Guno Park was part of a group show at the Clemente Soto Velez Center on the Lower East Side in Manhattan last month. The show was called ‘Finding Space: Artwork Inspired by Urban New York’. Guno exhibited an accordion sketchbook that spread out to 125 inches. Many of the sketches are in this article but cropped due to our digital page size. The book contains drawings of commuters on the MTA and the architecture of Canal Station and inside the Q train. Guno primarily drew in this book while commuting to and from work in TriBeCa. Guno has been a friend and neighbor for a few years now. Frontrunner first met Guno during the infamous Cave Show. See our interview below.
Tell me about your drawing process. You are incredibly prolific. Is this a daily ritual?
I draw everyday. Sometimes for 6-8 hours and sometimes for one hour. I usually draw on the train too on my commutes. I love to draw. It brings me joy to draw everyday. It’s like a visual journal.
Describe the drink and draw classes. How does this inspire your work?
I love to go to any group drawing sessions. 3rd Ward has a great weekly drawing event where beer drinking and figure drawing happen at the same time. I like drinking beer and I love to draw so it’s kind of a perfect combination. Life drawing has been a big part of my life ever since high school. These sessions are where I can relax and develop my visual language from life.
A lot of your work feels documentary or non-fictional. Is this accurate?
I’d say yes, my current work is non-fictional for the most part. My work deals with observation and perception. I draw what is observed but draw them in my own unique perception. In a way, I want to share familiar things through my own lens. My own perception. I guess I’m trying to bring a new angle or intrigue to reality.
How does NYC and the urban landscape play a part in your work?
I love the structures that make the city. Trains, cars, buildings and all the components that work together to create a way for us to move about. Many of my drawings are perceived in a public realm but also contain a personal angle. Although the compositions may be of large architectural spaces, I almost always employ a voyeuristic point of view.
I really like the drawings on the subway. Do passengers ever notice you drawing them?
The passengers never notice me drawing them because I’m very sneaky with glancing over at my subject. At least I think I’m sneaky enough. I’ve never been confronted, yet. The people that do notice me drawing are the ones next to me. I’ve had many incidences where passengers beside me have nudged me with a wink or just straight up told me that they think what I’m doing is cool. I’ve even given away drawings to people who show real enthusiasm. Usually, it’s a pleasant situation.
Most recently, you participated in RH Gallery’s Single Fare Show. What was that like? Does working on such a small scale change your approach at all?
Small scale changes one thing, the time it takes to finish the piece. The show was great and many people came out to support us. There were over 2500 cards this time around and next time, I’m sure there will be more. Working on a small surface isn’t different than a big one, because the pen that I use has a fairly small tip, usually 0.3 – 0.5mm, so small is not a bad thing.
You work a lot with video and photography at the New York Academy of Art, do you have any plans for incorporating this into your work in some way?
I’m primarily a drawer when I’m making my artwork, but I think a lot about similar things when I make the videos. Things like composition, contrast, lighting and framing. I studied classical animation, so in ways, I think that that training had a lot to with the way I developed my drawing from an early age. So, the influence is almost equal from both sides. Video is definitely something that interests me, so I think I’m actually incorporating my art into the videos that I’m making.