Thursday, February 19, 2009

I come to Love what i Hate.

black rider
You know them "25 Things About Me" jobs that were being filled out on Facebook (by the way, there's a Eaten By Ducks page on there & a bunch of us. Find it!) nonstop? Well, one of mine was "I come to Love what i once hated" or something along those lines. Anyhow, i've been tracking this non-drawerly drawing trend since about 2000, when i started seeing it pop up in Japanese magazines (this is when Japan was still kind of cutting the edges a bit), & even though i'm kind of sequestered out here in the boonies & in a culturally backwards little land, i've been tracking this sloppy abstract drawing stuff & seeing it rise. My first reaction to it was, "good, finally drawing is going to be okay for galleries." But the drawings were all in this naive, outsider artish, & quite often fruit of the looms style. Since then, the style has darkened & gotten bolder, with more neon & more blood & slime & guts & things. All good stuff. Looks just like these drawings me & Theo Carlson would do in art class where we'd draw for a couple minutes & then hand the paper over until the paper was totally filled with stuff. He would then take them home & look at them while on acid. The first big hitter was Neckface probably, in terms of largescale direction & popularity. I publicly didn't like Neckface but my gut loves his stuff. LOVES. Similar thing happened to me back in 1992 when i got a large package of comics & art from Mike Diana out of the blue. I loved it. But, i was also like, "man, i could never publish shit like this in my zine or do stuff like this cos it's just too far down that road." My art & zine & everything was the same weird mix of anti-social plus social that i am today, which is a weird fence to sit on, but that's the way it goes. Anyhow, having discovered Le Dernier Cri while trying to find more Gary Panter stuff a while ago, i rediscovered Mike Diana & this larger gross psychedelic art & decided that i'm going to have to start working in this style for the larger art world. Thus is born The Uzi Reptoid. Which, i'm not sure i even need to work under, because i'm there. But it's a cool name & i need to stop hitting up "SEAN" on the walls, because it's a little obvious don't you think?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

As far as 'extreme' imagery goes my own attitude is just do what comes naturally, I've tried not to draw sexual images in the past, then had someone point out that what I'd thought looked perfectly innocent actually looks very suggestive.
These days I tend to just go with it, it doesn't feel contrived or sleazy, so why repress it?
-Zeke.

SEAN ÄABERG said...

I'm a very un-natural kind of guy.

pickledpunk said...

I hear ya Sean. Great analysis! I really love alot of that raw and art brutish stuff. I sometimes refer to it as scribbly shit. I think I picked up that term from Robert Williams. I remember seeing an interview with him on a VHS I rented in 1988 or 89 called Impact Video Magazine. He was referring to Gary Panter. I'm guessing it was in the late 70's and early 80's: Williams and some of his buddies were kinda pissed that an artist with such seemingly naive drawing skills was gaining more and more popularity...

ULAND said...

I love the UZI REPTOID. I don't think you need to make to many adjustments to work in that realm. I mean, I guess I'll see what you mean down the road, but I don't think of your drawing approach as being that far removed from that world as is.

SEAN ÄABERG said...

You're right Luke. (can i call you Luke?!) It's more of a psychological thing, to help myself be more free, like what Zeke was encouraging. I need to UNENSLAVE MYSELF. Marc, yeah Robert Williams is funny about all that stuff. He's like "more crazy rendering"... but i don't think that's served lowbrow that well, especially cos alot of the best early lowbrow guys couldn't draw that good anyhow. Anyhow... it's a reactionary thing, & i like reactions... just not for no reason. GRAMMAR!

Anonymous said...

Deep breath..... here comes an heretical opinion.... gasp..... too late to back out.... I don't like Robert Williams paintings anymore!!!!....
I'm painfully aware of how important the guy is to the whole lowbrow/representational vs. abstract art movement and have massive respect for him, but....
his paintings are just too well thought out, there's no mystery to them, they're logic puzzles.
As far as the upsurge in gross-out, psyched art is concerned, I dunno, it all looks pretty homogenous to me, like anything there'll be a few diamonds amid a sea of chancers.
Neckface I couldn't care less about, do a bit of graffiti, careful to repeat the same limited range of images over and over, proceed straight to Juxtapoz, design toys, clothing etc, bam you've made it.
Step up Neckface,Kaws,Dalek etc.
Bland background noise....
perhaps I'm just bitter, shit I'd do that myself if I could, drawing comics is too much like hard work.
-Zeke.

SEAN ÄABERG said...

I've never been a fan of Robert Williams' stuff or Juxtapoz, for similar reasons, but centrally because i hate lifestyle marketing especially when it's pretty false & lame. Although i like the stuff he did for Big Daddy Roth, & there's this picture of a bog creature & his missing toe being discovered by a Boy Scout or something in the Subgenius book that i like, but anyhow. Zeke, i agree with you about the whole plotted out repetitive street art/designer toy world of branding, but on the other hand, if i like it, i like it. But, the obviousness & hype & shit is a bit painful sometimes. For sure. Comics IS hard work! I just finished a 20 pager. (out next week!). whew. I'm about to sign on to produce what could be the American version of GARO as well (more news about that in the future.)

ULAND said...

An American Garo!!? Dude, you gotta tell us more. I think all of us here want to submit to it..

I HATE r. Williams' paintings. I like some of the technical aspects, but that's it. On the other hand, I have that book of his comics and ink drawings and I like a lot of it. Some of that also suffers from the same overwrought-ness tho..
I like Neckfaces' drawings. I don't think of them as particularly special, but I think he just hit at the right time, had a catchy name and was into branding himself- which isn't that far from what graffiti writers do regardless. That's why it's not a big transition, I think, to start selling stuff with your name all over it if you're into writing your name around town already. Not interested, personally, but I don't hate it as a rule.

Also for the record, Robert Williams is a fan of Panters' and did his own version of Panter inspired "punk comics".

ULAND said...

Yeah, you can call me Luke.

Aeron said...

I like Neckface's imagery, I'll admit that for what he does there's way too much hype around it. But I'm happy for him if he's getting paid good money for drawing witches, demon babies, and monster bats. Unfortunately I think a lot of his fans aren't interested in what he does so much as they're interested in anything they're told is hip at any given second in time.

And I don't read Juxtapoz anymore but I will say High Fructose is where it's at.

Aeron said...

I just had a great idea for an art rag we could all do, stepping outside of discussing anything to do with it other than distribution... The Black Rider title made me think of it.

Ok, we get someone to ride a wild stallion in some crazy costume, cloaked, wearing a Freddy Krueger mask, something like that, and weilding a whip that snaps louder than thunder!

So, they carry shipments of the rag in some wretched looking potato sack that they swing over their shoulder when stepping off the horse to carry the shipment to whatever place would carry it, they pour the books onto the floor, next to the shelf they're supposed to go on, laugh maniacally, snap their whip and ride into the night. The echo of their evil laugh and the thunderous snapping of their whip left ringing in the ears of passers by for days!

SEAN ÄABERG said...

Aeron that is a genius idea. Where do we get a horse?

Aeron said...

I don't know, we'll probably have to steal one from a circus. Then it will already know how to do a lot of awesome tricks for added showmanship.