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Hroje Bubić: Intervju s Anthony Ausgang


Anthony Ausgang je američki umjetnik, te kao slikar, on je najvažnije ime umjetničkog pokreta Lowbrow. Za Solin Live, govori o tom pokretu, suradnji s Davidom Lee Rothom, Green Day i MGMT, umjetničkim instalacijama i strip serijalu.

It is a pleasure to be speaking with you Anthony. Big fan! I have some burning questions for you, but first let’s get to the two reasons you are here. Swizzle Comics! Wow. To quote an American phrase, you hit a home run on this. There will five individual issues and then a graphic novel collecting all five issues. It must be quite an honor to have your own comic book. PIG Comics press release indicates that all five issues will be completely different styles. This is rare, please elaborate! Tell us about Swizzle.

Back around 1995, all the pencil sketches for my big color paintings were just piling up in a cabinet. So, I decided to use them again, but this time combinespecific characters and backgrounds from different sketches to design new,smaller paintings. With these hybrid drawings, I made fifty, 45 x 60 cm, black and white paintings then put them up at a gallery; the show sold out in one night. Over the years, I’vemadeover 250 of these paintings and since I photographed each one, I decided to make a catalog of them. David Portnow at PIG records was already keen on producing an Ausgang comic, so I thought it would be cool to use these black and white paintings as individual comic book panels. I gave all the images to the book designer, Damon Bradshaw, and let him choose the layout. Obviously, there’s no story, but it’s interesting to see how far into the comic people try to sustainone! Swizzle Number Two couldn’t be the same, so I made 150 wild little ink drawings on 13 x 18 cm canvas boards. Since these two issues of Swizzle are so different, I thought I would make each release unlike any other.Look out for an abstract, psychedelic issue of Swizzle soon!

You have so many talents. You’re also a gifted fiction author. You’ve written three fiction novels, but we’re here to discuss ‘The Browser. When was this book originally written?

I began writing The Browser in 2014 and it was published in 2016.

It is part of a trilogy, correct?

Yes, that’s right. When I finished The Browser, I thought I’d move on to a new character and location, but now I’m not so sure. People seem to relate positively to the main character, Puss Titter, and once a relationship like that is established, it’s kind of a shame not to continue with it.

Records PIG Comics released ‘Swizzle’ and now I understand PIG have released an audio version of ‘The Browser’ read by you? (I’ll attach the Sony and Bandcamp links) You’ve done a little of everything? Please give us a synopsis of the audio book. Your target probably wasn’t the marijuana culture, but I understand they’ve grasped onto the book and adopted it into weed culture.

The Puss Titter Trilogy consists of The Sleep of Puss Titter, The Pawnee Republican, and The Browser. They were all inspired by, and use, spam emails I was getting, stuff like Viagra deals, million-dollar inheritances from people I never met, and even hired assassins who I could pay to spare my life.The Browser is about one of my actual paintings Dude Descending a Staircase, which is my take on Marcel Duchamp’s famous painting Nude Descending a Staircase. In real life, my painting is owned by an art collector, but in the book, it is stolen from The Cat Museum and Puss Titter has to get it back. Quite a few events take place in a Rastafarian church and hash bars, so there’s a lot of marijuana smoking.Many readers of The Browser find those scenes to be their favorite, butweedisn’t the main point. I call my books Psyche, not Stoner, but I’ll accept whatever my readers want to call it.

Please tell us about your beginning. Who influenced you as an artist? I notice a lot of references to the 60’s surf & hot rod culture, as well as psychedelia.

Although my parents were Dutch and Welsh, I was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad in 1959. Shortly thereafter,my family moved to Houston, Texas and in the 1960s, hot rods were a major part of American Culture. So, my father took me to car shows to see the newest custom cars by Ed Roth, famous race cars, and wild hot rods; plus, he turned me on to TV cartoons.At the same time, my mother took me to see operas, symphonies (unfortunately, none of them by the Croatian composer Dora Pejačević), and other High Brow cultural events. With these diverse influences, I had a broad selection of favorite artists ranging from cartoonist Tex Avery to the European COBRA movement. And, like everyone else in the 1960s, I listened to The Beatles and The Beach Boys; at least, when my mother didn’t take me to hear Mozart performed! After moving to Los Angeles in 1980, my influences became much more local since artists like the Kustom Kulture painters Robert Williams and The Pizzwere hanging out with the Pinup artist Olivia and her crew of porn stars at the art openings. After I’d had my paintings in a few galleries,I became an artist comrade andreally got into the scene.

