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MISTER NAR

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Bob Dale View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 6:03pm
Interview of Mister Nar

**please pardon the current formatting - I don’t own a personal computer at the moment so this was done primarily from an iPhone.**

In the same vein as a few of the other extremely informal and mostly conversational ‘interviews’ I’ve done for the forum, I decided to shine a light on someone whom I felt certain had to be a ‘bro – but could never tell. Chances are you already follow his work, but for those who don’t let me introduce you to Mister Nar.



bob dale -
It’s me, bob dale. I am not trained so forgive any hiccups along the way. Because we aren’t able to sit across from each other let’s take it easy and just sort of shoot for an informal conversational feel. Shall we begin?
Folks may already know you from Instagram, I remember distinctly asking several folks in the know if you were on the forum. You are followed by many of our members and seem to appreciate many of the same things we as a small little community are into. I found myself questioning if we’d met, and even hesitated briefly contacting you for fear we had met and my ‘daddy brain’ had completely spaced.
Is your Instagram an extension of your art? I feel like I remember a recent show you had with our friend Sam Lee, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art?

Mister Nar – Hello, My Instagram is definitely an extension of my art. I’ve always drawn inspiration from the past. My interests include railroad and hobo culture, vintage photographs, paper ephemera, obscure texts, and vintage clothing. I started collecting and scanning old photos and paper ephemera 15 years ago for use in some collage work. Besides using my collections in collages I didn’t really have any outlet to share it until Instagram came along. The Narchive really manifested itself and has turned into what I’m doing now. I consider part of my art the collecting, sharing, and organizing of the Narchive.
I did have a little show with Sam Lee in August(2017) where I showed my Ceramics as well as some prints and photography. I started doing ceramics about 5 years ago. My ceramics are influenced by the minimalism of the desert and the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi which champions the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
I grew up in the very southwest corner of Utah, and moved to San Francisco when I was 20 and have been here ever since. I love SF but I miss the landscape I grew up in. I think one day not too far from now I’ll end up back in the desert.
I work primarily with ceramics, If you had told me 10 years ago I’d be working with clay I would have never believed you. It’s just something that was never on my radar, but once I took my first class I was hooked. It’s such an elemental process.
You are actually changing the structure of molecules!

b d -   With the wealth of visual and anthropological detail in railroad and hobo culture I can see it being a huge source of influence. I am not all that well versed in that sort of thing, a buddy turned me on a bit to monikers as well as the art and culture surrounding them – is that art anything you follow?

M N – I do follow train and moniker culture. Not really into the spray stuff but do find some that I can appreciate from time to time. I’ve been into trains for quite a while, but one day found a copy of Bill Daniels ‘Mostly True’ and I immediately identified with the aestetic of the book and consider it a source of inspiration.
I’d definitely suggest ‘Who is Bozo Texino’ if you’re interested in Moniker culture and haven’t seen it.

b d – with Denimbro having a focus primarily on clothing, and knowing your interest in certain garments is there a particular piece you’d love to own, or any items from your ‘acquisition dept’ you’re most proud of?

M N - I have a stack of Engineers Journal magazines and I have seen a lot of great advertisements for Signal brand shirts which I haven’t come across yet. I feel like with vintage clothing it can be a bit of a regional thing. Off the top of my head I think the most exciting thing in my collection is a really fantastic Boss of the Road duster jacket with matching pants. I haven’t dated it yet, but if I had to guess it’s probably from the late 30’s or early 40’s. It’s in really terrific condition. I have posted pictures to Instagram.

b d : What I am hoping to do is just kind of shine a light on you and your work. I feel like I want to keep apologizing for fumbling through some of this, thanks for your patience.

MN : You certainly don’t need to apologize, you seem plenty prepared. You ever heard of Studs Terkel?

b d : I have. His work is pretty great. I feel like I’ve seen a few of his books around here and there, and then maybe a few pieces about him on NPR.    



M N : I highly recommend a series that was on the podcast Radio Diaries (it’s aired on some NPR stations I think) called the workin tapes, it’s all recorded interviews that Studs did for his book ‘Working’.

b d : Going back to your work, I don’t know a ton about ceramics. I tend to feel somewhat intimidated by them to be quite honest, especially thrown pottery.

M N : Ceramics or art in general is one of those things that seem intimidating to a lot of people. People think that you have to be born with Talent. I think talent is something you develop through practice.
If you had told me 10 years ago I’d be working with clay someday, I would never have believed you. It’s just something that was never on my radar but once I took that first class I was hooked. For me it hasn’t been about mastering a process or technique, but developing my own aesthetic. I have to say I don’t normally think or write critically about what I do. I appreciate the opportunity, but I also find it somewhat challenging to put into words.

b d : you talk about working towards an aesthetic – is there any kind of ‘ moon shot’ you have for your aesthetic? A project you’d like to tackle (film, publishing, etc)?

M N : Like I said, I am not really sure I think in that way. If I had to answer, I suppose I’d like to develop my practice in ceramics and art to where I can do them full time. I have always dreamed of having my own company and store. When I was in high school I would make logos for fictional companies. First it was something called Whitecap (a surf brand) then freeform which was a skateboard apparel brand (I actually did screen print some shirts and stickers). Nar Industries has since turned into Nar Manufacturing and Supply Co which I find to be a good name as it can encompass anything I want to make or sell. Long Story Short, I want my own store which would include a space for a design and ceramics studio.

b d : Thanks so much for your time and the interview Mister Nar, hope we can catch up in person sometime for coffee and further conversation!

Edited by Bob Dale - 14 Jan 2018 at 6:20pm
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hollows View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote hollows Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2018 at 9:45pm
Thanks for this, Bob! Mr Nar is one of my favorite Instagram follows and it's great to learn a little more. I'm hoping he launches a web shop for his pottery (and whatever else may follow) soon.

For those who haven't yet seen it, here is his profile: https://www.instagram.com/mister_nar/



Edited by hollows - 17 Jan 2018 at 1:53pm
I make things out of leather.
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Bob Dale View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Bob Dale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2018 at 8:17am
Thanks for adding the link Hollows — for those interested in his ceramics - he has a feed for his artwork
Nar Manufacturing and Supply Co
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Joseph Hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2018 at 9:24am
As the MC Bat Commander of the Aquabats would say, "Mr Nar is totally gnar!"
My coat has nine buttons, but I always fascinate.
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