The eXTra finGer

...''He was counting on his fingers.One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven.Eleven?Had he been born with an extra finger?''...

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Location: Italy

...& visit my web sites: Claudio Parentela's Official Site ''Claudio Parentela:Contemporary Art with a Freakish Taste!'' Lights&Shadows Disturbing Black Inks


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Interview with ''14''

1)First of all,..can you present yourself..?
1)Right now, I'm a person who calls myself 14 and runs a blog called Gallery of the Absurd. I paint images of celebrity gossip because I wanted to spend sometime observing our culture's obsession with the cult of celebrity. I'm not sure yet what compels me to observe and record this strange obsession, but as long as I find amusement in it, I'll keep doing it. I know when the time is right, I'll stop. My blog enjoys a healthy dose of daily traffic and part of my experiment might involve watching what happens when I stop painting celebrity gossip. Will I get the same attention if I paint portraits of brilliant, yet obscure scientists, artists and mystics? I wonder.

2)Do you think of yourself as an artist,or what?
2)Right now I'm an illustrator, a satirist, a seeker of esoteric knowledge, a loner, a trickster, a Fibonacciactivist, a pop culture scribe, and a consumer of fresh blueberries.

3)What is creativity?
3)Allowing oneself to let go of all preconceived notions and letting the passionate moment guide what shows upon the canvas. As an illustrator working for clients,it's hard to let go when certain images need to convey an idea the client has in mind....but I always have a creative side project of my own. If I didn't, I'd go mad.

4)Does your environment influence your art,either in style/format or interference?

4)Yes, when I lived in a huge airy loft in Seattle, I painted expressive canvases of figures emerging fromthe airy ether. When I moved to celebrity infested LosAngeles, I started painting celebrity infested art.Now that I live in San Francisco, I still paint celebrity gossip because it has become a paying profession, but I can feel change brewing. Last night I painted a monk from another dimension emerging from the wings of a strangely baroque beetle.

5)What are some of your influences and inspirations?

5)I flip through gossip tabloids and scan gossip blogs to see what might make me laugh and then I paint what amuses me the most. I enjoy laughing while I work and enjoy even more when I can make others laugh. So yes,laughter is a huge influence. I'm also influenced byother aspects of pop culture, especially advertising and marketing. I enjoy weaving bits of mythology,fairy tales, antique botanical and zoological illustrations, art history, anthropology, ancient history and mysticism into my work.

6)What's your favourite
mediums(pen,charcoal,paint,canvas,etc.)to work in/on?

6)I'll use any medium within arms length and enjoy experimenting with variety. I haven't really settled on a favorite medium yet, but good old fashioned penand ink always thrills me.

7)Who are some of your favourite painters/artists?
7)Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, Katsushika Hokusai,Ralph Steadman, Jim Blanchard, Jim Woodring, MarkRyden, Francis Bacon, Robert Risko, Ernst Haeckel,Robert Hardgrave, Denise Giago, Claire Johnson,Chrissastar, R. Crumb, Naoto Hattori, Albrecht Durer,random anonymous street art, a mystery person I cannot name, children's paintings, and...there's really too many to list.

8)How long does it normally take you to complete apiece of your artwork?

8)Sometimes I do 2 or 3 in one day. Others sit on my easel and drawing table for weeks until I decide they're finished.

9)What else are you interested in besides visualarts?

9)Botany, exobiology, ancient history, physics,consciousness studies, seed pods, memetics, lost knowledge and unseen entities.

10)Got any new projects planned?

10)I am currently working on an illustrated book based onthe Gallery of the Absurd. It's going to be quite a large project, but I'll make time to work on other things. Again, I'd go mad if I worked on only one project. Variety is the spice of life.

11)How would you describe your art to someone whocould not see it?

11)Since I work on textured papers, I'd take their hand and let them touch it while letting them hear to the music I listened to while painting it. They would draw their own conclusions and then they'd tell me what it"looked" like.

12)What other talent would most like to have?

12)I wish I could sing and I wish I had a healthier dose of mathematical aptitude.

13)What are your most beloved items?
13)My books and my collection of seeds, pods, bark,rocks, lichens, and various bizarre things I found washed up on the shore from the ocean kelp forest.

14)Favourite books?

14)My very favorite book I own is "Codex Seriphinianus"by Luigi Serafini. If there was a fire, it would be the one thing I would grab before heading out thedoor. There is no book like it on the planet. It was written in code back in the 70's and to this day no tone linguist has been able to decipher it. The illustrations are beautifully surreal and I feel blessed to own it. I also love "Alice in Wonderland"and "Godel, Escher and Bach".

15)Do you remember the first draw you made?

15)No, but I remember my mother used to punish me by taking away my crayons and paper. It was a very good way to get me to behave.

16)What kind of music do you like and do you listen.And is the music importan for your art.?

16)I like experimental music, stuff that sounds like noise, yet has beautiful resonance. I've listened to the Residents for years, and enjoy tribal sounds,music that mimics the sound of wind in the treetops,Mozart, Spanish guitar, chanting monks, sema rituals,Latin jazz, and the mysterious music of the spheres. I can't paint without music.

17)Any advice do you have for artists?

17)I usually seek advice from other artists instead of dispensing it, but if I had to advise anything it would be to detach yourself from both praise and criticism of your work. Sure, praise is nice and constructive criticism helpful, but follow the flame that burns within you.

18)Your contacts.E-mail..Links...



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