and old, was woven together to create chapters that mark a full episode.
I was curious to hear from Shane Guffogg about his initial reaction when viewing the newly restored footage compiled by HV.
Victoria Chapman: You mentioned during your interview process with each artist, you never had any preconceived questions. How did the artists adhere to this style of interviewing without any prep on their end? What was the antithesis of this style of interviewing?
Shane Guffogg: I purposely didn’t want to jot down thoughts for questions or notes on their lives and work because I felt it would be far more interesting if I am learning about each person at that moment, which I think is more engaging for the audience. As the questions came to me, I would ask and watch their response as much as listen. By that I mean, their body language and how comfortable they were, and if I needed to steer the question in a different direction or keep going. I know some of the guests were nervous, and they let me know before we started filming. I usually crack an impromptu joke or two to lighten things up and then we just go.
VC: What did you think of the re-edited format and the additional sound bites and B roll HV added to each episode? Were you happy with the editing process?
Shane Guffogg. Laura’s episode was amazing. Her paintings really came to life in a new way as they showed pictures of her as a child and of her parents, etc. It really created a starting point of her life’s story for the viewer to enter and then, look at her work through her eyes. I have to be honest, I didn’t watch my film. In fact, I left the room. I am not good at watching myself on film like that.
Victoria Chapman: Because of the new variant, attributed to Covid-19, you had to keep the number of guests at a minimum (instead of 100 guests it was reduced to 50). How did you think the evening went, what were you particularly proud of?
Shane Guffogg: I thought the evening was great. I realized that so many of the people that attended I hadn’t seen in 2 years. It was a little like what I remember from my childhood and going back to school after the summer break and some people looked the same, some had aged, etc. And it takes a minute to register all this and realize so much has changed in the past year and a half. But it was just the right amount of people and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out and have a nice time.
VC: Part 2 of Laura Hipke’s episode will be released soon, the same is true for your introductory episode. What do we have to look forward to and how will we be able to view the next chapters? (parts).
Shane Guffogg: Well, that evening was the first time for me to see the new and improved edits and I was wowed. I have felt from the beginning that what we had was something good, something of meaning because what it is about is our need to understand our world, our lives and express this through art. Each artist, each episode will be very different because they all see and respond to what they see differently. And that is what makes us all human!
VC: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming episode on Stanley Dorfman?
Shane Guffogg: Oh my. Stanley has had such an incredible life. He was very open and honest with me and took me through his early years growing up in South Africa to studying art in France, meeting Picasso as a young student. Cut to, becoming the director for one of the most influential TV shows in Great Britain. And that influence made its way around the world. And, what I realized while interviewing him, is that his history is woven throughout his paintings. If I could sum up what I have learned from Stanley, it is to trust in yourself. It will all work out in the end.
VC: What I find so special about Hieronyvision is, they made the monthly subscription less than a cup of coffee! I believe at $1.99 a month it is cheaper, and the rewards last longer! By subscribing to the hub, one can gain unlimited access to independent film, music, and art documentaries, plus be a part of a creative community and get featured. For example, one such featured member is photographer, Jack English, who shares his sensitive passage in “Chronicler of the Famous and Destitute.” English arrived in Los Angeles from Great Britain to work with Gary Oldman. He took on many projects along his journey, including documenting the harrowing lives and as he said in his own words, “capturing the dignity” of the Downtown Los Angeles homeless scene. One can watch this compelling story here: https://hieronyvision.com/categories/movies/jack-english/
VC: Why is independent film, and art documentaries so important to today’s audience?
Shane Guffogg: They give artists and creative people a platform and a voice. The Hollywood studio machinery is just that. And it takes hundreds of millions to create these blockbuster films and they are very entertaining, no doubt about that. But there is more to life than escapism. This streaming network gives people a chance to hear, see and learn what others think, feel and need to express. We are human and with that title comes a lot of stuff that is often complicated and can be overwhelming. The times we are in now is especially challenging. So how do we get through it intact and with a sense of purpose and optimism? Through creativity in whatever form it takes for each person. The art of Art, I feel, is about inspiring people to explore what is inside that they want to give a voice to.
VC: I just jumped back onto the Hieronyvision website to search on other sources, the “Garden” is one such, that features art related essay’s, “What the F**k was Hieronymous Bosch Thinking?”, “James Turrell” by Max Bosch, “Ruth Asawa’s Wire Wonders”, and “Remembering Norman Lloyd” the famous Hollywood legend, plus more.
The website also includes a store filled with unusual gifts, one can purchase, (through Amazon affiliated links), a book on the historical art movement “Bauhaus” (1919 – 1933), a Dead Kennedy’s vintage tee shirt “Holiday Inn Cambodia”, Stanley Kubrick: Interviews, a book on the Karma Sutra “A Position a Day – 365 Days A Year”, or Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces.” There is something for everyone.
Joining HV and being a part of the creative community can allow an individual to mingle and collaborate with other creativities. Plus, you can continue to watch the upcoming episodes of The art of Art!
Listen to a podcast about The art of Art series
In this episode, my guest Shane Guffogg and I discuss the release of the first episode of “The art of Art”, which is a new program that delves into the creative process of visual and performing artists, hosted by Los Angeles-based artist Shane Guffogg and released on the newly launched independent arts hub HIERONYVISION, https://hieronyvision.com
There are multiple episodes for each artist which will gradually be released one by one. A few prequel episodes feature the host, Shane Guffogg, setting the groundwork for the look and feel of the show, introducing the audience to Guffogg’s art and perspective of living the life of an artist. The first series episode is with Laura Hipke, who shares the inspiration she gets from the photographs of August Sander and how she transforms his black and white portraits into her own narrative that further explores the human condition in her painting.
The visuals of each episode are a feast for the eyes as Guffogg takes the viewer for studio and gallery visits that set the tone for insightful discussions about the impulse to create and the techniques that are used, giving this series a rare, behind the scenes look into our human need to express and communicate through art.
Cover image: A still of Xander Berkeley, from one of the artist episodes