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ArtsQ – Louise Howlett

Louise Howlett is a London based artist who also goes under the name, Paper Scalpel Paint. She makes modernist inspired images using a repertoire of re-appropriated imagery, incidental markings & collage to create a new visual vocabulary. Louise is currently preparing for 2 shows in the South West, one as part of Stroud’s annual SITE Festival. She works from her home in Brockley, South East London under the watchful gaze of her beloved black cat, Mars.

01. What were your early artistic influences?

My first memories of being affected and slightly fixated by an image were as a young child. We didn’t have that many books at home but I remember being captivated by the pocket sized Penguin Book of Modern Art. My favourite colour plate in the book was Broadway Boogie-Woogie by Piet Mondrian. I remember staring at it for a very long time. Even at a very young age it spoke to me on another level, beyond literal representation. Here was a whole new vocabulary. Then when we moved out of London in 1976 I was lucky enough to have access to a good local art gallery, the Towner, in Eastbourne.On permanent display was a Henry Moore sculpture of a seated couple and an Edward Burra painting ‘Soldiers Backs’. They also had a huge Eric Ravilious collection. My dad was a printmaker too, so there was art in the house. He taught me how to make lino cuts and I loved the smell and sound of “inking up”.

02. What sort of Art and themes do you gravitate towards generally?

It’s hard to say as my tastes are so much more catholic now. I’ve always loved graphic art which is why I studied illustration, but I’m not an illustrator. I suppose there is a core group of artists and movements that I always return to such as early Modernism or a painter like Phillip Guston but then countless other things outside of that. I love textiles for example. I think these days in terms of new artists I look for work that has restraint & a lightness of touch, things that I find hard to do myself. Saying that, I went to see the Auerbach at the Tate three times, so the opposite also stands.

03. What have been the main inspirations in your working themes and style?

When I was younger as I mentioned before I discovered Edward Burra, I got lost in the detail, humour and the dark strangeness of his paintings. I suppose he made me want to paint people within environments and I was excited by the graphic elements in his work too. These days much of the work I gravitate to is non objective. Every so often you discover long dead artists who blow you away. A few years ago my boyfriend and I went to Stuttgart and we stumbled across a huge collection of paintings by modernist artist Willi Baumeister which were a revelation. You rarely see his work in the UK. He was politically persecuted during WW2 but carried on painting alongside working in a varnish factory in Wuppertal, Germany. Julius Bissier is another painter that is little known, there was a tiny painting of his in the Miro foundation that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I almost can’t look at his work as for me it is so delicate and precious. I love the drawings of Eva Hesse who was in the back of my mind when making some black and white collage drawings. I suppose little bits of everything filter through and then you have to make it your own, again creating a vocabulary. That is a long and continually evolving process.

04. What about the different mediums and techniques that you use or employ? Do you use modern technology and if so how?

I use a computer sometimes but it’s just a way of bringing everything together easily as I use elements form a large variety of sources. I also don’t have a studio so space is tight. I’m using a combination of found, hand drawn and painted imagery at present to create collages and I’m enjoying the way I can work very intuitively using software like photoshop. Every mark and line is scanned and reassembled to make an image and there are things that I might use repeatedly that become like little motifs. I also like the way quite inconsequential marks can become key players in the images composition. Chance and accident also feature quite heavily and I only plan things to a limited extent. I create a basic framework and often lay waste or ”trash” it, so things can end up very different from my original expectations. The basic driver is feeling that the image is resolved and is something I can walk away from comfortably.

At other times I won’t switch on the computer for a week and will busy myself making something physical or trying to do something useful in a sketchbook. That material might then find it’s way into a digital image, most things get used at some point even if they aren’t immediately visible. I also don’t like things to be too ‘clean ‘ so I’ll leave a lot of dirt and grot in there to build up textures etc.

05. What other current Artists do you find appealing? Heroes and Zeroes?

Well there are many heroes but Richard Tuttle is up there, his subtlety and intimacy. Juan Usle for his confidence. Christian Rosa caught my eye recently, his work is very spacial and kinetic. There’s a painter called Andrew Seto whose work I really like but I know little or nothing about him. Rose Wylie, I saw her show at the turner in Margate. She’s like, 80 plus years old and her work has more energy than many younger artists, she’s just always done her thing, without compromise. I also look at a lot of photography although when I think it most of them are dead, Luigi Ghirri, Tony Ray Jones, Raymond Moore, Saul Leiter. Alive? Chris Killip, Richard Wentworth. Friends of mine who make work are probably the biggest inspiration as they all deserve more success.

06. What can we expect to see from your current body of work right now?

I’ve been working on a series of prints that are quite architectural in feel. They look like a cross between skewed looking floor plans and designs for some fantastical modernist house. The technique I’m using is quite laborious but ultimately quite satisfying. I’m also making some work that might work well as some form of textile. I need some curtains!

07. Anything that you really dislike and why?

Wastefulness. General ignorance. Rude people on the internet! Laziness and procrastination, especially in myself. I find myself ironing hankies as an
avoidance tactic.

08. What about Commissions and awkward Clients?

I don’t generally take on commissions, I’m not very good at doing what I’m told.

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment and where can we view your work etc?

I’m currently preparing for a last minute show at the Meme Art Cafe Bar in Stroud which opens on the 7th April for 3 weeks. I’m showing 6 prints and some wooden, painted constructions /reliefs made from balsa wood. I then have a show at a new gallery space called JunKroom Art Projects (also in Stroud) run by artist and vinyl obsessive Sean Roe. I’ve been making the work for this since late last year. The show opens on the 22nd April and runs until May 22nd and is part of the Arts Council funded SITE Festival, the work is loosely inspired by classical and Jazz record sleeves from the 1950s & is all record sleeve format, so 12″ x 12″ in dimension. I’ve really enjoyed making the work for this exhibition.

My work is also online via Tumblr & Instagram. A website is in progress!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond Art?

I’m playing music again after a very long break. My partner and I have thought about forming a group called Teachers Pet Shop or The Incredibly Highly Strung Band. I’d also like to work with some new materials so I’m always on the look out for a new means to an end.

11. Have you met or worked with anyone interesting on your Artistic journey?

Yes and without those people life would be very tough.

12. What does the future hold in store for you and your work?

I’m hoping there will be more opportunities to show work but the most important things is to carry on making. I gave up my secure job a year ago in order to go back to making art, I’m determined to continue to make space for it in my life.

Web Links:

paperscalpelpaint.tumblr.com
www.instagram.com/paper_scalpel_paint/

Exhibitions:

Meme Cafe Art Bar in Stroud from the 7th – 18th April
JunKroom Art Project in Stroud from April 22nd – May 22nd

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 5, 2016 By : Category : Art Culture Design DozenQ Eyeplugs Interviews Tags:, , , ,
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ArtsQ – Kristina

Kristina (Cristina Di Cesidio-Galli) was born in Rome, Italy, in 1965.

After discovering her artistic talent in her late twenties, started her career as watercolour painter, realizing landscapes and portraits with a classic style, but with a particular taste for bright, vivid colours and ‘photographic’ renditions.

After several collective exhibitions in Italy she moved to England, where she lived from 1998 to 2003. In London, she had the opportunity to experiment with new styles and painting techniques. Became a member of two associations of artists from the London area and Kent (Free Painters and Sculptors, The Bromley Art Society), with which exhibited her works in numerous exhibitions in central London and the borough of Bromley (Bromley and Beckenham).

Her many European exhibitions (Italy, Great Britain, France and Spain) have always been a great success. The constant search for the ‘new’ in her painting gained Kristina several fans, especially those involved with the international Mod-60s Scene, from which she took endless inspiration both for watercolors and acrylics on canvas.

Back in Rome in 2003, Kristina started a new series of acrylics on canvas, drawing characters from Sixties pop culture and cinema, often characterized by strong contrasts of color and references to fashion and psychedelic music from the latter half of the Sixties.

