'How to Cook and Why' by Nicholas Zepeda

Nicholas Zepeda (b.1999) is an artist from Chicago, IL, who received a BFA in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The artist’s practice is a continuous series of site-specific projects that document his process of finding community, and frequently builds on past works. Zepeda first exhibited with Moosey via Lisa Boudet, with his project I can lift a car: a group of work split and displayed at the same time in two different galleries.

How to Cook and Why is a solo-exhibition of quiet scenes from Nicholas’s Chicago apartment.The works discuss the role of control in wanting to present yourself honestly; furniture is neatly placed, text is mostly redacted, and kitchen sinks are drawn empty. Zepeda curiously exhibits the results of a year’s worth of meticulous, defensive drawing in exposed, crumpled, paper frames. Sacrificing the protection of the artist’s largest pieces yet allows us to see the works as they actually are, returning the show to an attitude distinct to Zepeda’s practice. One that gives us permission to be skeptical of plain titles.

“I started these works after choosing to learn how to cook about three years into living alone. Each piece was an opportunity to use what I was learning about cooking to revisit what making art means to me. At its core, you cook so you can sustain yourself. But that’s kind of a miserable way to think about it. Cooking plays such an important role in how we connect to other people- so by learning how to do it, you’re actually choosing to be a part of something”.