The show went very well! I sold a few pieces and got the word out… This was my first exhibit since moving to Pittsburgh, so I think it was a decent first impression. There were a few big crowds that came through throughout opening night and it was pretty much packed until closing. Luckily, I got some pictures taken before the event actually opened. But, people also checked it out by appointment, including some of the gallery owners themselves, as everything was hung through January, so hopefully a new exhibit or two will come from it.
WHAT SORT OF FEEDBACK HAVE YOU BEEN GETTING FROM THE NEW WORK?
I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback! There was a write up about the exhibit in the Pittsburgh City Paper and the comparision was made of “Metalocolypse meets Francis Bacon…” for whatever the fuck that’s worth; but I guess it shows that people are trying to figure it out. I just wanted to focus on my drawing a bit more on this series, so I find it funny how deeply people have looked into the imagery.
SO, THE NAME OF THE SHOW – WHERE DID IT COME FROM? HOW HAVE PEOPLE REACTED?
It came from a notoriously ridiculous album cover; just google “Satan is Real” and that shit should pop up. Jesse Best, the other artist in the exhibit, and I were trying to think of ideas and having a few beers, and Jesse pulled it up as a joke. The whole damn cover is so stupid, then contrasted by that title “Satan is Real”! It just has that perfect element we both use in our work of tongue-in-cheek humor and it reflected our appreciation for the tragically uncool.
The reaction to the name has been mixed… again, the turn out at the opening was great so I guess it didn’t scare too many people off. It wasn’t done for shock value, but people have and will take it that way. I kind of wish we could have gotten picketed… maybe next time!
THIS SHOW REPRESENTS A WHOLE NEW BURST OF WORK FROM YOU – MORE EVOLVED STYLE TOO. WHAT’S NEW WITH YOUR THOUGHT/ART PROCESS THIS TIME AROUND?
Well, as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to focus more on my drawing on this series of paintings. My earlier work has been all very painterly. This time I’m drawing still, but it’s more of a feeling process, and I use a lot of different imagery to tell a story. Kind of like hieroglyphics mixed with my designing; more of a graffiti approach.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to focus on one image and really tune in on the story of that single thing. I’ve been getting ideas from my older work of single images that I wanted to elaborate on in one way or another. So, I figured I would put a few of these isolated images together as an exhibit.
I’ve been using a new process that works much more like my illustration and design work for Kaspa, 4×4, and other companies people might be familiar with. For example, the piece titled “Lucia” is also a 4×4 shirt coming out… and that even reflects the process a bit. Another important part of this series for me was the actual construction of the wood panels that the paintings are on. I’ve had a bit of experience making frames for previous works, so I know a tiny bit about the carpentry end… but I really wanted to make these pieces as solid as I could, while still maintaining the structural appeal. Each painting is on a hand-built, sealed, 2″ deep birch panel. More like a piece of furniture then a conventional framed painting on canvas. There’s a shit ton of work that goes into this before the first coat of paint can even go on. And than, after it’s all painted and everything is cured, a few coats of gloss polyurethane goes on top. It’s pretty gnarly, and it’s rewarding to know you just built something that will age a hundred years old and still look as rad as the day it was made.
While this line of work are acrylic paintings on wood panels, I really feel that they’re more illustrations to me. I’m going to continue to work in this vein for a while… but, I know I’m going to make my way back to my graffitti at some point, probably mixing both styles. And possibly bringing in another element here or there. We’ll see.
THE NEW 4×4 HATS ARE SO ILL! WHAT OTHER ROLLING RELATED PROJECTS YOU BEEN UP TO?
Thanks. Yeah, Rat-Tail did a really great job with putting those together! I’m proud of those. I hear a bunch of people have been picking them up that don’t even skate and shit, so thats cool too; being responsible for spreading the word on rolling out into the world a little bit. Other than that, I’m putting together some new KASPA designs for Summer or Fall, as well as some new 4×4 designs… the wheels really came out sick this time around, I must say! And I just did my first design for Psyko Clothing this past month… Diaz has been great to work with, so I’m looking forward to making new Psyko gear in 2010. Also, I’m not sure if I can say anything, but, my artist series Sifika high-top is set for release this Spring. It’s called “the Dethbed” and features an overall sick design with some hand-drawn artwork on it. So, do your best early 90’s Robert Smith, heads-up!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
More designing and more painting… I’m for hire. I’ll be booking another show or two here in Pittsburgh for 2010, some group shows around the U.S., and getting involed with some different artists locally and nationally. I’d really like to put together a sort of “Art of Rolling” art show featuring the visual talent we have in this industry with the intentions of getting us out there to another audience and market. I think it would be fucking great; we’ll just have to see who’s with me.