Her works are characterized by a strict attention to detail, from the “look” of the subjects represented to the objects and landscapes typical of a magical and unrepeatable age (clubs, accessories and interiors).

Several of Kristina’s works, both watercolours and acrylics, are in private collections in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.

01. What were your early artistic influences?

Well, first of all, the Italian Futurism (basically ‘aeropittura’ – painting about air), without any link to politics or dictatorships of that age, because I liked the modernity of it, that groundbreaking appeal, all about velocity and dynamicism. For what concerns watercolours, Leopold Stolba was quite influential to my art, especially his abstract decorations. I tried to do the same kind of works using gouache, traditional “Marseille” soap and inks. Last but not least, French ‘Pointillisme’, especially Seurat and Signac and their absolutely unique way in which they use and deal with colours.

02. What sort of Art and themes do you gravitate towards generally?

I absolutely adore the Pre-Raphaelites, the whole Art Nouveau phenomenon, Pop and Op art, Edward Hopper, and also anything in regards to good photography, graphics and sculpture.

03. What have been the main inspirations in your working themes and style?

My main source of inspiration has always been Pop Art, and obviously the Sixties in every aspect (say, music, cinema, photography, graphics – you name it). I particularly enjoy portraying women. For some abstract watercolours I took inspiration from 50s modern jazz.

04. What about the different mediums and techniques that you use or employ? Do you use modern technology and if so how?

I usually work in two different ways. For the watercolour I’m very much on the classic side, but sometimes I do mix liquid inks and solid watercolours. I also work with acrylics, on canvas or canvassed boards, using the very same techinque (‘spolvero’, or ‘pouncing’) that has been used centuries ago by the fresco masters. I never used computers, nor other modern technologies for my art. I’m proud to say that I’m, an ‘old school’artist.

05. What other current Artists do you find appealing? Heroes and Zeroes?

At the moment, the artists I mostly rate the Italian Dave Guccione, who works on metal panels using rust as a painting medium, and the British street artist Banksy, with his ironic and provocative stencils. Zeroes? Well, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst must be top of the range. A skull covered in diamonds is just plain kitschy crap, to me. I believe Art should be about emotions, both positive or negative, and the infamous undone bed from Tracey Emin just leaves me indifferent.

06. What can we expect to see from your current body of work right now?

I’m still focused on watercolours about 50s-60s actressess, models and singers. Unfortunately, last year I couldn’t work that much because I moved to Rimini from Rome, and had very little or no room where to paint. Yet, I started painting again few days ago in the new home.

07. Anything that you really hate and why?

I hate people, especially in Italy, when they say that “Pop Art isn’t part of Italian cultural heritage”. Sounds like 60 years of International mainstream art didn’t touch Italy at all. Another thing that really drives me mad is all those who ask me “Where did you study art?”, and after learned I’m self-taught, they just go “Oh, really?”, and I obviously answer them that a true talent doesn’t need academies to express itself.

08. What about Commissions and awkward clients?

Commissions? I only did a few, portraits, basically, and never had awkward clients. My main interest was all about exhibitions. I had a lot of exhibitions all over Europe: many times in London and the Bromley area, when I was living in UK, and Rome, Cannes, Gijòn!

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment and where can we view your work etc?

Currently I’m working on new watercolours and graphics. My works can be seen on my facebook page HERE!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond Art?

To me the future is now, as you have to enjoy life as much as it’s full of new things to do. What really excites me apart from Art, is Mod-60s music, cinema, photography, comics, vintage fashion and cats.

11. Have you met or worked with anyone interesting on your Artistic journey?

When I was in London, I joined two different Artists associations, the most important of them was the Free Painters and Sculptors, based in central London. I had many exhibitions with them, especially at the “Loggia Gallery” an “L” shaped art gallery in Buckingham Gate, SW1E, meeting British and International artists who started their artistic career back in the 50s and 60s, including one of the founders, Roy Rasmussen and sculptor Donald Wells, who told me many interesting things about London Art scene in the 60s.

12. What does the future hold in store for you and your work?

Well, to be quite honest, I expect the best of the best of the best. I’m a Mod girl, at the end of the day, and of course I want more!

Links: www.facebook.com/Kristina-pop-art

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 21, 2015 By : Category : Art Culture Front page Interviews Style Tags:, ,
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ArtsQ – Jack Melville

Having worked at some of the top ten agencies in London and won prestigious awards from around the world at each of the agencies. Although creatively focused I also have a thorough commercial understanding. I was a hands-on art creative director and have helped train numerous teams at various levels, inspiring creatives, other agency colleagues and clients alike, hopefully stretching clients’ thinking and giving positive insight. I have a passionate desire to enable any project I work on to grow and flourish, as through experience, I understand commercial outcomes are so important as well as great creative executions. Working full time as an artist I continue this work ethic and draw every day for at least 8 hours.

Awards & Achievements

Over the period spanning my career I have won the Eurobest Grand Prix, Cannes Advertising Film Gold award, British Television Silver and Bronze, D&AD’s, New York Festivals, Clios, M&P Award, Drum Award, London International awards and Art Director of Europe from the Art Director’s Club.

01. What were your early Artistic influences?

‘When as a boy of seven attempting to put paint on paper I was so excited, so desperate to convey my appreciation of the world around me.

It’s still the same today, even fifty years later. My brushes have now evolved from the matchsticks that I chewed into little brush-like ends, but that same child-like excitement still makes me shiver when I see a shimmering light dancing through some trees.

My ability to draw was discovered by one of my Primary School teachers, who gave me a new pencil and encouraged me to sketch.

To let you in on my first influences I have to take you back to early child hood and some of your readers may not recall the references. Cartoon and comic books were my very early inspirations and helped me to learn how to draw.

My first recollection was of The ‘Deputy Dawg’ British TV debut which came on BBC TV in1963. The cartoons are between four and six minutes long, and were packaged three at a time and shown as a half-hour programme. The show was produced by and was the professional animation debut of Ralph Bakshi.

The character of Deputy Dawg (a dog) is a deputy sheriff in the State of Florida.

The other main characters are the ‘varmints’ Muskie Muskrat, Moley Mole, Possible ‘Possum’, Ty Coon, Vincent van Gopher, Pig Newton, and Dawg’s boss the Sheriff, as well as Mrs. Deputy.

It was two dimensional and in black and white. I drew the figures constantly so that I could draw them from memory. Once I had memorised them I would invite my friends to a drawing competition. I was quite competitive at an early age!!!

Another great influence was Krazy Kat an American newspaper comic strip by cartoonist George Herriman.

Krazy Kat’s mixture of offbeat surrealism, innocent playfulness and poetic, idiosyncratic language has made it a favourite of comics aficionados and art critics for more than 80 years.

The strip focuses on the curious relationship between a guileless, carefree, simple-minded cat named Krazy of indeterminate gender (referred to as both “he” and “she”) and a grumpy mouse named Ignatz. Krazy nurses an unrequited love for the mouse. However, Ignatz despises Krazy and constantly schemes to throw bricks at Krazy’s head, which Krazy interprets as a sign of affection, uttering grateful replies such as “Li’l dollink, allus f’etful”, or “Lil Angel”. At the end of most strips Ignatz is locked in the county jail.

Despite the slapstick simplicity of the general premise, the detailed characterization, combined with Herriman’s visual and verbal creativity, made Krazy Kat one of the first comics to be widely praised by intellectuals and treated as “serious” art. I loved the surreal simplicity.

Comic book art featured in all through my early drawing and The Spirit is right up there. The Spirit is a fictional masked crime fighter created by the telented cartoonist Will Eisner.

The Spirit chronicles the adventures of a masked vigilante who fights crime with the blessing of the City’s Police Commissioner Dolan, an old friend. The stories range through a wide variety of styles, from straightforward crime drama and noir to light-hearted adventure, from mystery and horror to comedy and love stories, often with hybrid elements that twisted genre and reader expectations.

02. What have been the inspirations in your working themes and style?

Moving from teens to adulthood I began looking at ‘proper’ artists and styles.

