Artist Interview: Skinner

April 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Skinner’s insanely detailed paintings are grotesque works of art I enjoy staring at! He’s been in dozens of shows and has a lot more planned for the coming months. So, you just know he’s been keeping extremely busy. Nevertheless he took time to answer some questions!

Tell me a little bit about yourself!

I am a vegan metal guy who likes strange and bizarre things… I like animals.. I hate authority and douche bag cops … I like taking mushrooms and climbing mountains. I love emotional moments when you see who Someone really is… I like stop motion animation and strong coffee and I fucking love the Melvins

What types of things were you into as a kid?

As a kid I was into anything fantastical and strange…scary stories, comic books, fantasy films, Dinosaurs, Sharks, The incredible Hulk…I really, really was focused on Sharks, dinosaurs, and the Hulk…then i saw Ultra man on TV one day and freaked out! it was the first time at 5 years old that i learned what time a tv show was on and coordinated my life to see it…then Godzilla of course…

Did you go to art school? If so, what was the experience like?

Did not go to art school..did, however get a job as an arts advocate at an art program for people with developmental disabilities for ten years…it was the single most magical, humanizing, and emotional experience i have had with people.

How would you describe your style of work?

I guess its…psychedelic nightmare, fantasy art with social commentary…it is an extension of the spirit I had as a kid…that same kind of energy of not knowing what was going to happen but what could happen and the discovery along the way!

What’s your creative process like?

I figure out how much time I have to do something…then adapt…right now I am getting ready for a giant solo show so I have decided to do one epic fantasy piece a week for six months…and revolve my life around that…i am doing small and large pieces so i guess My creative process is to do a little research…crack open the old books and smoke some weed…jam a little bit if i can’t find out where the idea is going…open my mind and let the ideas happen…cant force em…let em come…then i start painting the background…

How long does a typical piece take to complete?

If i had more time i would take as long as it would need..weeks, months…that is a luxury though…I usually bite off a little more than i can chew as far as scheduling goes..just to see if i can do it…or fail in a burning fire…its more fun if an epic fail is around the corner…but the pieces I’m working on now are a week a piece…sometimes i get a smaller one done in 4 days of focus…then i get a little head start on the big ones…soon the 5 foot by 4 foot pieces will get their due and i will be all stressed out…

What are some of the messages you are trying to portray in your work?

That I don’t believe in the traditional idea that humans are special….some people are beautiful to me in the choices and ideals they live by…but as a whole…I think humans need to go…no more babies for a hundred years…its easy…no genocide or weird end times…lets just gracefully step aside…or not gracefully if you want to be a little bitch about it! hahahaha

At the beginning of the year you had a show in Portland titled “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama”. Tell me about it!

It is a Frank Zappa song…i did portraits of guitar players I really admired…It was dedicated to My girlfriend’s father who had just passed away…She had kept him alive with love and support far longer then the doctor’s said he would live…I came into the picture 6 years ago and got to know him and love him and his strange humor while we cared for him…He changed my life in so many ways…he struggled with his illness for years and never stopped fighting…I was with him and my girlfriend when he took his last breath..we tried so hard to get him a transplant but the complications from his other illnesses wouldn’t allow it…A month later I did the show dedicated to him…I was crying and laughing the whole time…the interns at the gallery were so understanding while I put the show up…they probably thought i was insane…but I never knew someone who made me laugh so hard and cry even harder….and those feelings were with me and still are everyday…

Favourite comic book, and why?

Right now I am into…ok never mind here it is…best comic book ever!!!!!!!! BLACK HOLE by charles burns…most haunting and beautiful examination of alienation and the transformative emotional dreamscape it is.

Top 5 artists?

Jack Kirby, Richard Corben, Matt Fox, Virgil Finley & Bernie Wrightson

Plans for the rest of 2010?

End of the month I have a rad show at Ok mountain in Austin texas…this month I have a show at the museum of graphic design in Holland outside of Amsterdam…In june I go to New York for a show at the opening of Bold Hype …In july i have a big show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome…In August a giant solo show at White Walls gallery in SF..In November i go to japan hopefully for a rad show…Then I start 2011 off with a Museum show in Los Angeles with dudes like Todd Schorr and Jeff Soto…I don’t know how they let me in there!

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