Tex Avery is a legend! For those who don’t know who he is, he created lots of famous characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. He was both an animator and a director of cartoons. I’m a huge Tex Avery fan. He died of lung cancer exactly 40 years ago today. (August 26th, 1980) Obviously his influence on the cartoon industry was massive. You are an art historian, writer and curate art shows for other artists. I’m curious how the Art Community looks at him. Does he get the same respect? How is his influence on the art world defined, his legacy?

Tex Avery was a great draftsman, and clearly understood how his exaggerations of the characters’ actions advanced the cartoon vernacular.Since he was an animator for Warner Bros., the “official” Fine Art Community considers him an illustrator and not an artist; consequently, his massive influence on cartoons has not led to general respect outside of that field. Even though he is well known, andhis style frequently referenced by people like John Kricfalusi of Spümcøand Nickolodeon’s Stephen Hillenburg, Avery is regarded as an outlier by the fascist “influencers” of the Fine Art World. Which is a pity since there is an audience for art that uses conceptual matters in a narrative way, not just as the point of the piece. It is this aesthetic inequity that created the Low Brow Art Movement;artists saying that if the museums and galleries won’t play with us, then we’ll start out own game.

You are associated with Low Brow Art Movement. In fact, most sources credit you as the founder. Please explain to the reader what ‘Low Brow’ means and how it changed American history.

Low Brow Art is best explained as representational imagery used to promote an anti-establishment narrative. Presenting social observations in the form ofsatire, the imagery references “low” cultures like skateboarding, surfing, hot rods, burlesque, and tattoos, hence the name Low Brow. The roots of contemporary Low Browbegan with the underground “comix” scene in 1960s San Francisco, best represented by Zap! Comics featuring the work of Robert Williams and R. Crumb. Williams later honed his craft working for Ed Roth, creating hysterically vulgar yet humorous tee shirt designs and magazine advertisements. His lurid and highly detailed paintings soon became the standard by which similar artists were judged.Eventually,enough people passed the test that the work of this upstart groupof artists was identified by critical institutionsas Low Brow Art. Ultimately,Williams was the founder of the movement, but my contribution was introducingcartoon-based animal characters instead of humans.Low Brow Art changed the course of American art history by creating its own support and distribution networks independent of the established gallery and museum system.

I believe your technique of making the paintings is based on using computer animation combined with classical painting. Please elaborate and enlighten us about this technique and your other techniques.

I begin a painting by making preparatory pencil sketches on paper, characters first, then the backgrounds. The drawings are all scanned into Adobe Photoshop, my computer’s graphics program. Once the painting is designed, it is printed on paper and I use an opaque projector to draw it on the canvas. I seldom make color sketches, because I prefer to visualize the colors in my mind rather than on the computer. I use acrylic paint, applied by hand with a brush; occasionally using an airbrush or spray paint. If I am working on a car or guitar, I use sign painter’s enamel.

In addition to paintings, drawings and cartoons, you work in tons of other mediums. Your artistic production also includes customized antique cars, clothing, toys, sculptures and guitars. Why is this?

Every artist has a duty to broadcast their art by any means necessary, and since people react in different ways, it’s important to have the work represented in a variety of forms. Plus, an image on a car or guitar is going to have an entirely different effect than a framed canvas on a gallery wall; it’s all about context.Anyway, sometimes I get bored with the tyranny of the 90º angle and find that painting on object other than a canvas presents new graphic challenges.I built my custom two-body guitar for a show in an art gallery, but after I joined the Band Cat Museum, I played it onstage. The audience responded so well that I made more custom instruments, likemy turntable-guitar and skateboard-guitar. Selling paintings is the ultimate goal, but since that is unaffordable to most people, it’s nice to have meaningful, less expensive merchandise available such as toys and posters.

The Laguna Art Museum gave you a commission to design a hole for a miniature golf course. Tell us something about that and a few other unique art projects.