Charles Thomas “Chuck” Close is an American painter and photographer whom I greatly admire. He achieved his fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Close is known for using creative and intricate patterns to portray a concise human portrait.

Most of his early works are very large portraits based on photographs (Photorealism or Hyperrealism technique) of family and friends, often other artists. Chuck suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness) and has suggested that this condition is what first inspired him to do portraits.

As he explained in a 2009 interview, he made a choice in 1967 to make art hard for himself and force a personal artistic breakthrough by abandoning the paintbrush.
“I threw away my tools”, Close said. “I chose to do things I had no facility with. The choice not to do something is in a funny way more positive than the choice to do something. If you impose a limit to not do something you’ve done before, it will push you to where you’ve never gone before.”

Although his later paintings differ in method from his earlier canvases, the preliminary process still remains the same. To create his grid work copies of photos, Close puts a grid on the photo and then on the actual canvas and copies cell by cell. Typically, each square within the grid is filled with roughly executed regions of colour (usually consisting of painted rings on a contrasting background) which give the cell a perceived ‘average’ hue which makes sense from a distance. His first tools for this included an airbrush, rags, razor blade, and an eraser mounted on a power drill. His first picture with this method was Big Self Portrait, a black and white enlargement of his face to a 107.5 by 83.5 inches (273 cm × 212 cm) canvas, made in over four months. He made seven more black and white portraits during this period. He has been quoted as saying that he used such diluted paint in the airbrush that all eight of the paintings were made with only a single tube of mars black acrylic!

Later work has branched into non-rectangular grids, topographic map style regions of similar colours, CMYK colour grid work, and using larger grids to make the cell by cell nature of his work obvious even in small reproductions. The Big Self Portrait is so finely done that even a full page reproduction in an art book is still indistinguishable from a regular photograph.

03. What other current Artists do you find appealing?

John Mackie’s love of painting using bright colours began at a very early age.

It was whilst studying at the Glasgow School of Art that he was first introduced to the works of Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. In particular the influence of Monet can be seen in his own painting style and his is an obvious love of impressionist work.

Whether using oil or pastel he employs a fabulously rich palette, with works full of colour and really strong tones, and a rather fine eye for composition and structure. His work exudes quality, with his finished pieces simply transporting you to his chosen location, capture the heat of a French meadow, the hustle and bustle of a continental market square or a balmy evening in the romantic cities of Venice or Paris.

Another artist would be Guy Denning. He says he had been interested in art since he was a small child and is a self-taught painter.

Denning’s early work included an interest in the work of Franz Kline and was characterised by powerful, expressive brushstrokes in mainly abstract paintings. More recently he has combined earlier influences with an increasingly figurative style of painting. The human figure features strongly in his latest work and he uses this subject matter to convey powerful emotions, often with political overtones. The Icarus series of works is an example of this approach. Structurally his work is very dynamic showing a concern for strong draughtsmanship with a spontaneous application of colour. He does not work to set motifs, but makes paintings and drawings from observation and photographic reference.

04. What sort of art and themes do you gravitate to generally?

Most of my work is portraiture and produced in pencil or crayon. I like pencil as a medium because of the tonal qualities and density that can be achieved from a 6B pencil. I have been focussed on music and film icons at the moment as I have a close friendship with ex Dr Feelgood/Blockheads guitarist Wilko Johnson. I have produced a number of studies of him as I find his face beguiling. I was commissioned to produce his portrait after Wilko was diagnoised with terminal cancer. That was two years ago and he is just about to go on his Still Alive Tour. Possible Dorian Grey syndrome creeping in there.

Because of Feelgood originating from the Delta estuary area and myself living currently on the river, plus a rich cornucopia of musical talent available, I have been inspired to attempt to catch the energy and grit of the music through the drawings. Many of my paintings are rendered in black and white, or with dark greys and dark blues.

05. What about the different mediums and techniques that you use or employ?

I am not going to ramble on about the techniques of painting – I’d just like to say that I feel privileged to be able to make a living as a professional artist and I will always strive to paint with feeling, passion and honesty.

Throughout my career, I have worked on portraiture through the mediums of such varied drawing and painting techniques as ink, graphite, pastel, watercolour, conté crayon, finger painting. I simply build images by applying one careful stroke after another in multi-colours or grayscale pound shop painting by numbers style.

06. Do you use modern technology? If so how?

No! I try not to be a dinosaur but when it comes to drawing, I am a bit of a purist.

07. Have you met or worked with anyone interesting on your artistic journey?

I have had a varied career from design through advertising art director to artist and have met some intensely interesting people on my journey.

During the years I met an incredible amount of interesting people. Some who I could just about spend the day with, others who I would happily share a great deal of time. People like David Attenborough, Ian Dury, Wilko and Geldoff.

08. Anything that you really dislike, and why?

I had an early encounter with a Jackson Pollock painting: I went to the Sunderland Art Gallery and Museum with my Uncle Jack for the first time when I was 12. I saw this Jackson Pollock drip painting with aluminum paint, tar, gravel and all that stuff. I was absolutely outraged, disturbed. It was so far removed from what I thought art was. However, within 2 or 3 days, I was dripping paint all over my old paintings. In a way I’ve been chasing that experience ever since.

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment, and where can we view your work?

At the moment I am busy producing a series of drawings with a fashion theme for an Ibiza one man show in July 2015. My work can be seen in London where I have a residency at The Sheaf in Borough Market, Southwark Street.

Other work can be viewed at Legends, The Railway Hotel and Chalkwell Park in Southend, Essex.

10. Your thoughts for the future and things that excite you beyond Art?

What will happen in the art world by 2050? I predict that all the smashed plates on Julian Schnabel’s paints will fall off on exactly the same day.

Seriously, I believe artists will be exploring and affecting all aspects of our daily environments in the most original ways possible. We are already seeing that artists today are moving beyond the four walls of established institutions and are directly engaging and inspiring a range of new audiences.

Inventive ways which will explore the effects of new technologies on art, art making and culture.

Yet despite the focus on new media we will never abandon our passionate commitment to painting and sculpture.

There is always something new in painting and sculpture. In a world changing at warp speed, we will see greater complexity in the types of work produced.

Art is going to reach so many more people and will not be perceived as something “exotic” or marginalized-but rather as a normal mode of existence along with other pursuits.

Art is constantly changing and evolving. Jackson Pollock’s seemingly spontaneity yet formalised abstraction changed art forever. Robert Rauschenberg moved us from Abstract Expressionism to Pop and then into new hybrid forms. Andy Warhol explored every medium of the day and completely transformed our perceptions of commercial imagery.

In the future the art world will be more liberated to make use of all the media around us – because artists have this passionate curiosity and ceaseless desire for new ideas. We are in the midst of seismic cultural change!

Contact: Jack Melville

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 1, 2015 By : Category : Art Culture Design Front page Interviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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ArtsQ – Joni Belaruski

01 What were your early artistic influences?

As a kid I drew a lot of animals, especially horses. I was obsessed with them and would spend hours and hours drawing them and trying to get the muscles just right. I still use animals a lot in my work.

02 What sort of Art and themes do you gravitate towards generally?

I love the body, I love faces and I am drawn towards work that shows a real mastery of the medium in which it was executed. I like narratives within the work and drama.

03 What have been the main inspirations in your working themes and style?

I’m really influenced by my surroundings. I made a visit to LA recently, my first time there and I think the space and light in the city really had an effect on my approach to my work. I felt the urge to start using colour whereas before I was all jet black baby. I’ve retained this urge since returning to London and I’m going to see where it takes me. Anything can spark an idea though: a conversation, a dream, a person, a song….

04 What about the different mediums and techniques that you use or employ? Do you use modern technology and if so how?

Pen and ink are my preferred weapons. Modern technology? I’m all for it. My finished drawings are all executed on paper or board without any digital manipulation, however prior to putting pen to paper I use Photoshop sometimes to compose images from photos, scans, stuff I’ve found on the net. I have a huge archive of reference material and it’s ever-growing.

