Now, with the Joyfull Mongoloid way of my work, I do anything , no matter how, with a vague idea. The sport is to order this disorder after. Destruction in the construction. Construction in the Destruction.
a) Great start. Officially it's Adamo Macri, that's if you get a hold of my birth certificate. Although my mother and some friends call me Damo. As a child, my mom would belt that out when she was annoyed with me. DAMO !....
q) Where do you live and work?
a) Montreal, Quebec, the land of Cirque du Soleil, Leonard Cohen, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Vito Rizzuto and many others.
q) What is your creative process like?
a) It's a segmented cycle which involves writing, drawing, sculpture and photographic work. In my mind there must be this metaphysical activity which mimics procreation. Meaning the subsequent phase is derived by the previous one. I use the term vector for the beginning, it symbolizes the dry seed or the "just about nothing" stage, which is how it actually begins for me. By vector I'm referring to a number, a word or text. The last phase or end result is something tangible. My method simulates the process of food preparation. The amalgamation of different elements to arrive at a specific feeling or flavor.
q) What is your favorite medium?
a) I don't have a favorite. They're tools in a methodical process. It always begins with writing a word or phrase down based on an idea. Then I begin sketching. Passed that point I think sculptural and objects have to be created. Finally, the 3D work needs to be recorded and documented by means of a camera. The camera literally becomes a weapon, the weapon used to eliminate sculpture. Going back to your question, I use more than one medium, as many artists do. I'm most comfortable with being described as a multimedia artist, if the term artist doesn't suffice.
q) The sculptural work you create must die?
a) Figuratively speaking. Yes, it begins with a seed and it ends up getting "shot". It's full circle. My concept with the tangible object, "sculpture" is what I refer to as a 3D Event, the practice of anti-sculpture. It's about perceiving sculpture as occurrence and not static presence. Ironically it ends up being sculptural because the final is an installation piece, but the sculptural aspects are trapped within. The photographic segment places all objects in the past tense. In an instant, sculpture has vanished and a new reality is created. The same thing happened to my grandmother and now we have to resort to our photo album to see her. For me the resonating image is of utmost importance.
q) What is your current favorite subject?
a) It's been the same for many years and probably forever. Human nature and condition, sexuality, contamination and cultural identity, minced and fused together. These are my set commandments. Currently, I've got my Antipasto project which will be ongoing due to its scope. This project's mandate involves creating a trajectory between two iconic works, Andy Warhol's Electric Chair and Da Vinci's Last Supper. Briefly, it requires celebrity participation, in which they're asked to disclose their final meal. One of the challenges is to generate an image based on what they consume and not their physical being. I'm excited about this approach to portraiture. Food as intimate subject matter. I'm overwhelmed by the response of the many artists who've contributed to date. Another project I'm developing is Silicon 1972.5 which documents the films created by both Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini between 1969 and 1976. The objective here is a meditation into the collective subconscious, by channeling the films and their associative subject matter.
Adamo Macri: Exuviae (detail)
Adamo Macri: Exuviae (detail)
q) Which artists have contributed to the Antipasto project and how many do you plan to involve?
a) I refer to each reply received as an "order". I've received orders from John Baldessari, Karim Rashid, John Gilmore, H.R. Giger, Loretta Lux, Henry Rollins, Raine Maida, Fischerspooner, Floria Sigismondi, Edward Ruscha, Barry Gifford, Franko B, Herschell Gordon Lewis, David LaChapelle and many more. As far as the amount, I'd like a figure that symbolizes 100% split into two equal halves. Meaning, two large clusters. Each one representing and functioning as a cell. That's 2 cells of 50 which totals 100.
q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a) Usually a long time. Painters have it easy that way, they need paint and a canvas, in little time they've got a finished piece. It doesn't happen that way for me. I've got project sketches from the mid eighties which would love to see the light of day. I guess funding would speed-up the cause. Actually I take back what I said - countless paintings took many years to complete.
q) What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
a) I'm not one who lives in the past. I can't and don't think that way. Everything I've done in my life has value, even the bad stuff. My answer is, what I'm working on at the moment. That excites me the most, you know... the next thing.
q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a) Many - they're all great in my book, alive, buried or buried alive. It's a natural attraction, a kinship I suppose. Recently I was fascinated by Vanessa Beecroft's
q) Can we buy your art anywhere?
a) No, but you can contact my studio for information.
q) Anything that people should know about that we don’t?
a) Yes... lots, maybe too much. But I always say, don't spill your beans at once. Expose one at a time and make each as enticing as possible. Alright, I'll go out on a limb and say... I do love just about everything in nature except three things, which coincidentally rhyme - cats, bats and rats.