I had painted large outdoor murals before, but the miniature golf course was my first indoor large-scale public installation. Located in a busy shopping mall, the “course” had to be attractive and challenging to adults, yet easy enough for children to enjoy. My favorite part of the process was finding the components by going to second-hand stores or finding stuff on the street, then adapting my vison to what I ended up with. I’ve done live painting a number of times, usually with a band or DJ, but once I painted flames on a car at a hot rod show while people watched.

Bands the likes of Green Day, MGMT, and Apollo 440 have hired you to create cover art and graphics. Your clients for originals include David Lee Roth, MTV, Sony Music Tower, Drew Carey, etc. Please tell us how the MGMT project came together? This is Croatia, we like to name drop. Who else collects your work? Please share a story about David Lee Roth.

I met David Lee Roth a number of times at a Hollywoodafter-hours club and art gallery called The Zero One. We both sported long hair, so we got along pretty well; plus, he like my paintings. One day he called up and asked me to design a T-shirt for his upcoming tour; after everything had been approved, I was told to meet him at a strip club where I would sign the contract and get the money. So, I met him in the afternoon at a strip club in Hollywood where the daytime strippers looked pretty worked over, definitely not the best they had to offer.But they loved DLR, so one chick did her strip routine to the Van Halen song, Running with the Devil. They sent me one of the shirts before the tour started and I was really looking forward to catching the LA show, but I heard somewhere along the line,Diamond Dave knocked himself out onstage doing martial arts with a light sabre, andthe tour was canceled.

In 1995 I became close friends with Sonic Boom, a member of the English psychedelic band Spacemen 3. During his tour of the USA in 2009, Sonic brought Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser of the musical group MGMT to my house and we hit it off, talking about parallel realities, cats, and surfing. At the time, MGMT was recording their new album at a mansion in Malibu and I spent some lengthy psychedelic time with them over there. One evening, as we all listened to playbacks of the day’s recordings, I made a few funny little drawings that were left scattered around the house. A month later, Josh Cheuse at Sony music called to ask if I would do the cover of the new MGMT album, Congratulations. The album dropped on April 13, 2010 and the resulting publicity put the cover up for discussion; unfortunately, a lot of MGMT fans hated my painting, something neither the band nor I expected. But the band and the label stuck by me and eventually the album became regarded as one of MGMT’s finest releases. Since then I have seen my Congratulations artwork as tattoos, murals, sculptures and even a birthday cake.

I have artwork in the collections of David Arquette, Nicholas Cage, Perry Farrell, Gisela Getty, Noko, Mark Mothersbaugh, Jim Thirwell, The Estate of Timothy Leary, Andrew VanWyngarden, BenGoldwasser,Norwood Fisher (AKA Woody Woodstraw), and Drew Carey.

You acted in the movie Repo Chick and the video Fire in Cairo. You also appeared in documentaries Desolation Center, Modern Art Blitz, New Brow: Contemporary Underground Art, and The Treasures of Long Gone John. Please tell us more about your roles in the movies and documentaries and your career as an actor.

My first work in the movies was painting graffiti for movie sets, and my pieces can be seen in Terminator 2 and The Golden Child. On one of these jobs I was approached by the casting director for some extra work and I appeared in a couple of Miller Beer commercials. Later I met the director Alex Cox, who cast me as a broke yacht owner in Repo Chick, his sequel to Repo Man. My role in the video Fire in Cairo came about from my friendship with Dean Wareham of the bands Luna and Galaxie 500. Being interviewed for documentaries is one of my favorite things because I get to revisit the early days of Low Brow, when everything was fresh and there weren’t as many artists as there are now!

Vacation from Reality is a Non-Fiction art book about your work. Sadly, another book, a much more thorough complete retrospective was supposed to come out this spring to kick off your museum tour which I believe was to begin in California in May. Covid 19, need I say more. Everything is now postponed until post Coronavirus. That must have been such a disappointment, but nonetheless, one day that it will turn into reality. Tell us about this masterful retrospective, we can’t wait to see it!