05 What other current Artists do you find appealing? Heroes and Zeroes?

So many. I’m just going to list some current artists I respect or whose work I’m drawn to and I recommend you go and check them all out. My memory is terrible but here are a few that spring to mind: Guy Denning, Justin Mortimer, Dale Grimshaw, CKirk, Audrey Kawasaki, Dan May, Antony Micallef, Dan Hillier, Sage Vaughn, Andrew Salgado, Chiharu Shiota, Jenny Saville, etc etc.

The Zeroes… who cares?

06 What can we expect to see from your current body of work right now?

At the moment I am working up drawings for a show in the pipeline at Converge Gallery, PA. The theme initially centred around crows and spirituality but I’ve kind of deviated off into killer whales, bubbles, cityscapes, panda suits and humming birds.

07 Anything that you really dislike and why?

I guess everything has its place.

08 What about Commissions and awkward Clients?

I get a lot of fun commissions from bands and musicians which is great as I’m a drummer myself and I like when the two worlds collide.

Awkward: clients not understanding that a ‘slight adjustment’ in a pen drawing actually requires a complete reworking.

09 Tell us what you are up to at the moment and where can we view your work etc?

I am taking part in a couple of group shows in London at the moment through a fantastic art collective called Movement: Artworks. The first show is still open at Pictorem Gallery in Walthamstow until next week, then it moves to Aside Bside Gallery in Dalston on 6th Feb. I’ve been experimenting with working on canvas for the second.

Beyond this, I have a duo show planned in the States this coming Spring with a really cool gallery called Converge which I mentioned earlier. It will be a duo exhibition with an American artist called Liz Parrish who has an entire world of beautifully alluring yet creepy characters painted on canvas.

10 Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond Art?

I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future and that excites the hell out of me. As long as I can continue working I’ll be happy. I play drums in an 8 piece Gypsy/Folk/Punk band called The Great Malarkey and we were holed up in the studio recording just before Xmas. We just received the first mixes back meaning the next single will be released very soon. We also have a mini Scandinavian tour coming up in February so it’ll be nice to get out of London again for a bit. We’re a riot, check us out.

11 Have you met or worked with anyone interesting on your Artistic journey?

I’m fortunate enough to meet interesting people all the time.

12 What does the future hold in store for you and your work?

I know everyone says ‘take over the world’. I actually mean it.

Web Links:
www.jonibelaruski.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Joni-Belaruski-Art
twitter.com/JoniBelaruski
www.thegreatmalarkey.com

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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February 5, 2014 By : Category : Art Culture Interviews Tags:, , ,
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The Monochrome Set speak to Eyeplug

The Monochrome Set are proud to announce the imminent release of their 11th studio album, Super Plastic City, on October 17th. Please note that all the online prices include postage to anywhere in the world. CDs & t-shirts will be cheaper at gigs. The CD will also be available at various outlets worldwide.

01 You formed circa 1978 from art-school punks The B-Sides, To quote the Asahi Evening News, 1993: ‘When B-Sides singer Adam Ant quit the band for an ill-fated solo career, The Monochrome Set was born.’

Wit and style were there from the get-go… I think they wrote that line… but I wished I’d said it.

02 Andy Warren and Lester Square helped shape the early Antz sound and were key to The Monochrome Set, yet the bands were both highly individual and unique?

That’s because Adam & I were/are the main artists, and we are different.

03 Your early live shows saw you working with film maker Tony Potts can you tell us about his role and the collaboration?

He lived in the same squat as JD Haney, and became a friend. In our second year, he came along to a gig with projectors and films. I can’t remember who’s idea it was. Anyway, we thought it made the live show more interesting, so we expanded the film show by buying more projectors and making screens, which we took on tour with us. However, much of this was stolen in the US tour of 1982.

04 Rough Trade found you and put out ‘He’s Frank’ your debut single, what were the Rough Trade years like?

Rough Trade were good and helpful, I liked the people there, but we felt like we never really fit in. Dindisc offered a deal, and we moved over. They didn’t offer much more money than Rough Trade. We did the same with Cherry Red and WEA in 1983/84. It’s difficult to know if these were the right decisions for us, but they happened.

05 The term ‘Indie’ back then was a genuine DIY arty mindset that seemed to generate 7 inch singles in droves, it became a ‘style genre’ eventually which housed clichés in abundance?

That term, when it was used, referred to small record companies, rather than bands or a musical style. There was a proliferation of bands, and singles still sold (in those days), so it made sense to revert to the 60s mode of releasing singles. Especially when a lot of bands only had one good song.

06 Major offshoots seemed to be the place to release LPs, was this to do with promotional budgets etc?

I think there was a fair amount of misunderstanding. Sales from Indie shops were not allowed in the charts. Major sales were massaged. Complications arose with bandwagon-jumpers. Money was waved. Wrong decision were taken by some.

07 What were the melodic, atmospheric and style influences on you LPs throughout the 1980s and 1990s? What shaped the sound references?

It was mainly a combo of late 60s & early 70s UK & US music. No point in me being more specific than that, as I don’t have a lot of control over what I write!

08 Your extensive back catalogue is diverse and bravely embraced many different approaches which we feel set you apart a little?

Well, we don’t play what is essentially the same song for 11 albums.

09 Where would you point a modern day newbie fan as a good place to start The Monochrome Set journey of discovery?

Hmm… the new album, ‘Super Plastic City’ is very well worked, and does represent a fair amount of our sound, I think.

10 Was the comings and goings of band members over the years (some coming and going several times) difficult to maintain focus and momentum?

Not really… adverse personal issues have a vastly greater negative impact. You can usually deal with a changing line-up, but it’s best if the band is stable and happy.

11 There is always a feeling of positive wit, style and artfulness in your writing and songcraft, has there been times when this simply vanishes or gets jaded?

Maybe, due to other reasons, reflecting one’s personal life.

12 There has been a certain vintage nostalgic warmth and charm that sort of lures the listener into tales of multiple double meanings and hidden taboo?

Well, I don’t know. There is depth in our music and lyrics, which is really the result of our continual but slight exploration into areas we don’t understand. If I could describe a typical TMS song, it would be: ‘a classic pop song, which contains elements that lightly tamper with the forces of nature’.

13 Do you think The Monochrome Set have been easily mis-understood over the years and harder to ‘pin down’?

Our music has always been impossible to describe, and I can see why – we regularly, but not calculatingly, incorporate other musical styles into the basic song pattern. Each song is written and treated as an individual. But they’re still mostly 3 minute pop songs, all done with a very similar lyrical style, and most following a very similar or same arrangement pattern.

14 You developed a loyal and in-the-know following from around the World over the years, what places stick out in particular?

Our 3 big sales areas are the UK, Japan, US. We have an old relationship with France, but it’s not an easy country to tour – but dates are in the pipeline. Currently exploring a return to Italy. Will try to… I’m not sure you meant the biz end! You just want me to tell you stories about midgets and alleys. *(the editor spat his coffee out at this point!)

15 Tell us about the formation of Scarlets Well?

TMS split up in 1985/6, and I then did a couple of productions. One of them, ‘Songs For The Jet Set Vol. 1’ featured 3 or 4 different girl singers, and I thought of the idea of having a band with a few lead singers in it. It wasn’t initially meant to be a live band. The musicians were mainly Orson Presence (the guitarist & keyboardist from TMS) and myself, with Toby Robinson (the producaer) also contributing. Aesthetically, it was very different to TMS, and a great deal of fun. I think the 2nd album, ‘The Isle Of The Blue Flowers’, may still be the best I’ve made, or been involved in.

16 You reformed the Monochrome Set in 2010, why there and then?

Tetsuya Nakatani of Vinyl Japan contacted me in Spring 2010 to enquire about TMS reforming for a short tour of Japan, and we said yes. SW had just released (what would be) their last album, and I didn’t at that time see TMS as more than just reforming to play the old stuff in Japan. I had my stroke at the end of July, and after the operation, I decided that I couldn’t continue with two bands. It seemed to me that SW had run its course, and I decided that I’d continue TMS as my only band, and the one I’d write new material for.

