Spattergasm Website. Interview by Justice Howard, 2004
Describe your arin two sentences:
I paint in a "Cartoon Realist" style; that is, I attempt to make the cartoon universe of anthropomorphic animals and their environment appear real and believable. Of course, making this convincing depends on the viewer's willingness to suspend their disbelief so I set up an interesting narrative that keeps the spectator involved.
As a child I was encouraged by my parents to draw and paint and they allowed me to make as much of a mess as I deemed necessary. Naturally I was expected to turn to a more lucrative career when I went to college but I lied about my classes and enrolled in the Art Department at the University of Texas. I left soon after to attend the Otis Art Institute in Los Angles from which I dropped out after 3 semesters. I continued to attended classes (Gary Panter actually encouraged me to stick around his class anyway) until I was finally booted out. I kept painting in my studio and began hitting up all the galleries for shows. I eventually got a show, the painting sold and that was either the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end, I still haven't decided!
My art heroes have changed over the years. Early on I like the paintings of Franz Marc, a German painter who was killed in WW1, his brief life made his paintings tragically appealing. As a student I liked Duchamp, his philosophy of "readymades" was a great theory for putting off completing assignments until I was on the way to class! I admired Warhol because he involved "cool" in his art but when I finally met him he was so deadpan and remote that I began to favor his sidekick at the time, Jean Michel Basquiat. During this time I was reading 60s-70s underground cartoons and eventually my art heroes became artists like R. Crumb and Robert Williams. Currently I have no favorite artists, only favorite works of art.
The necessity of using the human figure in art that purports to represent the "human condition" is one of art's basic assumptions. I challenge this coda by using animals in a cartoon world to represent us, the people. There's an entire genre of art dedicated to the depiction of humans and its called "Figurative Art", how holier-than-thou can you get? Every time I leave my house I'm bombarded by the spectacle of humans going about their business and the last thing I want to look at when I return is more images of people. I alleviate this visual suffering by painting cartoon animals.
I always think that the painting I'm working on is the best, most kickass
painting I've ever done. It's a lie I tell myself to keep going!
I use water based acrylic paint on primed canvas that has been stretched over either plywood or luan on top of stretcher bars. I like the stiff surface because I can rest my hand or entire arm against the surface and not dent the canvas. I use Nova Color premixed acrylic paint, it's a nice smooth consistency that's impossible to get from tube paint. I use mostly "rounds" and sometimes flat brushes; for blending large areas I use fan brushes.
Fuck it, I don't wanna write about who owns my art. I'd rather tell a story about my low beginnings. When I first started out showing my artwork around I made an appointment to meet John Pochna, the dealer at the Zero One Gallery in L.A. When I got to the gallery at the appointed time he wasn't around so I sat down on a filthy couch to wait for him. This black girl, Tequila Mockingbird, comes in and sits next to me on this raggedy ass sofa and pulls out a big joint. We smoke it and she's leaning into me with her hands grabbing my dick and her lipstick is crumbling and I'm wigging out. So suddenly I have to take a shit, badly, and I go around to the bathroom which is basically a toilet with no seat in a closet with no door. I look into the shitter and there's a long, thick skid mark in it and right there is a huge cockroach just chowing down on this tarry fucking shit scrape. I push down the handle to flush the toilet and nothing happens; I look in the tank and it's bone dry. Needless to say there's no toilet paper so I pull out my prick and try to piss this thing down, drown it, something. But the roach holds on and the skid mark isn't washing away, nothing. My guts are splitting and I'm about to shit my pants so I have to stick my boot in, flatten the roach into the shit and smash the whole aggregate against the porcelain. I finish my business and go back out into the "gallery" and the dealer's finally there but he won't look at my slides, won't talk to me about my art, nothing; all he does is try and get me to give him a ride somewhere. He ended up being my art dealer for a couple of years!Music?
Heavy Dub.What do you do in your spare time?
I have a 1968 Cougar and 1957 Chevy panel truck that I bravely attempt to keep roadworthy. I favor classic literature and conspiracy theory but read contemporary pop trash to keep on top of what's trendy. I'm a news junkie and I'm as fascinated and disturbed by the daily body count coming from Iraq now as I was by the numbers coming from Vietnam when I was young. I attend war protests but cover my ass with regular target practice.