A retrospective of my work from 1980 to 2020 had been planned to open at the Fullerton Museum Center in Fullerton, California, on May 23, 2020. I spent 18 months locating work from various collections, which was interesting because afew paintings had vanished and two had been destroyed, but for the most part people were stoked to have their painting included in the show. Unfortunately, due to the arrival of COVID-19 andFullerton’s associated financial difficulties, my show was canceled. After all that work finding the paintings, planning community-oriented workshops, and setting up performances and film screenings, I decided to publish the catalog anyway as a record of the best show I never had…

In closing, what are your future plans, projects, collaborations? One day sooner than later will you exhibit in Split, Croatia? You have lots of fans here.

MunkyKing is going to release my latest Urban Vinyl toy later this year. It was sculpted by Dave Bondi, who did a really great job translating the characters in my paintings to 3D. My work is included in group shows frequently, but I would love to show outside of the USA, this place is getting weird…


Zadovoljstvo mi je voditi razgovor s tobom trenutno, Anthony. Veliki sam obožavatelj! Imam pokoje goruće pitanje za tebe, no idemo prvo na dva razloga zašto si tu sa mnom. Dakle, stripovi Swizzle! Vau! Reklo bi se u narodu – pogodio si točno u sridu. Izdat će se pet pojedinačnih brojeva, a potom će slijediti grafički roman koji će objediniti svih pet brojeva. Sigurno je velika čast imati vlastiti strip. Priopćenje za tisak PIG Comics ukazuje da će svih pet brojeva biti potpuno različitih stilova. To je rijetkost! Zamolio bih te da mi to potanko pojasniš. Reci nam ponešto o Swizzle-u.             

Tamo negdje oko 1995. sve skice olovkom za moje velike slike u boji su se samo gomilale u ormariću. Stoga sam ih odlučio ponovno upotrijebiti, ali ovaj put s namjerom da kombiniram određene likove i pozadine različitih skica kako bih dizajnirao nove, manje slike. S ovim hibridnim crtežima sam napravio pedeset crno-bijelih slika veličine 45 x 60 cm, a zatim sam ih izložio na galeriji; izložba se je rasprodala u jednoj noći. Tijekom godina sam oslikao preko 250 takvih slika, i budući da sam svaku fotografirao, odlučio sam napraviti katalog svih slika. David Portnow iz PIG Records-a se je već radovao izbaciti strip Ausgang, pa sam pomislio da bi bilo fora da iskoristiti ove crno-bijele slike kao pojedinačne panele za strip. Sve slike sam predao dizajneru knjiga, Damonu Bradshawu, i prepustio sam mu da odabere izgled stripa. Jasno je da nema nikakve priče, međutim, zanimljivo je vidjeti koliko su dugo u stripu ljudi pokušali ocrtati priču! Drugi broj Swizzle-a nije mogao biti isti, stoga sam odoka skicirao 150 crteža tušem na platnenim pločama veličine 13 x 18 cm. Budući da se dva broja Swizzle-a uvelike razlikuju, mislio sam da ću svako iduće izdanje nacrtati različito. Pazite, stiže uskoro apstraktno, psihodelično izdanje Swizzle-a!

Imaš toliko talenata. Također si nadareni autor fikcije. Napisao si tri fikcijska romana, ali mi smo došli ovdje da razgovaramo o “Pregledniku”. Kada je ova knjiga izvorno napisana?  

Preglednik sam počeo pisati 2014. godine, a objavljen je 2016. godine.

To je dio trilogije, zar ne?  

Da, tako je. Kad sam završio Preglednik, mislio sam prijeći na novi lik i mjesto radnje, ali sada nisam toliko siguran. Čini se da se ljudi pozitivno odnose prema glavnom liku, Pussu Titteru, a kad se takav odnos uspostavi, šteta je ne nastaviti s tim.

Records PIG Comics su izdavači ‘Swizzle-a’, a koliko shvaćam, PIG je upravo objavio audio inačicu ‘Preglednika’ koju si ti čitao naglas? (Priložit ću poveznice na Sony i Bandcamp) U svačemu si pomalo imao udjela? Daj nam sinopsis audio knjige. Tvoj cilj vjerojatno nije bila kultura marihuane, ali vidim da su se uhvatili za knjigu i uklopili je u kulturu trave.    

