Exclusive: Artist Collective Goldmine Shithouse Does Frog Town

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Thar be gold in them thar hills! In the recesses of Los Angeles bordering the river is a strip of land that has become a hotbed of creative activity affectionately known as “Frog Town” — named thus because of the amphibians that migrate up from the riverbank seasonally. In the center of this new community is N.O.M.A.D. — a communal art/performance space that has become the nexus of this movement toward the river.

This month N.O.M.A.D. is featuring the work and collaborative spirit of the artist collective known as Goldmine Shithouse. At the core of the group, you’ll find artists Colin Burns, David Hochbaum, and Travis Lindquist, but its influence and scope surpasses its founders and LA scene. By maintaining an anything-can-happen cooperative attitude, they have been able to execute their collaborations within art hubs in New York, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Stockholm, and Berlin.

Goldmine Shithouse started in the early ’90s when the trio met in Boston. They came back together in 2002 on the New York bar scene, swapping sketchbooks to create a veritable exquisite corpse of their talents. This led to larger size collaborations, in which they collected wood and random materials from the street including found photos to add to their communal paintings and installations.

When Colin decided to move to LA, they came up with the idea to do group gallery shows, converging two times a year to maintain the firm connection they shared originally, but also incorporate other influences and artists throughout the process. According to Travis, “Our collaborations with others happen as spontaneously as the work we do. We do not know what we will create and with whom until [a Goldmine Shithouse] residency begins.”

As far as the make your ma blush name Travis adds, “In the beginning, when we were just doing our [New York] shows, we had no name for it. Some referred to it as ‘gay art night’. We didn’t care so much for the title since none of us are gay. We went with Goldmine Shithouse since it resembled the result of a long nights work as well as the condition of where we did it.”

Definitely better than “gay art night” we think (albeit a little draggy). The current iteration of Goldmine Shithouse is currently on display at N.O.M.A.D. The last viewing closing party will be held there on Saturday, March 28. Expect some special musical guests (past surprises have included performances from members of Mars Volta and Juliette Lewis) and silk screens conceived on the spot for $5 a pop. If you’re in LA, stop in and get your frog on.