Hello and welcome to the newest, and first, edition of Lainey’s Latest. I, Lainey LaRosa, studied Photography at Fullerton College and work as Gallery Assistant for Grand Central Art Center. I will be granting you all behind the scenes access for our latest and greatest exhibitions! Hope you’ll join me in following all the outstanding things to come in 2017 at Grand Central Art Center and the art community at large!
This past week at Grand Central Art Center we invited Deborah Fisher and Paul Ramirez Jonas to incubate their latest project Dayjob Espresso and Culture. The overall idea of their piece is to question the price of art in a world of instant gratification and consumerism. In a strikingly high amount, artists are drawn to a variety of forms of employment as their ‘dayjob’ to support their artistic ventures. Many times this can cause a creative drain, endured by everyone working a day job, or, even, becoming overworked and underpaid. Fisher and Ramirez Jonas continuously question the viability of their ‘company’ with an imaginary employee ‘Nobu’. Dayjob aims to embody “integrity from the top” thinking constantly of ethical practices towards employees and customers.
In a talk about this project Deborah Fisher noted that a main goal is to increase net creativity amongst the community. Fisher and Ramirez Jonas have done this by creating ‘art assignments’ to reintroduce creativity into their customer’s lives. These assignments range from ‘Plot Your Joy’ to ‘Coffee Drip Constellations’. The assignment I completed was the Coffee Rorschach Test. In this assignment you pour the very last drop of your espresso latte, if you aren’t tempted to finish it all, onto the middle of a sheet of paper and fold it in half. At the bottom, Fisher and Ramirez Jonas question what do you see and, if accompanied by a friend, what do they see. You then search the meaning of the symbols and how they apply to your current state. I saw a pine tree which resembles the idea of immortality, as I approach my 23rd birthday, and my partner saw a Storm Trooper helmet, which we translated to headdress and resembles the shifting of responsibility.
Dayjob was open for business during the first Artwalk of 2017 and provided other services along with their espresso and art assignments. Deborah Fisher offered tarot readings and Paul Ramirez Jonas tapped into his past training as a notary. In a social experiment during the Artwalk, Fisher and Ramirez Jonas offered to frame some of the art assignments right then and there for display. This increased creativity in the space and boosted morale amongst participants, effectively achieving many of the goals set for the project.
Dayjob Espresso & Culture will continue to pop up as opportunities arise, including a possible return to Grand Central Art Center later this year. It’s web store will be up and running by the end of 2017. A brick and mortar location is slated to open in 2018 in Brooklyn, NY.
Written and Photographed by Lainey LaRosa for Grand Central Art Center on January 12, 2017.