From the Men's Catalog: David Kitz
When I first started getting serious about making art I was doing mostly drawing and painting. I was really into guys like Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon—artists that really seemed to have interesting takes on how negative space, or just blank paper, could function in a drawing. I’ve since turned to using a camera to make pictures. I feel like my influences in photography span from the Dusseldorf School of Photography guys to the Pictures Generation artists, to younger guys like Roe Ethridge, Lucas Blalock, and Sam Falls.
From product design to photography to music, you seem to have your hand in a few different areas within the arts. Do you allow these things to overlap, or do you keep them more separate and distinct?
I think that for the most part they stay in their separate places without me needing to keep them there. They all involve different types of thinking and different kinds of problem solving. At the same time, aesthetics plays a roll in all of them, so they probably relate to one another in ways that I’m not even aware of.
What in your art practice led to you creating your L-Lamps?
The L-Lamp project has come about gradually. I designed the first prototypes while I was still in art school at UCLA. I was taking a ceramics class and had free reign to make whatever I wanted. I wanted to see if I could make something that could fit into peoples lives in a more direct or quotidian way. After graduating I decided to work on refining the design and figuring out a way to produce them more en mass.
What else would you say influences your work?
I guess that most of my projects all boil down a question—usually a different question for each project. Sometimes the work functions to ask the question in a visual way or sometimes it strives to answer it. I’ve done projects that have looked at everything from city planning and public aesthetics to pornography. Other times the question will arise from reading a quote or maybe just a curiosity in how a camera will handle a certain subject.
What is it about Los Angeles that keeps you there?
L.A. is a great place to do all the things I do. It has a vibrant and growing art scene and the music scene has maybe never been better than it is now (at least in my lifetime). Also, the weather isn’t bad.
What are you seeing in the L.A. art scene right now?
I think L.A. has worked hard in recent years to establish itself as a major cultural force. From the Pacific Standard Time stuff to the recent L.A. Biennial, there’s a lot that’s been happening here. There are also a ton of super smart and talented people coming out of and teaching at the art schools here. Cal Arts, UCLA, USC, and Art Center all have amazing programs. There are also great places to show and see art here. There are the big blue chip galleries, but there are also cool independent and younger spaces like Night Gallery and Control Room that are doing great stuff.
What was your first experience in making music?
I started playing music when I was eight. My parents bought me an acoustic guitar and I spent all my time trying to learn Beatles songs. Like lots of other little kids I dreamed about being a rock star. In middle school I saved up for an electric guitar and started a punk band with my friends.
Can you share a memorable experience from an L.A. venue performance?
A couple years back, my band Princeton did a short West Coast tour with Editors. The L.A. show was at the Wiltern. We had all been to shows there growing up and I don’t think we had ever played on a stage that big. We had always dreamt of playing there ourselves and it felt like the realization of all our hard work.
Who are you digging from the L.A. music scene right now?
I’m loving Papa, Harriet and Superhumanoids.
Currently whats your favorite late night spot in L.A.?
Can you tell us something interesting from this Men's catalog shoot?
Working with Jason was a lot of fun. It was actually super aerobic. He had me running and jumping all over the place. I think the most memorable shot for me was when he had the whole crew throw tennis balls at me at the same time. They weren’t all hitting me and Jason was like, “No, throw it AT him and throw it HARD!”
Where can we keep up with you online?
You can find me on instagram: @davidkitz or you can visit my web site or the site for my lamps.