17 You suffered a serious health issue in mid 2010 with a SAH (a form of stroke), would you mind telling us about how this came about and it’s affects on your life and work?

It was due to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, and aneurysms are really a mechanical fault which develops and may burst. I was told that this is not due to lifestyle reasons; it’s just bad luck. In my case, it was good luck, as the mortality rate is approx. 45%. Quite soon after leaving hospital, I started writing songs about being in hospital! I was initially not keen on this, but decided not to stop the flow. It has since become much easier to write songs, as my central consciousness is now slightly weaker, and less able to stop the artistic side.

18 After your health issue and reformation, you have certainly got back to a busy and hectic schedule, tell us about getting back into the swing of things?

It’s not really busy as such, I think. I had some difficulties on tour and on stage, with temporary aphasia, but it passed. My brain has now seemingly rewired itself to that my lexicon functions are kept operational, at the cost of my walking co-ordination – this is called ‘neuroplasticity’, and is the subject of the title track of the new album.

19 You have a new record called ‘Super Plastic City’, can you tell us about the recording and songs?

We recorded the album at One Cat, which is the same studio (well not quite exactly, as they’ve moved into larger premises) that SW used for Black Tulip Wings and Gatekeeper.

20 Does the collection of songs on ‘Super Plastic City’ echo the sound of other past LPs and if so how?

Maybe… I don’t know how, exactly, but it does seem to encapsulate a TMS sound in many ways.

21 What themes and feelings shaped the songcraft on this latest offering? The sound is very warm and clear from what we have heard so far in preview?

The album doesn’t have a tight lyrical theme in the same way as Platinum Coils, but I suppose many of the songs are personal. The sound differs in that, apart from some organ and percussion, it is a 4-piece band now. Many parts were worked in some detail, so in that, the approach (if not necessarily the sound) is quite similar to Strange Boutique.

22 You have a set of live shows to end 2013, does your energy level have to be considered these days or are you liable to extend the list of dates across Europe?

Currently, plans for 2014 are for a 2nd UK tour, Italy, Germany, Paris, Japan… it won’t be a shed-load, as the band aren’t collectively available for more than about 3 weeks (of weekdays) per year. First come, first served.

23 Whats in store for The Monochrome Set down the line? A movie or book perhaps?

I don’t know… at the moment, we just keep going.

24 Are there any modern bands that you would namecheck that you feel are ‘chopping the onions’ as it were?

There are probably many, but I don’t pay attention.

Weblinks

themonochromeset.co.uk/

Forthcoming gigs & sessions:
19/10/13 – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, UK (tickets here)
20/10/13 – The Georgian Theatre, Stockton, UK (tickets here)
21/10/13 – Mono, Glasgow, UK (tickets here)
22/10/13 – The Continental, Preston, UK (ticket links from site)
23/10/13 – Eric’s, Liverpool, UK (tickets here)
24/10/13 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, UK (tickets hereherehere)
25/10/13 – The Jericho Tavern, Oxford, UK (tickets here)
26/10/13 – Thunderbolt, Bristol, UK (tickets here, search “The Monochrome Set” if you can’t find)
23/11/13 – 229 the venue, London, UK (tickets here)
30/11/13 – MJC / Espace Hélios, Lambres-Lez-Douai, France (tickets tba)

*All images courtesy of B.I.D and the TMS website (thanks folks), extra special thanks to Steve Brummell!

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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October 14, 2013 By : Category : Art Cult Eyeplugs Features Front page Heroes Icons Indie Interviews Music Picks Post-punk Tags:, , , ,
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Duggie Fields – Merry Christmas

British ‘Maximalist’ Artist and Icon Duggie Fields kindly and generously issued this piece via a recent communication to Eyeplug Magazine. With a vivid, seemingly warm, festive theme, Duggie utilises vintage found images and re-renders them in a bold and montage layering style, that is constantly evolving and offers the viewer a statement on just how distorted modern day Christmas has possibly become. Image after image of traditional festive cliches jolt against stark silhouettes of homeless and lost people pushing their worldly belongings around in Corporate shopping baskets. It’s strong, bold, fun and warm and brightly makes a very strong lasting impression. Have a very Merry Christmas, Duggie Fields, you are indeed a one-off! Interesting sound manipulation too!

Film / Video / Television
1981 ‘SLICE OF LIFE’, video Taboo club screenings, London 1982 ‘POISED ON THE EDGE OF TASTE’ , film, The London Film Co-0p; ICA Cinematheque London; London International Video Festival 1983 Alter Image, tv, Channel 4 UK 1985 ‘Menschens Kinder’, tv, ZDF Germany 1985 The Oxford Roadshow, tv, BBC 2 UK 1987 ‘South of Watford’, tv, ITV (UK) 1992 ‘Londynskie Pracownie’, tv, Ch.1 Poland 1993 ‘THE BIG RIDDLE’, video, Gas club, London, The Pot, tv, New York Cable, USA 1995 Joan Quinn Show , tv, Los Angeles Cable, USA; ‘The Big Riddle’, video, European Media Art Festival, Germany 1997 ‘The Colour Eye’, tv, BBC1 UK 1999 ‘Private Property’, tv, ITV, UK; ‘SOMETIMES’, digital animation, Hackney Empire Appeal, Lux Centre, London 2000 Portobello Film & VIdeo Festival, London; Venice Short Film Festival, Italy.

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Animation Art Culture Eyeplugs Festivals Front page Media Picks Visuals Tags:, ,
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Someday All The Adults Will Die! – Punk Graphics 1971-84

Someday All The Adults Will Die! – Punk Graphics 1971-84 – Hayward Gallery London

Even after the thirty five years that have elapsed since that summer of malcontent, and punk’s subsequent elevation to one of the UK’s more written-about cultural phenomena, I still find it a little incongruous that an art house would host an exhibition about this singularly delinquent cult. Yet, the pristine white walls of the Hayward Gallery, set in the brutalist concrete South Bank complex seems the most appropriate place in London to hold this comprehensive collection of punk ephemera.

Stretching back in time further than the year-zero of myth (when the two sevens clash!) to the first use of ‘punk’ as a cultural term in the late 60’s/early 70’s, and taking in far more than just a few favoured fanzines and 7”singles, we are presented with a fascinating, international, superbly documented history of the punk years from its gestation to its late and still-snotty middle age. Original clothing, ranging from the ubiquitous Ramones T-Shirt to the rent-boy camp of Let it Rock, has its own display frame, as befit these works of art, some now priced like rare paintings.

The pivotal importance of the Xerox copying machine to many young fanzine producers is given its rightful tribute, with an impressive collection of small circulation publications and posters that were such an important part of this scene. Some deliberately crude in their execution, with hand written content, some neat and tidy with typed text throughout, all bear witness to the infectious enthusiasm of a young and combative life style that was alternately being ignored or demonised in the conventional media. The size of the fanzine collection is matched by the 7” singles on display, almost every one bearing a picture sleeve, the artwork sometimes highly professional, sometimes deliberately sloppy, but all laying down a manifesto. From bands like The Jam and The Sex Pistols, who would be playing Town Halls up and down the country and would become household names, to those who never made it beyond their fetid bedrooms, these singles are punk’s dark talismans. Someone elected to spend their pennies on them, when the same amount of cash could for example, have bought the latest by some over-hyped guitar god or temporarily famous balladeer. Instead, they chose punk’s angry thunder.

From touchstones to perhaps punk’s true legacy, the Do It Yourself ethic, is illustrated in almost every exhibit here, from the fanzines surreptitiously printed on the works copier, the self-financed singles, and the home copied cassettes of unsigned bands’ music, all gloriously free from the interference of commercial pressures. You cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer tenacity of the bands, putting their music directly into the hands of their potential audience in the pre-digital age of the personal, word of mouth contact.

The music that can be heard emerging from its glory hole has been chosen with care to take in familiar bands as well as some of the hidden gems of the era, all in lo-fi, although I would have preferred to hear them on a typical portable player of the late 70’s, for maximum authenticity.