Trilogija Puss Titter se sastoji od The Sleep of Puss Titter-a , The Pawnee Republican-a i Browser-a. Svi djelovi su bili nadahnuti raznim e-mejlovskim spamovima koje sam dobijao, kao što su ponude viagra; nepoznata nasljedstva od milijun dolara; ponude otplate unajmljenih ubojica ukoliko si želim poštedjeti život, sve stvari koje i sama knjiga koristi. Preglednik govori o jednoj mojoj slici koju sam nacrtao — Tip koji se spušta niz stubište, a ona je preinaka poznate slike Marcela Duchampa, Golotinja koja se spušta niz stubište. U knjizi se navodi da je ukradena iz Mačjega muzeja, i da ju Puss Titter mora vratiti, no u stvarnom životu slika je u vlasništvu kolekcionara umjetnina. Nemali se broj događaja odvija u rastafarijanskoj crkvi i hash barovima, odnosno, puši se mnogo marihuane. Mnogim čitateljima su takve scene iz knjige omiljene, ali trava nije poanta. Naglašavam da su moje knjige o psihi, a ne o napušenosti marihuanom, međutim, prihvatit ću bilokakvi pogled koji čitatelji mogu imati.

Molim te, kaži nam nešto o svojim početcima. Tko je utjecao na tebe kao umjetnika? Primjećujem puno aluzija na kulturu surfanja i hot roda iz 60-ih, kao i na psihodeliju.   

Iako su moji roditelji bili podrijetlom Nizozemci i Velšani, rođen sam na karipskom otoku Trinidad 1959. godine. Netom nakon rođenja, moja obitelj se je preselila u Houston, Texas, a hot rod je 60-ih bio glavno obilježje američke kulture. Priča ide tako da me je otac vodio na automobilske predstave ne bi li smo vidjeli poznate trkaće aute, sve divlje hot-rodovske zvjerke, te najnovije aute Edi Rotha, koji su izrađeni po mjeri. Nadalje, usmjerio me je ka televizijskim crtićima, a sve to vrijeme me je mama vodila na opere, simfonije (nažalost, nijednu u režiji hrvatske skladateljice Dore Pejačević) i druge događaje iz visoke kulture. Uz sve te raznolike utjecaje, imao sam širok izbor omiljenih umjetnika , od crtača Texa Averyja do europskoga pokreta COBRA. Poput svih drugih sam uz to slušao i The Beatles-e i The Beach Boys-e tijekom 60-ih, odnosno, barem kad me majka nije vodila na Mozarta! Nakon preseljenja u Los Angeles 1980. godine, na mene su se više odrazili mjesni utjecaji budući da su se umjetnici poput onih iz skupine Kustom Kulture-a – npr. slikar Robert Williams i skupina The Pizzwere družili s pin-up-ovskim umjetnicima npr. Oliviom i njezinom ekipom porno zvijezda na otvorenjima umjetničkih izložba. Nakon izlaganja nekolicine svojih slika, postao sam drug umjetnik, i u pravom smislu sam stupio na scenu.

Tex Avery je legenda! Za one koji ne znaju tko je on — stvorio je puno poznatih likova, među njima — Zekoslava Mrkvu, Patka Paju, Elmera Fudda i Porky Pig-a. Bio je i animator i redatelj crtića. Ja sam veliki ljubitelj Tex Averyja. Umro je od raka pluća upravo danas prije 40 godina (26. kolovoza. 1980.). Očito je da je njegov utjecaj na industriju crtanih filmova bio ogroman. Povjesničar si umjetnosti, spisatelj i kurator umjetničkih izložba za druge umjetnike. Zanima me kakav pogled na njega ima umjetnička zajednica. Dobija li jednako poštovanje? Kako se definira njegov utjecaj na svijet umjetnosti, njegovo nasljeđe?             

