Thursday, June 11, 2009
Interview with DILLON by Bobby Humes
Bobby: I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Dillon last fall while working with an associate promoting an art contest. I saw this American dude talking to one of the artists and I walked over so that I could hear the conversation. I could tell this guy knew his art. "What up? I'm Bobby, I represent the artist and their work. Interested in art?", I asked ignorantly...
Months later, I was in Dillon's home studio. The guy is raw--everything he does is done exceptionally well with fluid-like effortlessness. Right off the bat we had a lot in common - both married to servicewomen, both expectant fathers, both passionate about our craft. Dillon is a mogul on the rise; his work speaks for itself, the demand and influence of his pop-iconic renderings are world renown. From Italy to his hometown of Las Vegas, Navada his international flavor is unlike anything you've ever seen. Down to earth - goal focused - Dillon is making waves in the art scene, and in between works he gave us time for an interview. Shout out to my boy Dillon: "The Subject of Universal Conversation."
Bobby: Finish this statement: "Art is.....
DILLON: Art is many things. Read on if you dare… Art is a shitty gate that leads to a frozen lake. Art is the light reflecting off a bald man’s head near a lemonade stand. Art is comparing chest hair after breakfast. Art is placing one of your rather large terds into the cat box and telling your girlfriend “Babe, I think the cat is sick”. (I’ve done this one)
On a serious note... Art is truly about the individual’s perception on experiences in life. It's basically the process of squeezing your brain like a sponge, letting the juices land all over the canvas for someone else to soak up… with their brain.
Bobby: What is "pop" art?
DILLON: Ok, everything I said about art earlier - place it all in a bucket and let it sit and ferment like wine. Now scrape the thick gunk off the top with a sharp object. You now have Pop Art. Pop Art is the crème of the crop, the sweet and sometimes sour stuff. It is put on a wall in front of your face and it demands recognition. It can be loud, persuasive, and sometimes repugnant but it is always entertaining. If Pop Art was one word I think it would be banana. Don’t ask me why.
Bobby: When you sit down to start a new work--what goes through your head?
DILLON: Before it ever gets to my head it cultivates from my heart. I promise I am not trying to be a sap. This goes with what I claim art to be (for me at least). The heart chooses the subject, the head then interprets the language and the hands deliver the message.
As far as an exact thought running through my mind just before a new work… I am usually thinking about how it will look when it is finished. How people will react to it. Sometimes I just daydream about how many ways to execute style or even what color would look best. And if I drank a Red Bull or a Cappuccino before hand… you better just stay out of the studio.
BOBBY: Who are your inspirations?
DILLON: I have many. I can probably name one for every letter in the alphabet. I believe the more inspirational beings you acquire the more receptive you are to obtaining knowledge. To name some randomly… Henry Ford for the quote, “If you think you can or you can’t, either way you are right”. Walt Disney for that “two-buttoned” mouse. – Joseph Merrick (Elephant Man) for the humility, rejection and isolation he endured within his lifetime. – Kurt Cobain for teaching me to play the guitar (not literally). – Martin Luther King Jr. for his unbiased speeches during an absolute biased world. – Enzo Ferrari for producing that bad-ass, little red car. – Charles Darwin for standing up for what he believes in. – Galileo for challenging the Church and the mental state of the 15th Century that the world revolved around the Sun. – And Jim Henson for the Muppet Babies. The list goes on but I’ll stop there. These people, among many others, inspire me to create.
Bobby: You've been winning art contest since you where a young boy, how did you get started?
DILLON: It all started with the push of a pencil. Most kids were playing four square or reading some weird ass book. I was lost in my doodles and sketches of random subjects (mostly comics). Sometimes I would draw the teacher making out with a student. I actually got caught drawing a “little guy” hanging from a clothes line (between two buildings) going to the “bathroom” on someone below. - That one was sent back home to my Dad with a “bad behavior” remark. I don’t remember him doing anything about it so it must have not been too bad. As I got older I stayed immature but I stopped drawing naked dudes.
Bobby: What is your favorite piece?
DILLON: Did I mention most artists are narcissistic? My favorite personal piece isn’t here yet. It’s on the way. It is a vinyl toy figure of thyself. (I know, how disgustingly beautiful right?) Anyway, it will have a respirator mask similar to the one I use when I paint. There will be about 4-5 variations at a quantity of about 250 each. There will also be a DIY (do-it-yourself) version that collectors will be able to custom paint. You can view the prototype here… http://www.flickr.com/photos/hollyworx/3529664384/
Bobby: You've taken northern Italy by storm, been featured in TIME Magazine, and are receiving request from Galleries in the states to showcase your work--what's your next goal?
DILLON: How about the world’s largest self portrait by one sole artist? My goal is to have it completed by the end of the summer. It should be about 6,000 square feet and consist of many faces (I’m not completely vain on this one).
Bobby: The current economic crises are causing city and state governments to cut funding for art programs-what's your take on the subject?
DILLON: I have absolutely no knowledge on the subject of funding for art programs. Maybe I should know more but I have always been reluctant to ask for assistance. Probably out of fear of rejection. I am not at all saying anything negative about these fruitful programs. I am all for it. I just have never encountered the experience of help from an outside organization. I do however love giving back. I will be listing 100 Celebrity Nude Paintings. (Don’t let the title throw you off) To raise money for breast cancer I will be selling paintings of boobs. Yes, you heard me right. Each painting will be of a stellar boob named after a famous actress. They should start going up this month so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Bobby: Many of our readers love music-who do you listen to as you work?
DILLON: I listen to ALL music… and I mean no offense to anyone but you would probably never catch me listening to Country or Gospel. A song that has caught my ear recently that is now on rotation in the studio is a song called Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria.
Bobby: Final question--do you see yourself doing more commercial work, maybe designing clothes?
DILLON: I definitely see myself designing gear somewhere in the near future. Who knows maybe I’ll let my daughter take the reigns on that one. She’s only 3 months old so lets give her a couple years first.
A wink and a nod to Bobby Humes for the chance to express.