INTERVIEW FROM MEMPHIS CREEP MAGAZINE
DESCRIBE YOUR WORK
My pieces are usually bastardized games.....from pie shaped dart boards to
dice thrown "move the shoe one space" type of imagery. Each painting
centers around some base facet of life, be it a slice of dark truth or a hunk
of bad fortune. But I also try to point out the irony of life's little pitfalls
and fallacies, usually done with puns that frame each piece and (hopefully)
allows the viewer to relate on a "Yea, I've been there" level with
more of a grin than a grimace. The pieces usually create themselves, images
and ideas growing as the piece progresses. For example, I started a piece
centered on the idea of airing one's dirty laundry, so the game began with
a clothes pin and before I knew it, the imagery progressed through a maze
of sex (bras), violence (guns), motels (roaches), etc. until the soul of the
player was stripped naked (all through metaphoric icons). I just let the imagery
follow the nature and course of the subject. As for what imagery I enjoy using,
I think the lowbrow the better. Anything representative of the base in society
is alluring to me: From the taboo image of a syringe stuck in an arm to the
"poison, don't touch" cultural meaning of the skull and crossbones.
I'm also a sucker for a cheesecake pin-up cutie!
BESIDES JUXTAPOZ, WHAT MAGAZINES HAVE YOU BEEN IN?
I was one of the early artists covered in ART?ALTERNATIVES magazine when it
first started, back before JUXTAPOZ. HYPNO did an amazing feature piece awhile
back, and I think I was in AXCESS (so I was told), but never got a copy of
that. I just got a call from GALLERY magazine (the smutty sex rag from the
70's I use to hide under the mattress) and they want to do a feature. Hey-
smut, Lowbrow and rock n' roll, I'm there!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ROCK N' ROLL ALBUM?
God, my favorite rock n' roll album? I go through phases, but through them
all I ALWAYS have some delta blues CD on the rack. I just got a Telestar Mona
guitar (cheap Slivertone knockoff) and it's brought me back to early CRAMPS
(it's got a cheap Link Wray sound). Love that stuff. Typically I listen to
old school punk like Lydia Lunch, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave ( & B-day party)
and early Stones. And Tom Waits. Lots-o-blues. Lately I've been wearing out
a copy of CHUCK E. WEISS's "EXTREMELY COOL"..........must listening!
But I'm also into tiki lounge music (back to my South Florida roots) and every
now and then I go back to those roots and crank out the Southern Rock bad
boys - from the Allmond Bros to Blackfoot, I can't ever get my fill of The
Southern Rock sound.
WHAT ALBUM COVERS HAVE YOU DONE?
Album Covers I've done? Ahhhh, been lots of them. Favorites would be covers
for Davie Allan & the Arrows (original Biker soundtrack guru) and The
Joykiller (I've done lots of work for Epitaph). Early on I worked with AWEST
and we did Tom Petty, ELO, Billy Idol, etc, lots of big names. I've also done
tour design, like the H.O.R.D.E. stage art. I like the challenge of matching
a visual look with a band's sound, it can be a living entity when it clicks.
But I never take jobs with too much "creative control" coming from
the labels end- I like to let the art develop out of a meeting with the band
and and music - not the management.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Originally I'm from a town outside of Jupiter Florida, lots of "good
old boys" back where I lived. I tooled around in a '50 chevy pick-up
with the confederate flag afixed to the front. Most people just think of South
Florida as tourist town but it has it's Southern pride. My great grandfather
was from Florida, back when it was nothing but swampland. I came out to California
in the early 80's to get into "underground comix" art (having grown
up reading Robert Williams, Robert Crumb & Rick Griffin's comix as an
obsession) and found that the genre had died. So I started a punk magazine
(Spastic Culture), went to art school (Academy of Art), Started painting,
and the rest is history. I lived in New Orleans for a short time, but found
myself back in Los Angeles. I'd still like to return to the south someday.
I guess you can't take the rebel out of the boy.
I HEARD YOU PAINTED TANKS FOR THE OUTLAWS M.C......
So you wanna know about my days doing tanks for the W.P.B. Outlaws Motorcycle
gang, eh? Well I was taking airbrush lessons in high school (we had a very
hip art teacher who had painted pin-up girls on planes during the Korean war
and felt airbrush was an important tool) anyway, I got pretty good at it and
one day I found a helmet at a garage sale and I painted a Frazetta type scene
on it and I booked it on over to the local bike shop hoping to sell it for
beer/music money. The guy behind the counter asked if I could do tanks, I
lied my ass off, said "sure", and the next thing I knew I had a
parade of bikers dropping tanks off at my house. The big thing back then was
dark "Yes" type art with lots of serpents (remember that band?)
and 'snakeskin' was the most popular of the design work I did (paint sprayed
through lace with pin stripping on the top and bottom with HD stenciled over
it). These guys REALLY revered artists. I was treated like I was royalty,
They'd say "you've got a special gift, thanks for sharing it with me
and my bike". Ah, if the rest of the Country just felt that way about
artists! I liked my time doing tanks, but eventually my lungs bled from the
laquor fumes. So I moved on.
WHO OR WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
Influences? Damn, Gotta start with advertising from the 30's, 40's, &
50's (from match covers to labels), Tijuana Bibles, Florida Roadside Attractions
of the 60's (visited them all), state fair sideshows (my dad ALWAYS took me
to see the freak shows), Ouija boards, creepy board games, casino imagery,
Tiki imagery, EC comics, MAD, hot rods and hot rod art, sleaze paperback cover
art, biker art, underground comix, (Robert Williams & co.,), B&W Horror/Monster/Sci-Fi
movies, dada, futurism, and the devil. Lately I've found myself drawn to the
lowrider/Chicano style of art/lettering.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEXT BIG THING?
I guess the next big thing will be the very thing that pisses the masses off
the most. God bless this Country!