Interview by Anna Cade, October 2009
Question 1: Do you class yourself as a ‘Pop Surrealist’ artist? Or do you have another term you prefer?
Since I am included in the book Pop Surrealism I guess that as far as critical terminology goes, I am a Pop Surrealist. I think however that the term itself refers toAndy Warhol’s commercial pop culture model and, since I don’t directly refer to that sort of popular culture in my work, I don’t feel that the term Pop Surrealism captures the essence of my work. I have always preferred the term Cartoon Realism since I am attempting to make the cartoon style rise to a level of Realism that successfully demonstrates reality to the incognescenti, those who aren’t hip to art rhetoric.
Question 2: How would you personally define ‘Pop Surrealism’?
Pop Surrealism is based more on the definition of pop culture art that Andy Warhol put forth than classic Surrealism a la Dali. I believe that Pop Surrealist Art expresses contemporary pop culture in a sort of post modernist way, the cultural icons are not deliberately depicted but are referred to in an oblique way. Each artist’s take on pop culture is the starting point, not the end. Still Pop Surrealism is an appropriate name for this movement for most of the people who don’t worry about such ridiculously fine lines of terminology.
Question 3: Do you think Pop Surrealism would be referred to as a modern art movement?
The exact time frame of “modern art” is endlessly debated; after all, the academic definition of Modernism refers to the 19th century break between the avant-garde and traditional salon art. In that sense, Pop Surrealism is a modern art movement because part of its purpose is to expand the definition of what is acceptable as art. If “modern art” is work that just happens to have been made in the last 50 years then Pop Surrealism is full on modern art, even if some of the artists use classical techniques.
Question 4: What subjects are the main influences for your artwork?
One of the outstanding elements of Pop Surrealism is that the works tend to demonstrate a narrative. I make a great effort to reveal part of a story in my paintings and then leave the preface and conclusion to the mind of the viewer. That said, I have to cite literature as being the main influence of my visual expressions.
Question 5: Are there any other artists who you would compare your style of work to?
The contemporary artist that I feel closest to is Peter Saul since he explores the grey area between representational and abstract cartoon art.
Question 6: Which other collective or group do you feel you may belong to?
I was first referred to as a Kustom Kulture artist since I depicted hot rods and monsters in my paintings. I have also been called a Weirdo Deluxe artist since I am included in the book by the same name. Naturally I am classified as a Low Brow artist, an “umbrella” art category with Pop Surrealism one of its subcategories.