That punk was an enclosed, incestuous world is not an argument I’d want to waste my time trying to refute. Major record companies found punk, in its early days, difficult to stomach, and their attempts to tame it would result in the ridiculous, never used poster hanging on the wall of this gallery, the Sex Pistols’ name sprayed in candy colour on a squeaky clean tiled wall. It could be the cover image for a disco single, or a particularly louche advertisement for furniture polish.

For all the bluster about anarchy within punk, the political side of the movement was often confused and misdirected, if not downright dubious. One band with a very clear political agenda are covered well here, the overtly anarchist group, Crass. Their age-old dogged determination to promote an anti-system of living is documented with innumerable fanzines and posters, some their own creation, others by those who followed in their wake.

With contributors like Jamie Reid, Liner Sterling and Penny Rimbaud, among others, I would have expected nothing less than a comprehensive history of punk, and in this, the exhibition succeeds completely.

‘Someday All the Adults Will Die!’ runs to 4th November and is FREE!

Scenester 10/10/12

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Art Culture Design Events Exhibitions Front page Icons Reviews Tags:, ,
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ArtsQ – Duggie Fields

More than an artist, Duggie Fields has been an Art Movement over the past 5 decades. His paintings, films, animation, photography, music, and design, have been at the pioneering edge of British Art and Culture. And he has collaborated with the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Derek Jarman, Rei Kawakubo and Andrew Logan to name but a few.

In the 1990s, Mr Fields devised a new Philosophy of Art – Maximalism, which he described as “minimalism with a plus, plus, plus” and “the individual use to create chaos out of order and vice versa”. As Mr Fields developed his Maximalist Art Works, he produced a series of short art films and music videos. This is one of those many gems, The Big Riddle from 1993, written by Fields, with music co-written with Howard Bernstein, and directed by Mark Le Bon.

01 What were your early artistic influences?

Comics, Walt Disney and my Parents.

02 What sort of Art and themes do you gravitate towards generally?

Art that moves me, makes me think, and admire it’s actuality.

03 What have been the main inspirations in your working themes and style?

After so long, it is always now my previous works.

04 What about the different mediums and techniques that you use or employ? Do you use modern technology and if so how?

For years I just used acrylic on canvas as my main medium, first doing studies on graph paper with tracing paper layers over them. Now I still produce some canvasses, but all of my work is digital first, using layers and a grid onscreen, before being output either on to canvas, by hand painting Aas well as by print, on paper or perspex, as well as some just remaining virtual.

05 What other current Artists do you find appealing? Heroes and Zeroes?

Many and changeable. The last exhibition that surprised me by how much I admired it was The Hockney show at The Royal Academy.

06 What can we expect to see from your current body of work right now?

Right now I’m working on some new perspex cut-out and some word pieces for a show in Liverpool, which will also feature some wallpaper installations, new for me and site-specific for this show.

07 Anything that you really hate and why?

Duggie did not answer this question.

08 What about Commissions and awkward clients?

Never my favourite to so. Some really are a good creatine challenge , but the thought that the end has to please someone specific is always intrusive somehow, however agreeable the Client.

09 Tell us what you are up to at the moment and where can we view your work etc?

Finishing things for the Liverpool show, part of  the Biennial Independants at:

The Gallery Liverpool
First Floor, The Courtyard
41 Stanhope St
Liverpool L8 5RE

T: +44 (0) 151 709 2442
E: arts@thegalleryliverpool.co.uk
W: thegalleryliverpool.co.uk

15th September – 12th October 2012

Mon – Fri 10am – 4.30pm. Sat 10am – 2pm. Closed Sunday.

10 Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond Art?

Does anything excite beyond making art in whatever form that takes? Am not sure, though the occasional plane trip somewhere is always tempting, and social life can be fun, but the future is always uncertain and unpredictable.

11 Have you met or worked with anyone interesting on your Artistic journey?

I have met many interesting people, and have worked with a few, but most of my work has been done alone, in my studio on my own. There have been a few trips around the world to work with others, always exciting but ultimately I come back to the same place for focus.

12 What does the future hold in store for you and your work?

No idea what the future holds, hopefully more of the same to a greater or lesser degree in different aspects. Next year possibly work on show in Berlin and again in Denmark, but currently only maybes. More certainty is working alone in my studio as much as I am able to.

Links:

duggiefields.com

duggiefields.wordpress.com

youtube.com/duggiefields

facebook.com/duggiefields

twitter.com/duggiefields

soundcloud.com/duggie-1

Net Interview on Mixcloud

‘Hot Cloudcasts featuring ‘Journey through Time’ by Duggie Fields’

dangerousminds.net

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Art Culture Front page Interviews Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – Tav Falco

TAV on the Radio http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=MJVXvPNQlCQ&NR=1 TAV at his best
This entry is part 1 of 20 in the series DozenQ 2

In his work as a visual artist, writer and rock and roll musician Tav Falco has crafted an immediately recognizable blend of all things unique, visionary, familiar and yet obscure, dark/light and straight up stylish and rockin’. His recent book – Ghosts Behind the Sun: Splendor, Enigma & Death (Creation Books) – is a trip through the city of Memphis’ history that is part Falco biography, surreal fiction, crime noir and hipster gutter trawl. Fact mingles with hallucination and Tav pins the throttle.

If Tav comes to town with his Unapproachable Panther Burns combo or to do a book reading and presentation be sure not to miss it. They don’t often come as cool as Mr. Falco…

01 The book (Ghosts Behind the Sun: Splendor, Enigma & Death) was fabulous. I have to say though that some of the folks scared the bejeezus out of me – and I’m not talking here more about the wild ones from a hundred years ago either! My guess is there were more than a few dark, hot and humid nights that you found your pace quicken on a walk home?

Although I am now far away, the dark nights and steamy red/gray dawns of Memphis by the torrential Mississippi still haunt me… the world ends at dawn, right?

02 I’d like to ask you a little about motorbikes. My guess is you don’t have one now, or do you? Further to that, any interest in vintage scooters?

Just sold a 1969 Norton Commando to Germany, but I’ve already placed a deposit on a black & beige 1961 Norton Dominator 99 in England. I’m an inveterate Norton rider, though there is a place in the stable for a late 60s BSA Thunderbolt and an early 50s Triumph Speed Twin. For a mid-60s Lambretta 150, I once drove from Paris to L’Aquila (The Eagle), Italy (now destroyed by earthquake). I spent a summer with the scooter in Ljubljana. It was a fun machine with great character.

03 While a percentage of your audience and fan base are more than likely familiar with the artistic concepts behind Panther Burns, those that aren’t – at least as far as I see it – are still getting a heck of a rockin’ combo on top of some of the more heady ideas.  What are your feelings on that component of your audience and how much your skill as a musician has developed?

Panther Burns are a vision. It is an Orphic vision… not of the cosmos, nor of the mystic and the airy heavens, but a vision of the underground, of the unconscious where dark waters swirl. We have one song to sing, and we sing it different ways: with a hoodoo gait, or with the shimmer of falling moonlight over burning mansions, or with the sensual curve of a farewell embrace as the master rides off to battle with coat tails flying, never to be seen again….

04 Well then it completely makes sense that you and your musical contributors also have a taste for vintage and exotic guitars. What is the story behind that beautiful black Hofner of yours anyway? I admit to have been admiring it from afar for a great many years now.

My association with the Höfner violin-shaped 6-string guitar began rather early in the trajectory of Panther Burns. The first one I played was found in a Memphis attic around 1980 by a guitarist in the Randy Band. It was brown. I bought it and played it for awhile. Then I traded it for a Gretsch (seen on the Red Devil record cover). The Gretsch hardly had the sound and character of the Höfner, and when I saw a black one appear in a vintage shop in Memphis, I pounced on it. The black Höfner has the same factory installed active, push-button fuzz tone and treble boost that the brown one had. The guitar has become the signature sound of the Panther Burns, and I have not played another guitar over the past 30 years. It has a neck like a baseball bat, but it is an indestructible German workhorse.

