Two artists who I think are really hooked into the times are Jeff Koon’s and his painting work as well as Mark Drew and his Peanuts comic hip hop work. There is always a drive to appropriate other people’s work and create something new which is the foundation of sampling culture. I would tend to only appropriate other people’s work if I thought it would inspire a new artwork that had a theme I was interested in. I feel a lot of my own sampling over the years has changed a lot, it was once purely pop-inspired, so comics and street event publications or streetwear advertising. This work was more in the nineties whereas now I will use vintage comics if I am collaborating with Zap or marketing type photography from musicians to fashion. Over the past twenty years I have done a bit of sampling from Google images and social media, at first it was microscopic references of bacteria and blood cells and then more recently some famous American rappers or images that were blurred or whatever caught my eye. The main goal though was to bring it into my own visual world which is somewhat still influenced by Afro-Futurist aerosol art and the coded world of progressive graffiti styles. My own work since the nineties has teetered on anti-style but in a way that was faithful to rendering the human face and a world set on becoming a portal to a dimension where art seems hidden away yet ready to spill into reality.
Something that I am trying to do is be more mindful of what I am doing with my own art practice. Think somewhat about what makes me tick, also people will not come into your visual world unless you give them some cues, some vantage points to be able to see what you are attempting to do at any rate. It is funny what makes people tick, I was lucky enough to meet the Melbourne street artist Drez and I asked him about his beginnings in graffiti. He also went to art school and said in passing that when he was a second-year art student he was always trying to come up with some kind of new never thought art ideas and I felt that really showed me how far he had come. He came up with the simplest structure for his work but it is so large that the effort alone makes the work something along the lines of reality-bending. A lot of his work can only be photographed with drones and the sheer effort he puts in with twelve-hour days and a week or more of solid work transforms space. That really is it though, you don’t always have to make large work but you need to open that portal and I think the Berlin graffiti Master ‘Nick’ does that on a smaller scale and his work looks like a lot of skill as opposed to the effort though that is pretty telling as well. He doesn’t make it look easy, you have the crafted aspect filling in the blanks.
I suppose as an artist you have to be critical, you need to be motivated, I think I have a little bit of that ‘Scratch my Nose’ media artist in my video and sound work, yet there is a love of visual art that I feel is always unachievable yet right under my nose the whole time. I still like doing what I do yet I need to get to know where I sit in the world of visual art, especially that tragic mess we call our own. Yet I love to try my hand at this difficult field of art called aerosol art that is fairly predictable mostly and out of the conservative eye.