Adamo Macri: Still Life
q) What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
a) That would be: Determine what you're about. Find the best medium and technique to communicate what that is. Remain focussed, honest and stick to your guns. This may sound typical but it's the only way.
q) What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
a) Getting frustrated with what you're involved with, only means that you've been doing something wrong. Either working long hours or the project wasn't managed properly. But figuring out what doesn't work is part of the process. It should be addressed, then rectified or deleted. At times I struggle to find the missing link. It's frustrating, you're caught up in the moment, things aren't fitting properly. I believe it's time for a break. Leaving that environment works. Reinitialize... things will follow better later.
q) How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?
a) I don't or as little as possible. I'd say that it's abstract. I'll talk about general subject matter and advise them to investigate other works which would help with what they're inquiring about. An artist shouldn't dictate his work. It's damaging to those who have a completely different perception. That goes against everything I'm about, which is variables, individualism and ambiguity. The title of the piece isn't ancillary, it's the best indicator of which direction to go. I believe that the art ornaments the title and not the other way around. There are many variables which would work as imagery but only one title.
q) What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
a) Life experience mainly, tagged with my education in fine art, history and graphic design. You can have all the training you want from whichever reputable institution, but art comes from somewhere incomprehensible, from a very early stage in life.
q) Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
a) Yes, styrofoam. It's solid yet weightless, it's dry but can become organic, seems innocent but it's toxic, can be beautiful but escentially fake, is somewhat dumb and yet I can go on forever about it. Actually I'm very close to completing a new project called Endocrine Disruptor, where styrofoam takes the lead role.
Adamo Macri: Exuviae (detail)
q) Who are your influences?
a) Other than family, friends and environment, a handful of artists have inevitably inspired me. The prominent ones would be
q) What inspires you to create?
a) Everything and nothing. It just happens. I don't have a handle on it. It's taxing at times, many artists feel this way, it's very close to being possessed. I've always joked about reincarnation and that if it exists, I'd want to come back as a "normal boy" and have the need to play golf.
q) Your contacts
a) Adamo Macri Studio: 514-937-9786 or email@example.com. I'd like to end with this. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed." Albert Einstein.
....wow....my collaboration with Stampa Alternativa continues...I've created for them 5 wonderful(...&yes...they're really wonderful...!!!!)&big panels(inspired by 5 their books)...They've been shown in
a) Amy Huddleston
q)How did you get started making art?
q)How would you describe your art?
a)I generally try not too.
q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?
a)From strong emotions; sadness, fears, sometimes mixed up with humor, sometimes not.
q)What other artists inspire you?
q)Where can someone purchase your works?
a)From a few galleries in
q)What is your main medium of choice?
a)Acrylic. I love to work fast and often use lots of layers, oil is just too slow.
q)What are you working on now?
a)I just bought a used kiln and I am reading about clay and kilns. I did a lot of handbuilt figures 20 years ago, before I became a painter, and want to try it out again. I never fired the kiln myself (grad students did most of that), so that will be a real challenge.
q)What advice could you give to someone who wants to
be an artist?
a)Follow your gut. Enjoy it. Be yourself
q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?
a) The same things most people do. enjoy my family, work at a job, read books, see movies, take walks and so on.
q) What does music, in its entirety, mean to you?
a) It enhances life
q) What does art, in its entirety, mean to you?
q) Are there some web sites that You would like to recomend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?
a) flickr, I just love that place, so many fantastic people there doing there thing, living thier lives, it's inspiring.
q) Something on you ….
a)I live in
q) When did you start to make art?
a)I’ve been ‘making art’ all my life – I used to make and paint papier maché landscapes for the toy soldiers I collected and painted, mostly Franco-Prussian wars and such, I was eight or ten, something like that. I think I enjoyed the depiction of war rather than the presentation of a pretty scene.
q) Explain your inspiration?
a)What is inspiration? Death, and its imminent arrival. Actually, I’ve nearly died a couple of times and I have had experience of death (watched someone die while I held their hand). In fact most of what I do is motivated by man’s mortality, or love – yeah love, that’s the inspiration. Or lust. Or science – I became obsessed that physics worked BACKWARDS – light travels towards the source of e.m. radiation in the form of the whole universe loss-adjusting to settle a debt. I created a spinning hypothetical particle called The Hertzan Chimera Unit. But then got bored with arguing the toss on New Theories forums and used the name instead to write fourteen years of extreme/surrealistic mindfuck fiction – books include Szmonhfu, BoyFistGirlSuck, Animal Instincts and others...
q) In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?