Tex Avery je bio sjajni crtač, i jasno je shvaćao kako njegov pretjerani prikaz djelovanja likova pokreće izričaj crtanih filmova. Budući da je bio animator za Warner Bros, „službena” umjetnička udruga Fine ga je smatrala ilustratorom, a ne umjetnikom; prema tome, njegov golemi utjecaj na crtiće nije doveo do sveopćeg poštovanja van dotičnoga područja. Mada je vrlo dobro poznat, i mada su njegov stil često spominjali ljudi poput Johna Kricfalusi iz Spümcø-a i Nickolodeonov Stephen Hillenburg, Averyja fašistički „influenseri” visoke umjetnosti smatraju nepoćudnim. To je u biti šteta, jer postoji publika za umjetnost koja koristi konceptualna sredstva na narativni način, i to ne samo kao poantu djela. Upravo je dotična estetska nejednakost stvorila pokret niske umjetnosti ili pop-nadrealizma; umjetnici pri tome govore da muzeji i galerije nemaju interesa poslovati s nama, mi ćemo onda pokrenuti vlastiti posao.

Povezan si s pokretom niske umjetnosti. Zapravo ti većina izvora pripisuje zasluge kao osnivaču. Molim te da objasniš čitateljima što znači “niska umjetnost” (na engleskom, Lowbrow art, op.prev.) i kako je ona promijenila američku povijest?

Nisku umjetnost je najbolje opisati kao reprezentativne slike koje se koriste za promicanje narativa protiv poretka. Predstavlja osvrte na društvo u obliku satire, a slike aludiraju na „nisku” kulturu kao što su: skateboardanje, surfanje, utrke hot rods, burleske, i tetovaže, otuda stoga dolazi ime niska kultura. Korijeni suvremene niske kulture sežu do podzemne stripovske scene u San Franciscu tijekom 60-ih, čiji je najbolji predstavnik serija stripova Zap! koji sadrži radove Roberta Williamsa i R. Crumba. Williams je kasnije usavršio svoj zanat radeći za Eda Rotha, stvarajući histerično vulgarne, ali šaljive dizajne majica i reklame u časopisima. Njegove zastrašujuće i vrlo detaljne slike su ubrzo postale mjerilo po kojem se je ocjenjivalo slične umjetnike. Na koncu je dovoljno ljudi prošlo ispit da je rad ove naglo uspješne grupe umjetnika prepoznat kao niska umjetnost od strane ključnih institucija. U konačnici je Williams postao osnivačem pokreta, no moj doprinos je bio uvođenje životinjskih likova zasnovanih na crtićima umjesto ljudi. Niska umjetnost je promijenila tijek američke povijesti umjetnosti stvorivši vlastitu mrežu podrške i distribucije, neovisnu o uspostavljenom sustavu galerija i muzeja.

Vjerujem da se tvoja tehnika izrade slika temelji na korištenju računalne animacije u kombinaciji s klasičnim slikarstvom. Molim te, da nam pojasniš, odnosno, da nas prosvijetliš o ovoj tehnici ​​i svojim ostalim tehnikama.             

Slikanje započinjem izrađujući pripremne skice olovkom na papiru, prvo likove, a zatim pozadinu. Sve crteže skeniram u Adobe Photoshop-u, to je moj odabir računalnoga programa za grafičku obradu. Čim slika bude dizajnirana, istiskam ju na papir, i koristim neprozirni projektor kako bih ju nacrtao na platno. Rijetko kad radim skice u boji, jer boje radije vizualiziram u mislima nego na računalu. Koristim akrilnu boju, ručno nanesenu kistom; povremeno pomoću zračnoga kista ili boje u spreju. U slučaju da radim na automobilu ili gitari, koristim emajl za oslikavanje znakova.

Pored slika, crteža i crtića, radiš na gomili drugih medija. Tvoja umjetnička produkcija također uključuje starinske automobile uređene po mjeri, odjeću, igračke, skulpture i gitare. Zašto je tako?       

Svaki je umjetnik dužan svoju umjetnost emitirati na bilokoji način, a budući da ljudi reagiraju na različite načine, važno je da djelo bude predstavljeno u raznim oblicima. Osim toga, neka slika na automobilu ili gitari imat će potpuno drugačiji učinak od uokvirenog platna na zidu galerije ; sve je u kontekstu. U svakom slučaju, ponekad bih bio sit tiranije kuta od 90° i uvidio bih da slikanje na kakvom predmetu, koji nije platno, nosi sa sobom novi grafički izazov. Izgradio sam svoju prilagođenu gitaru od dva tijela za predstavu u umjetničkoj galeriji, ali nakon što sam se pridružio muzeju Band Cat, svirao sam ju na sceni. Publika je tako dobro reagirala da sam izradio više prilagođenih instrumenata, poput svoje gramofonske gitare i skateboarderske gitare. Moj krajnji cilj je prodaja slika, no kako je to većini ljudi nepriuštivo, lijepo je imati na raspolaganju smislenu, jeftiniju robu poput igračaka i plakata.

