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


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Interview with Hawk Krall

q)Let's start with the basics; what's your full name, where do you live, and how old are you?

a)James Hawk Krall. Hawk is my actual middle name, that I've used since I was born, not a pseudonym or my wrestling name or my hippie animal spirit guide name. I get that question a lot so I figure I'd get it out of the way! I'm29 years old and live in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

q) Do you have any formal training?

a)Yes, I went to Pratt Institute - Brooklyn, NY - for Illlustration.My parents are both artists so you could say my formal education began at birth. I had to do sketches for projects when I was 10 years old.

q) Did the place you grew up in influence your image making?

a)Absolutely. I grew up outside Philadelphia but still remember going into the city as a child and being mesmerized by center city - which was quite run down in the 80's - porn shops, novelty & costume stores, graffiti, etc. I loved it. And my parents dragged me along on trips to amusement parks,abandoned drive-in movie theatres, diners & so forth.. I would say this had a huge influence on my work.

q) How do you come up with your concepts?

a)That's never been a problem, the hard part is deciding which ideas to follow through with......

q) Describe your creations in a clear, concise and understandable sentence.What do you call them?

q)What other mediums would you like to explore in your image making?

a)If I had the time & space I would love to do large scale 3 dimensional stuff, massive gallery installations.

q)What is the best time in the day for you to work on a project? Is there one, or is it more about the environment -- maybe the right mood?

a)Any time of day is fine, although I'm only a morning person if I have to be- making a deadline or whatever. It's more about mood, once I get 'in the groove' working on something I won't stop, eat, answer the phone or go outside for hours.

q) What are your artistic influences?...and .generally who or what influences you the most?

a)Comics were a huge influence. I grew up around lots of art books, including giant books of Buster Brown, Windsor Mccay. We also had original Peanuts &Lil Abner Strips in the house when I grew up. And then came Garbage Pail Kids. I even drew my own (that were much dirtier) and sold them around my neighborhood for 25 cents a pack.Also I remember seeing a Red Grooms exhibit -Ruckus Manhattan- when I was very young, at that point the most amazing thing I had ever seen.I went home and tried to make a miniature Philadelphia out of cardboard boxes and markers.Then in my early teens I found a bunch of old underground comics at a head shop, fell in love with Crumb, S Clay Wilson, etc.Then later Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, their earlier work still remaining some of my favorite comics ever.These days, seeing others grow as artists is a huge influence. David Heatleyon the cover of the New Yorker? Daniel Johnston in the Whitney Biennial?Holy shit!! I'm also lucky to have a lot of friends nearby that are artists and illustrators... seeing their work get better and better is a huge inspiration.I was in France recently and finally saw & picked up a bunch of Le Dernier Cri books. I spent 3 hours on the floor of a comic book shop poring through every book - they aren't available in the USA, as far as I know -Incredible. That stuff blows me away, inspires me like nothing else.

q) Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/photographers?

a)If I could take one piece of art to an abandoned island, it would be a Dave Cooper painting. His work is absolutely incredible.George Grosz, Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Basil Wolverton, Edward Hopper,Hans Bellmer, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Henriette Valium, etc etcetc. Also I love Steven Heller's books about design, and the fact that hestarted at Screw.

q) What is your next project?Exhibition?Collaboration?

a)I'm putting together a comics and art anthology, "Prize" which should be out by the end of the year. Along with my own work - mostly comics about all the crazy people I've worked with in kitchens, and girls with giant asses -Prize#2 will include contributions from cartoonists & illustrators from Philadelphia and all over the world.Also working on some pieces for a couple of group shows in the fall, and growing habanero peppers for my "Mucho Caliente Hot Sauce" which should bedone before the holidays.

q)What are your plans for the future?

a)To quit my day job and take my work as far as it can go.

q)Are there some web sites that You would like to recomend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?

a)I've been loving Flickr lately, just spending hours drooling over people's photos and collections of indiam action movie posters, matchbook covers from the 1930's, photos of Coney Island, old signs, etc... It's also a great resource for finding reference for illustrations.Some great cartoonists have their work on Flickr - Derek M Ballard( who has been doing things for Screw magazine and has a great style. And Felix Diaz( whose work I just discovered recently, completely blows my mind, it's fantastic. I'm really enjoying Dan Zwettoch's stuff these days too, check him out at(
For XXX you should check out Manual Barrancos' "Big Chile Videos" he makes videos of mexican women with giant asses, and paintings / artwork of the same.(
And John Howard, who did "Horny Biker Slut" had a great site -(

q)What sort of music do you listen to?

a)Lately? Minutemen, Descendents, Treepeople, The Troggs, Leadbelly,Appalachian fiddle music, Desmond Dekker, Black Dahlia Murder, Lil Wayne,New Shellac & Melvins albums. as for local Philadelphia stuff you should check out Clockcleaner, Sweatheart, Muscle Factory.

q)Do you collect anything?If so what?

a)I have a huge collection of antique & modern soda bottle caps from when Iwas a kid. Now I mostly collect art books & comics, funny soda cans, hot sauce, vietnamese canned meat, etc.If I could afford it I would collect old neon signs from motels, food stands, etc.. there's a giant mouse sculpture that was on the "wild mouse"roller coaster at Coney Island, at an antique dealer in reading pennsylvania. It's like $6000 or something, if I get rich that will be in my apartment. Right now I have to settle for taking photos.

q)What do you do for fun?

a)Long bike rides, eating & drinking with friends, traveling anywhere,searching Philadelphia for the best cheesesteak. Check out my food blog listed below.

q)Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a)Don't be afraid to do exactly what you want, put your heart into your work.And then get ready to work harder than you've ever worked in your life.The best advice I ever had from a teacher was to always be open to new experiences, influences. Never walk home from work the same way twice. Go to new places... repetition makes your life go by faster. Absorb everything,there's inspiration everywhere.

q)Your contacts.

a)Hawk Krall


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