a)Through the medium of pain. I wrote a book called RED HEDZ... let me start again, I never wanted to be a figurative artist. Too anal, too technical, all those layers and priming and treatment, all the technique a figurative artist has to be concerned about. I like to use the human form to express emotion, if I can. I’m not too fussed about the minutiae of the topological depiction just that it supports some form of pain, or pleasure. I wrote my first novel RED HEDZ based on a painting I did of the same name because I wanted to get my art onto the covers of books.
q) Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?
a)Film – I think my paintings would make a good (if weird) film. I did do some photomontage, in a clean surrealistic style – my favourites being the Eve’s Apples pieces, a series of cut-ups of Eve seducig Adam with fruit other than apples. Other than that, I have to tell you a secret. I’m a destroyer of my own paintings. All the paintings you see featured here in this interview I took an axe to one Summer afternoon in 1995. Haven’t painted since. Why? It’s the burden. No-one wants to live with the crazy shit one creates. Either sell it or slaughter it, that’s my mantra.
q) What does being an artist mean to you?
a)Being an artist means using what ever medium you’re comfortable in to express your view of the disturbing and arbitrary modern world. It’s about expressive liberation and non-censorship. Being an artist, for me, means making people think. Hearing their stories about what MY ART means. I love it to hear these stories, it’s like the viewer adds something of themselves in the telling of the tale. There is no right or wrong in art, just total submersion in the visual.
q) When does your art become successful?
a)Define successful ... I used art like politicians working away from home use whores. It got the job done, it externalised the pain, scratched the itch – and for that I thank it. But you mean when does the world recognise my endeavour for the brilliance it conveys? Gah, I don’t know if an artist should really give a fuck about whether his art is appreciated, now or in the future. It’s all a random throw of the dice game, the future: there’s no way one can even approach it logically, so why worry? If your art sells, fine. If it doesn’t. Shrug.
q) Who prices your work? And how is the price decided upon?
a)I refer the interviewer to the question of THE SLAUGHTERED PAINTINGS – they get harder and harder to sell with each passing year since 1995. Would I repaint them from the photo reference I took prior to their execution in 1995 if the market suddenly resurrected for that sort of art? Who knows, I’ve not had to formally address that question.
q) What is your next; move,project,show etc?
a)Books, I’ve been painting a picture with every thousand words I’ve written since I started typing into a keyboard back in the early 90’s. My writing and my art have always been interlinked, they are after all the same thing seen through a variety of filters. My writing is always controversial, not for shock’s sake but because I refuse to self-censor. Where other publishers (groups of horror writers) have shied away from my material because of its true horror content, Silverthought Press of New York embraced it, offering me a two book deal for 2008 – “Bukkakeworld” is a novel about the corporate suck-ass but this could also be applied to the genre suck-ass – “Planet of the Owls” is about the end of the world. Aren’t all books really about the end of the world? In this case, the angels are leaving planet Earth and they have to decide whether to take us with them or not. And you know what? They’re both scary as fuck.
q) What are the pros and cons of the art market?
q) Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?
q) Who has been the biggest influence on you?
a)The funny little art games my mum and I played as a kid – they showed me how to extrapolate a line into something tangible.
q) Other visual artists that you like…
a)Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Balthus, HR Giger, Daniel Ouellette and the guy who wrote THE BOOK OF SICK.
q)How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?
q)How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?
a)How much do you think hype affects which trainers the public choose to buy? There’s a great quote from dead comedian Bill Hicks, he goes, “Is there anybody here tonight in advertising or marketing? <beat> Kill yourself.” No joke. Nobody knows what good art is. What is art? Nothing more than a con-game, a mug’s game, a deception. When there’s no wars to win, when there’s no need to kill some animal to eat, when there’s nothing to do – art will always be there, like a comfort blanket for the middle classes.
q) Last CD you downloaded ?
q) What makes you happy?
q) What makes you sad?
q) Last book you read?
a)Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin (authorised biography of a great Japanese writer)
q) What else do like other than art?
a)I like foreign or alternative cinema and have had several DVD reviews of hard-to-find titles published here and there. I’m an eclectic magpie when it comes to inspiration, I don’t tend to be inspired by the media I’m creating in. If I’m painting, I’d never be inspired by other artists. If I’m writing I’d never be inspired by other writers. What’s the point? Doing that brings one only to the Law of Diminishing Returns – like dog breeding where peculiarities in the breed are exaggerated by subsequent iteration so that eventually everything parodies everything and (like in Hollywood today) vanilla is the only flavour of creative entertainment. All colour and personality is lost. Dull and grey produce is extrusion moulded into our psyches until we’re unconscious with boredom.
q) Final thoughts...
a)You can do it – don’t comply to the arbitrary ruleset – live your dream!