Muzej umjetnosti Laguna je od tebe naručio dizajn rupe za minijaturni teren za golf. Reci nam nešto o tome i nekoliko drugih jedinstvenih umjetničkih projekata.             

Prije sam slikao velike murale na otvorenom , ali minijaturni teren za golf je bio moja prva velika javna instalacija u zatvorenom. Smješten je u prometnom trgovačkom centru, “teren” je morao biti atraktivan i izazovan odraslima, a opet dovoljno lagan da bi djeca u njemu uživala. Moj omiljeni dio procesa je bio pronalaženje komponenta tako što sam išao u trgovine rabljenom robom ili sam pronalazio stvari na ulici, i zatim sam svoje viđenje prilagodio onome čime sam raspolagao na kraju . Nekoliko puta sam slikao uživo, uobičajeno s bendom ili DJ-em, ali jednom sam slikao plamenove na autu na predstavi hot rods-a dok su ljudi gledali.

Grupe poput Green Daya, MGMT-a i Apollo 440 su te unajmile da im stvoriš naslovnice i grafiku. Tvoji klijenti za originalne proizvode su među ostalim, David Lee Roth, MTV, Sony Music Tower, Drew Carey itd. Reci nam, molim te, kako se je sastavio projekt MGMT? Ovo je Hrvatska, volimo izostavljati imena. Tko još sakuplja tvoje radove? Molim te, podijeli priču o Davidu Leeju Rothu.             

Davida Lee Rotha sam upoznao nekoliko puta u holivudskom kasnonoćnom klubu i umjetničkoj galeriji pod nazivom The Zero One. Obojica smo nosili dugu kosu, tako da smo se dobro slagali; osim toga, sviđale su mu se moje slike. Jednog dana me je nazvao i zamolio me da dizajniram majicu za njegovu predstojeću turneju ; čim je sve bilo odobreno, rečeno mi je da se nađemo u striptiz klubu gdje ću potpisati ugovor i dobiti novac. Sreli smo se tako popodne u striptiz klubu u Hollywoodu, gdje su dnevne striptizete izgledale prilično premorene od posla, definitivno nije bilo najbolje što su mogli ponuditi. Međutim, obožavale su DLR , tako da jedna cura svoju striptiz rutinu obavila na takt Van Halenove pjesme — Running with the Devil. Poslali su mi primjerak majice prije početka turneje i jako sam se veselio predstavi u Los Angeles-u , no čuo sam odnekud da je usred turneje Diamond Dave nokautirao samoga sebe na bini dok je izvodio borbene vještine svjetlosnom sabljom, stoga su turneju otkazali.

1995. godine sam postao bliski prijatelj sa Sonic Boom-om, članom engleskoga psihodeličnog benda Spacemen 3. Tijekom turneje po SAD-u 2009. Sonic je doveo Andrewa VanWyngardena i Bena Goldwassera iz glazbene grupe MGMT u moju kuću i tako smo načeli razgovore o paralelnim stvarnostima, mačkama i surfanju. U to vrijeme, MGMT je snimao novi album u vili u Malibu, i ja sam proveo dugotrajno psihodelično vrijeme s njima tamo. Jedne večeri, dok smo svi slušali reprodukcije snimka toga dana, napravio sam nekoliko smiješnih malih crteža koji su ostali razbacani po kući. Mjesec dana kasnije, Josh Cheuse iz tvrtke Sony music me je nazvao i pitao bih li napravio naslovnicu novog albuma MGMT — Congratulations . Album je izišao 13. travnja 2010, a proizašla reklama je stavila moju naslovnicu na raspravu; nažalost, mnogi obožavatelji MGMT-a su mrzjeli moje slike, nešto što nismo očekivali ni bend ni ja. Međutim, bend i izdavačka kuća su se držali mene i na kraju se je album smatralo jednim od najboljih izdanja MGMT-a . Od tada sam svoje umjetničko djelo zvano Čestitanja vidio posvud u obliku tetovaža, freska, skulptura, pa čak i kao rođendansku tortu.

