We had the good fortune of connecting with John Rais and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting a business was the only way I could see as a way to keep making art. I knew that if I made it my business, my way of providing a living that i would more likely succeed. After Graduate school I knew i didn’t want to teach full time immediately. Running my studio as a business practice gave me a sense of routine, rigor, and drive.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart from others is the level of investigation from where my work comes. I have been exploring connectivity, things or phenomena that make us feel a sense of connection to ourselves and each other. It is a celebration of connectedness, and relationships in a time of separation, isolation and solitude. This latest series of animal based art came from earlier works where animals were the subject for furniture pieces. It was about the human interaction with the animal itself, and what the users ask or expect from that ritual use of furniture. This is a branching out from that inquiry. It is about the animals interacting with the manufactured. I make the objects that I wish I could find, in a world I idealize as an aspiration to our blended selves. Admittedly, the love of making prevents me from ever finding exactly what I am looking for or even knowing what it is.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My father, Francis “Frank” Rais. I grew up watching him build things and fix things. Constructing things I want to see is in large part was taught by him, by his example. We built playground equipment, porches, furniture, go-carts, none of it was categorized in any particular way. We just made things we wanted.
Facebook: john rais, john rais studios
image 3, Jon Polak