GOLDEN BOY PRESS Interview #93
"I started drawing before I can form the memories for it.
I began to define myself by it from a very young age, becoming engaged with and fascinated by the notion of storytelling and the visceral sort of imagery that imagining brought. I learnt to extend that through paint.”
Could you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is a - but I go by the name menteurmenteur on all of my platforms. I’m a young, fine artist based in Melbourne, Australia.
Why art, what started it all?
I’ve been drawing since before I can remember. As a child I was an avid reader and began to use art to make all of the fantasies and stories I visualized tangible. My sister and I used to play a lot of games making up stories and it led to illustrating those and then moving into drawing.
About 7 years ago I started teaching myself how to use oil paints, and fell in love with the medium.
Who’s one artist you’ve always admired?
The artist who really started the genesis of my passion for art was probably Audrey Kawasaki. She used to have a livejournal and frequently blogged and showed light on other artists doing really conceptual work within the lowbrow art scene. I can attribute almost every single artist I’ve found since her, to her.
Your current work uses a lot of muted colors, how do you think that affects the mood of the viewer?
I think it’s open to interpretation. Muted colours are a very effeminate sort of aesthetic choice, but for me it works well with the muted feeling of remembering visceral emotions and acts from memories, which is what my work dwells upon. It also references the sort of “sweetness” of remembering or nostalgia, especially when some of my subject matter is a little darker.
If you had to choose an artistic movement that is the closest influence on your work, what would it be and why?
Probably surrealist artists, or the general lowbrow art movement, as my work carries very transient, drug-esque surreal aspects to the visuals.
Does your poetry inspire your art, and vice versa?
My poetry directly correlates with the current body of work that I am creating, which is called “the life expectancy”. The numbers on the work reference the names of poems that they correlate to, which are the dates that the poem was written on.
When do you typically have sparks of inspiration?
I’m lucky in the way that I work that I can not have inspiration and work in a methodic way, because I always have a stimulus in the written word (I have close to four years worth of work which I can go back and reference). As for the inspiration for the poems - they’re typically written very late at night after contemplation about a recent event or person. Some of them are more retrospective than dealing with recent events, but most of them aren’t.
Do you tend to multi-task when you work on your art, or complete focus? What’s your process?
I actually watch a lot of film when I work… often a lot of the reference photos that I use are from films or things like that - I’m often struck by the lighting or the way someone carries off a phrase in a film. I generally find I need some background noise to work, but I think that just comes from living in a busy home and not being so comfortable with silence.
My work can be incredibly repetitive because it’s so detailed, so I vary between multi-tasking and complete focus so I don’t go completely mad, but can still create high-quality work. I’ll often be working on at least 4-8 paintings at one given time, just so I can work between the different energies of each piece. If I were to focus on one, because I deal with such a personal subject matter, I would probably fixate on the event more than is healthy.
Are there any quotes you live by?
“Those who do creative work get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good…. it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. This is normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work… It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions… You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” - Ira Glass
What makes you happy?
Painting, friends, making memories (and I guess in that way stimulus for works), and learning new things (which is why I’m beginning to blend my work within the skate scene) - being completely uncomfortable in your pursuits brings the most intense highs. I’m still very young, so I’m completely amused by the cheap thrills of my youth.
Interview by POI