05 Ghosts Behind the Sun discusses a number of the great Memphis music legends, are there any new things coming out of Memphis that you have heard lately that piqued your interest?

Sam Phillips, I once heard say that Nashville has a great thing going, but Memphis will always be a place for innovation. Let’s put it this way: in my mind, the Blues are eternal, and Saturday nights on Beale St., there will always be somebody picking a guitar on the corner or in a back alley evoking the twangs of love lost and won, of a working stiff’s misery, of the whip of the boss man, of the moans of hungry children, of mean women and the curse of betrayal, of dice tumbling in a leather horn, of the reaching arm of the law, of the pleasures of the brothel, and the laughter and tears of the Devil’s own music.

06 Your new home of Vienna is famous for a number of things including cafes. Have you found one that you can call your own?

Of the many cafés and Kaffehäuser in merry, sinister old Vienna, I have a number of favorites. If I were to name one that is my Stammcafe or regular haunt, I would say Café Central in the 1st district. It is a part of the neo-Gothic Palais Ferstil with vaulted high ceilings, enamel inlays, geometric frescoes, and lofty paintings of faded nobility. There is a fleet of waiters or Kellners scurrying over the parquet floors, serving coffee, champagne, and chocolate on small silver trays along with tasty, yet affordable meals. The Viennese tortes served there are exquisite. One can hardly be surprised that Café Central was the Stammcafe of choice by Sigmund Freud and his coterie of psychoanalysts. A place for camaraderie, it was the café where Leon Trotsky played his habitual games of chess, while the Viennese pooh-poohed his dreams of revolution.

07 Sounds fabulous. Of course you have also lived in some pretty diverse places including Paris and New York but what intrigues me too is your time spent in Buenos Aries. How did that all come about?

What drew me to Buenos Aires was the lure of the Tango, which I still dance religiously. In the words of Isadora Duncan in 1916 when she visited Argentina,
“My first steps were timid, but the feeling of the languid music caused my body to respond to the voluptuousness of the dance. Soft as a caress, toxic as love under the midday sun, cruel and dangerous as a tropical forest.”

08 Let’s get back to motorcycles here for a moment… Full face helmet? Half helmet and goggles? Gloves? I imagine driving in old cities like Paris and Vienna being quite a challenge in comparison to the open highways of the south. Apart from you are certainly less likely to run into an armadillo of course…

Although the occasional armadillo crossing the road can prove to be a daunting hazard, one thing I do miss about Arkansas is riding the unfettered, leafy back roads. In Europe riding the country lanes on my Norton Dominator 99 is kind of like a sultry burn through Camelot.  For a short burn say around the Ringstrasse of Vienna or a fast burn around the Trocadéro, I wear a half-helmet with a leather chinstrap leather gloves, and aviator goggles. For a medium run over the Höhenstrasse (High Road), a scenic road built in 1937 through the Vienna Woods overlooking the city, I put on a jet-helmet that is black with a white center stripe. For long hauls at maximum thrust, I wear a solid white full coverage casque and put on long gauntlet gloves. Invariably, I ride wearing the black and silver trimmed net-vest of the PBMC (Panther Burns Motorcycle Club).

09 Do you miss the comfort food of the south very often or was that never really your thing?

If you mean God’s own watermelon, Yes.

10 Ghosts Behind the Sun has been out a good 7 or 8 months now. I know you have mixed up readings with a photo display and even screenings of your video work and a performance by Panther Burns. Probably a bit hard to get a rock and roll crowd to be quiet during a reading, no?

Reading in London at Rough Trade Records East on May 30th, you could hear a pin drop. Geoff Travis, president of RT, was there and can attest to that.

11 Could you see yourself moving back to the US at some point or is life in Europe somehow better suited to your interests?

Life in Europe holds the utmost fascination, and I am living in a neutral country far removed from the aggression of war profiteering and the poisonous campaigns of Monsanto.

12 What’s next musically and artistically, if that isn’t gonna give too much away?

Presently I am editing my new 16mm film, URANIA DESCENDING: an intrigue featuring VIA KALI and KARL-HEINZ von RIEGL. Set in the old world of Vienna on the Danube, the narrative follows the precipitous descent of an American innocent who falls into discreet, yet decadent dalliances at Hotel Orient and her ultimate submersion beneath the dark, swirling waters of Lake Atter.

Photo: Via Kali

LINKS

Tav on Myspace

Nice Fan Site

PERSONNEL

  • Perry Michael Allen: keyboards, backing vocals: 1995
  • David Berger — drums: 2002
  • Barri Bob — percussion, rhythm guitar: some 1980s gigs
  • Orazio Brando — guest guitarist: 2005
  • Roy Brewer — violin: 1980s and 1990s
  • Benny Carter — drums: 1994
  • Grégoire Cat (real name: Grégoire Garrigues) — lead guitar: early 2000s onwards
  • Ben Cauley (also of The Bar-Kays) — trumpet: 1990s
  • Raymond Cavaioli — lead guitar: some 1980s gigs
  • Alex Chilton (aka L X Chilton) — lead guitar: 1979–early 1980s and occasional appearances thereafter; produced several of the albums
  • Rene Coman (also of The Iguanas/New Orleans) — bass: early to mid-1980s and occasionally thereafter
  • Peter Dark (also of Bellmer Dolls, real name: Peter Mavrogeorgis) — guitar: early 2000s; 2011
  • Jim Dickinson — producer and keyboardist: occasionally 1980s and 1990s
  • Peter Dopita — singing saw: 1991
  • Jim Duckworth (also of The Gun Club) — drums: 1981, lead guitar: early 1980s & 1989
  • Doug Easley — bass: occasionally
  • Ron Easley (aka Durand Mysterion; also of the Country Rockers) — lead guitar: 1980s and 1990s sporadically; producer: 1989
  • James Enck (later of Linda Heck and the Train Wreck) — lead guitar: 1984, 1991 (appears on bass on “Cuban Rebel Girl” from the “1984” cassette release)
  • Kai Eric (aka Red West) — bass: mid-1980s–2000 on most tours except some in the South U.S.
  • Tav Falco — band leader, lead vocals, guitar: since 1979
  • Cyd Fenwick — backing vocals, dancing: 1979– 1981
  • Kitty Fires 1 (real name: Sue Easley) — backing vocals: 1984; Kitty Fires 2 (different woman) — guitar: 2000
  • Bob Fordyce (also of the Odd Jobs) — drums: 1989
  • Doug Garrison (also of The Iguanas/New Orleans) — drums: 1996
  • Diane Green (also of The Hellcats/Memphis and the Odd Jobs) — theatrics, tambourine, dancing: occasional 1980s appearances
  • Alex Greene (also of Big Ass Truck and Reigning Sound) — organ: 1989–1990
  • Jim Harper — snare drum: 1981
  • Mark Harrison — guitar: 1984–1985
  • Linda Heck (later of Linda Heck and the Train Wreck) — bass: 1984
  • Jessie Mae Hemphill — snare drum: 1981
  • Eric Hill — synthesizer: 1979–1980; 1989
  • Douglas Hodges (aka Tall Cash) — drums: 2001–2002
  • Teenie Hodges — lead guitar: 1990s
  • Michael Hurt (also of The Royal Pendletons) — bass: 1999
  • Rick Ivy — trumpet: 1979
  • Cathy Johnson — backing vocals, dancing: 1979–1981
  • Ross Johnson — drums: since 1979 on a number of albums
  • Amanda Jones — backing vocals: 1984
  • Jules Jones -artistic collaborator for publicity flyers and costumes, Backing vocals in studio and live shows 1979
  • Via Kali — tango dancer at live shows: 2006 onwards
  • Kye Kennedy — lead guitar: mid-1980s touring
  • Gabriele Kepplinger — backing vocals: 1991
  • Little Victor — guitar, harmonica: 2005
  • Laurent Lanouzière — bass: 2002 onwards
  • Michael Lo (real name: Michael Rafalowitch) — bass: early 2000s
  • Andrew Love (also of The Memphis Horns) — saxophone: 1990s
  • Vickie Loveland — backing vocals: 1991
  • Tammo Lüers — guitar: 1995
  • Randall Lyon — theremin: 1991
  • Olivier Manoury — bandoneon: 1995
  • Bob Marbach — piano: 1991, 1995
  • Lisa McGaughran (aka Lisa Burnette on one compilation; also of The Hellcats/Memphis) — backing vocals, bass: 1984–1990
  • Ron Miller — bass: early 1980s
  • Jack Oblivian — bass, organ: 2000
  • Warren Scott (Band’s agent) 1980s
  • Robert Palmer — clarinet: 1989
  • Giovanna Pizzorno (also of The Hellcats/Memphis) — drums: first sporadic tours began 1986; steady member since early 2000s
  • Jon Ramos — bass: 2002
  • George Reinecke (also of Busted Flush) — lead guitar: 1980s and 1990s
  • Will Rigby (also of The dB’s, Steve Earle) — drums: 1980, 1999
  • Jimmy Ripp — guitar: 1983
  • Roland Robinson — bass: 1992
  • Kurt Ruleman — drums: 1984–1989
  • Raffaele Santoro — keyboards: 2010 onwards
  • Harris Scheuner — drums: 1989
  • Jim Sclavunos — drums: since about 1982 on a few albums, beginning with Blow Your Top
  • Jim Spake — saxophone: 1991
  • Brendan Lee Spengler — keyboards: 2000
  • Ken Stringfellow — bass: 2011
  • Nokie Taylor — trumpet: 1991, 1995
  • Nina Tischler — backing vocals: 1991
  • Lorette Velvette (real name: Lori Greene; also of The Hellcats/Memphis and The Kropotkins) — backing vocals: 1984–1990; guitar: 1984 briefly
  • Misty White (also of The Hellcats/Memphis and Alluring Strange) — drums: 1988
  • Vincent Wrenn — synthesizer: 1979–1980
  • Abe Young — bass drum: 1981

