Nancy Guppy Interviews Sculptor and Artist Todd Jannausch
Seattle sculptor and installation artist Todd Jannausch (toddjannausch.com) has a new solo show, Callus, which runs 11/15–12/21 at Pioneer Square gallery Method (methodgallery.com). He’ll also give a gallery talk (11/21 at 6 p.m.).
COFFEE SHOP: All City Coffee in Georgetown, a Tuesday morning in July
TODD’S ORDER: 12-ounce wet cappuccino
Nancy Guppy: For 15 years you were a builder and a shipwright. Do you greet
people with “Ahoy, matey!”?
Todd Jannausch: No.
NG: Does your shipbuilding background influence your art?
TJ: It was a big part of the reason I started in art in the first place. With the past stuff, Gallery (206) [work by 206 local artists embedded in a phone booth] and Small Voids [two-dimensional works by various artists, encased in plexiglass and suspended on street signs and poles], all of those were fabrications—things that I learned while I was building boats, skills I wouldn’t have learned any other way.
NG: Your past work has a collaborative vibe. Did you have to share growing up?
TJ: (Laughs) Yes. I had one brother. And he used to kick my ass a lot. So I had to “share” my toys a lot.
NG: I perceive you as an artist who works outside of the “art system.”
TJ: For a while, I was questioning: What can we do better with art? Who isn’t being included? What limits do galleries have?” Blowing those open a bit. So, outside, yes, but not against.
NG: Give me the elevator pitch for your upcoming solo show.
TJ: It’s about how we interact with inanimate objects in our everyday lives. For me, it’s about the relationship I have with tools, so there’ll be a bunch of altered tools.
NG: One of the works is a bent hammer. Does that piece relate to string theory?
TJ: No. It relates to masculinity.
NG: How do you know when you’re on the right track?
TJ: When I’m really nervous. When I start to feel that tension inside, it means I’m getting closer to a place that I haven’t been before—that’s usually a good sign.
NG: Choose one: money or fame.
Nancy Guppy showcases Seattle artists on her show, Art Zone (seattlechannel.org/artzone).