savas-garden asked: Watching joyfully your works once again, there is a kind of some sadness, a sort of some post-civilization thing here. Maybe I#m not the first saying this?I Like to listen to Post-Metal/Rock, maybe that's influencing me. Best regards from Germany.
Hey, thanks for your kind words about my paintings. There is definitely some sadness in my work, but I like to temper it with some humor and optimism as well. Ultimately, my work is a lot about growing up into an uncertain future, about becoming an adult in a world that wasn’t what I was expecting. There’s a lot about that which I find sad and disappointing, but contemporary life is also filled with adventure and surprise and totally hilarious shit. I try my best to capture as much of that as I can.
I am a Boston artist. I’ve often thought about leaving, since it might be a lot easier to be an artist elsewhere. But this is my home, and I like it here. I am independent, smart, creative, stubborn, and sometimes a complete dumbass, just like my city. So I stay here (despite the weather). As you probably know, today something terrible happened in my city. As of right now, I have no idea why it happened or who did it. I’m not sure what kind of idiot, madman, or group of shit stains does such a thing. But whatever their motives (which I assume we will never begin to understand), whatever they hoped to achieve, they will fail. Are we scared now? Yes. Congratulations, dickhead(s), you frightened us. But as anybody with even a passing knowledge of what transpired in the American Revolution or the 2004 Red Sox season will tell you, you will not keep Boston down. Sometimes I hate this city, but mostly I love this city. It’s finally spring in Boston and you will not stop us from living our lives.
jamesonthebike asked: I just found your work and I have to tell you "It's amazing". What first gave you the idea to take on this kind of work?
Very good question. I unfortunately don’t have a quick answer, so you’ll want to find a comfy chair and sit down for a bit. Grab a Hot Pocket or something and some juice. I’ll wait.
When I was in college (a very long time ago, Tumblr readers), I went to school kind of in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t watch much TV, I still have no idea what movies came out during that time, and the internet wasn’t nearly as cool as it is now. I basically lived in the pop culture wilderness for four years.
After I graduated, I spent some time living abroad (a semester in Italy, a few months in Australia), then came back to America to find a crappy job and a tiny apartment. I lived in the smallest one room basement in Boston, started watching an unhealthy amount of TV, rode the bus to work, went to the supermarket, and hung out watching telenovelas at the local laundromat while my underpants slowly tumble dried. In other words, I was an adult, only I sucked at it.
Which is probably a normal response to forced maturity. But I also felt very much like a stranger in my own land. I would get lost for an hour in the cookie aisle of my local supermarket because I couldn’t process that many cookie options. There’s like 30 different kinds of oreos.
Around this time I started thinking a lot about making paintings that I thought of as sort of short stories about how weird I found the contemporary world. I wanted a protagonist who would appear in each one of these stories, kind of a narrator, an anthropologist, a quiet observer. Someone who could wander through each scene watching the strangeness of everyday life.
This was right around the turn of the century, and I watched Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the first time. It struck me as so unusual that people thought we’d be flying around in space and hanging out with semi-evil sentient robots in 2001. And yet it also felt completely natural. My whole life I had grown up thinking I’d live in a future with flying cars and I’d live on the moon with my wise-cracking robot best friend. This is what the cartoons and movies and comic books of my youth taught me. And yet the future I had grown up into was weird and futuristic in totally different ways. Often, disappointing ways (looking at you, Star Wars prequels), but also strange and exciting ways. It was at that moment I realized that the protagonist of my paintings should be the astronaut from the fictional 2001, plucked from the future of science fiction in order to explore our present.
I’ve been painting the adventures of that astronaut ever since.
the-sad-astronaut asked: I've been a fan of your work for a while now, and I can honestly say I'm proud to cite you as a strong influence when friends ask about my own art, especially my more recent stuff. Is there any chance you'll ever do a gallery show in the Denver area? If so, I'll definitely be there.
Hey, thanks! Would love to do a show in the Denver area, though I’ve got nothing coming up there as of yet. Will have to take a better look at galleries in town. Glad I could also inspire your work. Keep at it! (Just don’t be better than me please).