Imam umjetnička djela u kolekcijama Davida Arquettea, Nicholasa Cagea, Perryja Farrella, Gisele Getty, Noka, Marka Mothersbaugha, Jima Thirwella, Imanja Timothyja Learya, Andrewa VanWyngardena, Bena Goldwassera, Norwooda Fishera (poznat kao i Woody Woodstraw) i Drewa Careyja .

Pojavio si se u filmovima Repo Chick i u video uratku Fires in Cairo. Također si se pojavio u dokumentarcima Desolation Center, Modern Art Blitz, New Brow: Suvremena podzemna umjetnost, i The Treasures of Long Gone John. Molim te, reci nam više o svojim ulogama u filmovima i dokumentarcima, i svojoj glumačkoj karijeri.        

Moj prvi angažman u filmovima je bio slikanje grafita za filmske setove, a moji se komadi mogu vidjeti u Terminatoru 2 i Zlatnom djetetu. Na jednom od tih poslova, direktor za odabir glumaca mi se je obratio za dodatni posao, pa sam se pojavio još u nekoliko reklama za pivo Miller. Kasnije sam upoznao redatelja Alexa Coxa, koji me je unajmio za ulogu dekintirana vlasnika jahte u Repo Chick-u, njegovom nastavku Repo Man-a. Moja uloga u videu Fires in Cairo je proizašla iz mog prijateljstva s Deanom Warehamom iz bendova Luna i Galaxie 500. Održati intervju za dokumentarne filmove je jedna od meni najdražih stvari jer sam dobio priliku ponovno posjetiti rane dane niske umjetnosti, kad je sve bilo svježe i nije bilo toliko umjetnika kao sada!

Odmor iz stvarnosti je ne-fikcijska umjetnička knjiga o tvojem radu. Nažalost, još jedna knjiga, i to puno temeljitija, cjelovita retrospektiva je trebala izaći ovog proljeća, s namjerom da označi početak tvoje muzejske turneje, koja je, vjerujem, trebala započeti u Kaliforniji u svibnju. Covid 19, trebam li što više reći. Sve se sada odgađa do završetka pandemije. To je sigurno bilo veliko razočarenje, no ipak, jednoga dana će se i to ostvariti. Reci nam nešto o ovoj maestralnoj retrospektivi, jedva čekamo vidjeti ju!             

Retrospektiva mog rada od 1980. do 2020. planirana je za otvaranje u muzejskom centru Fullerton u Fullertonu, u Kaliforniji dana 23. svibnja 2020. Proveo sam 18 mjeseci locirajući radove iz različitih zbirki, što je bilo zanimljivo jer je nekoliko slika bilo nestalo i dvije su bile uništene, ali većinom su ljudi bili podstaknuti da se njihove slike uključi u predstavljanje. Nažalost, povodom COVID-19 i Fullertonovih financijskih poteškoća, moje predstavljanje je bilo otkazano. Poslije cijelog toga truda na traženju slika, planiranju radionica usmjerenih prema zajednici i postavljanju predstava i filmskih projekcija, odlučio sam ipak objaviti katalog kao uspomenu o najboljem predstavljaju koje se nikad nije održalo.

Za kraj, koji su tvoji budući planovi, projekti, suradnje? Hoćeš kad-tad jednoga dana održati izložbu u Splitu, u Hrvatskoj? Ovdje imaš puno obožavatelja.   

MunkyKing će objaviti moju najnoviju igračku Urban Vinyl kasnije ove godine. Isklesao ju je Dave Bondi, koji je zaista sjajno obavio posao prevodeći likove s mojih slika u 3D. Moj radovi se često pojavljuju na grupnim predstavljanjima, međutim, rado bih održao izložbu ​​izvan SAD-a, ovo mjesto postaje čudno…



Student morskog ribarstva u Splitu, član umjetničke udruge Dadanti gdje obavljam funkciju voditelja glazbenog odjela i glumačke družine Banana Split. Bavim se poezijom, glumom, glazbom, novinarstvom i performansima...