DISCOGRAPHY

  • Behind the Magnolia Curtain, 1981 (re-released 1994 and 2011)
  • Blow Your Top EP, 1983 (re-released 1994 and 2011)
  • Now, 1984
  • Shake Rag, 1985
  • Sugar Ditch Revisited EP, 1985 (re-released 1994)
  • Swamp Surfing in Memphis (various artists), 1986
  • The World We Knew, 1987
  • Play New Rose for Me (various artists), 1987
  • Red Devil, 1988 (re-released 1994)
  • Live Atlanta Metroplex 10-3-87, 1988
  • Midnight in Memphis (live), 1989
  • Return of the Blue Panther, 1990
  • Life Sentence in the Cathouse, 1992
  • Unreleased Sessions, 1994 (recorded 1980)
  • Deep in the Shadows, 1994
  • Shadow Dancer, 1995
  • Disappearing Angels, 1996
  • 2 Sides of Tav Falco, 1996
  • Love’s Last Warning, 1996 (best of collection)
  • Shadow Angels & Disappearing Dancers, 1997
  • Panther Phobia, 2000
  • Live at Subsonic, 2002
  • CONJURATIONS: Séance for Deranged Lovers, 2010

 

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Art Blues Cult Culture DozenQ Features Front page Garage Heroes Interviews Literature Music Rockabilly Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – Max Galli

This entry is part 12 of 20 in the series DozenQ

Max Galli has been working as a professional illustrator and graphic designer during the last 20 years, producing hundreds of colourful, 60s-influenced drawings, illustrations and commercial graphic designs. His trademark swinging Sixties girls, shy and sexy at the same time, appeared in posters, records and CD covers, packagings and more, making his very own Pantone marker-based style a must for the discerning 60s loving collectors all over the world.

Currently he’s contributing with his illustrations and articles to The New Untouchables (which promotes 21st Century Modernist & Sixties Inspired Underground Music Culture with an International Mindset) ‘NUTsMag‘ and Eyeplug Magazine.

 

01. What first inspired you to veer towards the world of Art, Design and Illustration?

I think women (aunts, cousins, acquaintances, some girls and women around…) must have been one of the main sources of inspiration, so far. Along with late 60s-mid 70s TV shows like UFO, Space:1999 and Doctor Who (the Tom Baker one), since I was seriously impressed by the design of furnishings and environments.

02. What are some of your early reference points and how have they grown or changed over time?

My reference points have always been quite diverse. When I was a child, it was basically my father’s pictures of models, actresses and landscapes from the 60s and 70s. A few years after, when I was in my early teens, it was comics. I became a very good comic strips reader and collector, focusing my imagination on the 1965-1975 graphic style, you know, the likes of Crepax, Peellaert, Forest, Moebius, Rostagno, Maroto, Pazienza. In my late teens it was fine arts and illustration: Alphonse Mucha, John Waterhouse, William Morris, the Preraphaelites, the whole Art Nouveau phenomenon, Art Déco, Bauhaus, Op-Art…

03. What form does your modern work tend to take?

Well, I love drawing 60s-style pin ups! The female characters I draw are always sexy and sweet at the same time, and never too explicit – I think eroticism is an imaginative issue, not a blatant one. I have my wife and a lot of friends and acquaintances who – sometimes unconsciously – inspired me.

04. What sort of themes, mediums and techniques do you employ?

The main theme has always been the 60s-early 70s, since I was 19. You can’t really stop me being fascinated by that period, can you? My favourite media are pigment ink pens and ProMarker and Pantone markers, which I only use on Letraset  marker paper. I never used a computer for my illustrations, nor I ever used Photoshop for colouring. I’m an old school cat.

05. What has been the re-action and feedback so far to what you try to do?

Honestly, I have a few thousand fans from all over the world, but a good 60% of them are from English-speaking countries (UK, USA, Canada, Australia). The funny and amazing thing is that many of them are from outside the International Mod-60s Scene.

06. Have you managed to exhibit  or publish your work so far, and if so how and where?

I was lucky enough to have quite a few exhibitions around (three in London, one in Spain, 4 in Italy) and I published my first illustration back in 1994, for an Italian literary magazine. There are also a few books of mine around, the latest one, “Midnight To Six” is having a great success, both with public and critics.

07. What other factors come into play whilst in the process of creating a new piece?

It just depends on how I feel in that precise moment. Inspiration and music play a fundamental role, though. Usually I listen to some slow, sweet hammond organ stuff. Things like 60s-70s  library music, 60s easy listening in general…

08. How do you spread the word about what you do and who you are, as an Artist?

Usually I do this through facebook and my own website. But I also like to know new people and meeting friends and  keeping them updated about what I do.

09. Have you collaborated on other Art based projects, if so who with and what was the outcome?

I tried  to join other project with other people, but I think that like mindness should be an important factor to make people work well together.          

10. Who else do you rate from the world of Art, Design and Illustration both past present and future?

I’d say US illustrators Peter Max and Bob Peak and Spanish Luis Roca and Esteban Maroto, Italian designers Joe Colombo and Anna Castelli Ferrieri for the past times, for now and the future there’s a great choice of very good artists, I can only remember a few names, but I like their artwork: Steven Millington, Marty Street and Kristian Hughes from UK, Alex Barbarroja and Marcos Torres from Spain, Sam Paglia from Italy and a few others from both sides of the sea.

11. Does your work ever get you into trouble at all?

Well, it happened sometimes. For example, I had a MySpace profile blocked four years ago, because of the naked women I showed in my illustrations. They didn’t like my illustrations, so I didn’t like being on MySpace. As a result of them blocking my art, I’m not using MySpace since then.

12. What are your future plans?

It just depends on what the future will bring me. You know, if I have the chance of doing something interesting, I’ll just do it.

Links:

Website: www.maxgalli.net
Website (commissions): www.maxgalli.webs.com
Max Galli on Facebook

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Art Culture Design DozenQ Front page Interviews Tags:, , ,
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