You are currently working with Green Peace Africa on a project. Can you share anything about that collaboration and how it came to be?
I began exploring using plastic pollution to create ‘eco-art’ earlier this year. Performance art has often been used throughout history as an artistic medium that aims to challenge/question a society or provide commentary and so it made complete sense to use my own performance art to raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis. In fact I had just presented a seminar at Nelson Mandela University on “Performance art against plastic pollution” when Green Peace Africa contacted me, asking if they could share my work and through further conversations with representatives of Green Peace Africa the collaborative project was born. I’ve been working on a body of new, unseen artworks to be released soon on both Green Peace’s platforms and my own. This project has been my most exciting to date and it feels amazing to be able to marry my love of art and the Earth in my work.
I’ve seen you mention that you would like to keep pushing yourself with your artwork in the future. What does that mean to you? Bigger pieces, bigger collabs, uncomfortable themes, different mediums, more performances, etc.?
All of the above. One of the reasons I am so drawn to performance art is that it is, and always has been, an experimental/free art form. I use performance art because of how undefined the field is, there is so much more for me to explore and so much more that I intend to do. But I have few definite long-term visions for my work. I want the freedom to be able to follow the path as it reveals itself to me and travel through the doors as they open, rather than have my heart set on a particular door that may never open.
I’m a big fan of the YouTube series Transformations with James St. James. Would you ever want to do something like that or a live transformation and what would you do?
Definitely. In fact many of my live performances involve painting myself ‘live’ as part of the ‘performance’. I love the transformative process and being able to show the transformative side of my art to an audience is absolutely one of the most exhilarating parts of what I do. There is so much symbolism and depth that can be found within the process of transformation.
When do you feel most confident? Most vulnerable?
I feel my most confident and my most vulnerable when I am performing as my artworks. It’s incredibly vulnerable and exposing to stand in front of an audience, presenting yourself as something to be stared at and analysed. I don’t think I will ever be completely comfortable in that space, at least I hope not. I think there is a certain strength to be found in publicly displaying your own vulnerability like that. In another sense I am most confident when I am performing as my art. It is what I am most well-versed in and most proud of. It really is quite a strange double-edged sword of sorts…
What else do you have going on in 2019/2020 and how can everyone support your art?
I am releasing my collaboration with Green Peace on August the 28th 2019 to September 7th on the @greenpeaceafrica Instagram page, be sure to check that out. I have something in the works to be released later in the year too but I until the release dates are finalised be sure to keep an eye on my pages for more updates!
How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?
Floppy! My current work is experimental in the sense that for me, the learning process has been just as valuable as the final output. I’ve been pushing myself to learn new software (mainly Houdini), which has been extremely challenging. So a lot of the stuff you’ll see on my Instagram is mostly the result of me experimenting with different processes within the software, which usually turns into bloated characters dancing awkwardly in city streets. At the end of the day, if people check out my IG and have a good chuckle, I’d consider that mission accomplished.
I used to draw a ton when I was younger. Mostly images of deformed creepoids, which I guess is where a lot of my 3D work comes from. I really miss it but to be honest, I just don’t have the time to do both (illustration & animation).
If you weren’t an artist, what job do you think you would have?
Professional pinball player. I go to a pinball bar here in Toronto at least once a week and have a machine of my own (Jurassic Park). I find it very relaxing (when I’m not stressing about ball drains). I could play pinball for hours. I’m not that great at it, but I could still play if for hours.
Who/What inspires your work currently?
My favourite artist of the last couple of years has to be Sarah Sitkin. Her sculptures are so incredibly raw and full of flesh. On the 3D animation end of things, I find joy in the work of Erik Ferguson, Redhoot and Smearballs, to name a few. But I’m actually most interested in Illustration. I found a guy named Whoisnemos on Instagram recently and I can’t get enough. There’s just something so sad and beautiful about his characters that I love.
Some honourable mentions would be Nychos, Killian Eng, & Nicolas Rossius.
What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Reddit/TV/Movies...?
In all honesty, I only use YT to stream music mixes while I’m working. I’m really into synth wave right now because it’s oddly nostalgic and also keeps me awake when I’m working late. And I have no clue how Reddit (or Twitter) work, so I stay away. If I’m looking for inspiration it will usually come from Instagram or my Vimeo feed. I follow a bunch of motion graphic channels and am constantly blown away by the amazing work that comes out every day.
As for films, I’m a kid of the 80-90’s so I have a soft spot for old horror movies as well as Tim Burton stuff (Beetlejuice, Batman + Batman Returns). I also just really like trash movies like Bodymelt, Society, Street Trash, Re-Animator… basically anything that involves skin melting or bodies being mutilated in a goofy way. It’s funny, as someone who works primarily in animation and VFX, I’m such a sucker for practical effects.
What do you have going on in 2019?
My wife and I just had a baby girl on March 10, so I’m dadding out pretty hard right now. It’s the biggest project of my life thus far and I’m learning new things every day. So that’s a pretty big 2019 thing.
On the animation front, I have some ideas for a series of shorts for Instagram that I’m working on. I’ve also been approached to work on some music videos so we’ll see what sticks. I really want to spend this year working on personal projects and just learning a bunch of new software. So much to do, so little time….
Music Credits: Denzel Curry, BadBadNotGood, Run The Jewels