INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST FLAN FOR POSTCARD PROJECT
Our Kickstarter campaign and the associated Postcard Project have raised almost $2,000 in the first few days, but we need a lot more to get our first 2013 show open to the public. Artists from all over the world have been donating their work and their time to be interviewed on our blog. Each one is donating 10 original works of art that they are giving away for just $15 a piece at our campaign here. Today I sat down with Los Angeles artist Jaime Muñoz aka FLAN to discuss his religious, neo-pop artwork:
The reason I choose to reference popular media within a religious context is because I feel that the capitalism and propaganda that is often displayed with popular icons such as Mickey Mouse or the Bimbo bread bear parallels similar qualities within religion. For example, when I interpret an Icon such as Mickey that is being marketed to sell products, I see it similar to organized religions that uses God(s) or saints to sell a belief. Only capitalism is the religion and these popular icons that they manipulate are the saints. This analogy with capitalism and religion also goes the same way for religion. In my opinion I feel that some religious establishments operate similar to a capitalist entities, where I wonder were the faith begins and the corporate interest ends. For example, once I tried going to church and it was the most un-riligiously/spiritual experience that I ever experienced. This place was like a MEGA CHURCH that had a stage and sound system worthy of a Metallica concert! And this so called house of christ also had ATM machines that welcomed you as you entered the “temple.” Now I know the church should move along with the times and technology, but something about that experience struck an unpleasant chord with me. Like Im just waiting for the day the church begins to offer online confessions or Jesus Christ ATM statues.
Like many of the artists we have worked with, you seem to be drawn to a few specific objects or shapes in some of your paintings. Are there any images that stand out as important and repetitive in your work? Why is that?
Yes, I’m always looking for opportunities to make references to things that interest me or that are important to the concept of the painting. For example, the patterning that I use in my work all come from American hobo pictographs, which was a secret written code that the Hobos used during and after the Great Depression to communicate with each other. These symbols would for the most part consist of lines and dots arranged in different ways that mean different things. I also incorporate patterns and symbols from tattoo culture and apparently surf and skate culture with the Stüssy ‘S,’ I don’t know the correct origins of the symbol except that everyone back in the day including myself would draw it. I grew up thinking that the Stüssy ‘S’ symbol meant Southern California.
Again, I’m always looking to make references were they fit, especially if its a reference to art history. The first painting that I applied that method to was the “Father Giotto” painting that I did of a pocket monster. I was attempting to reference Filippo Brunelleschi who was an architect and engineer during the Italian Renaissance. He was also the father of linear perspective and I was attempting to reference him in the “Father Giotto” painting were I was toying with perspective by putting the eyes of the figure on a completely different layer inside of the panel. Although, the eyes was a success on the painting in terms that they functioned the way I wanted them to, the only Irony is that I titled the painting after the wrong person. It was late at night when I finished the painting in order to meet the deadline for drop off the next day, and you know when your at that point of being incredibly tired but at the same time wired from caffeine I sent the info of the work along with the title of the work to the curator of the upcoming show incorrectly and did not realize until I seen the title in print inside the exhibition catalog. I felt like an idiot. However, I always enjoy a good story and decided to leave it as it was and not make the correction. Especially considering that I was also already in the process of updating my website and did not want to go through the extra work to change the title. All I know is that is was a good learning experience and that I will avoid to ever make that mistake again.
hmmm this is a good one. well I feel that I began my art career as a child and with that being said…cartoons, coloring books, and video games. However, other stages of my development as an artist that I feel influenced me as well would have to be credited to my mother and uncle George’s drawing’s from high school that I got a hold of very early on as a child. And as an adult of course all of the greats such as Homonymous Bosch, Albrecht Durer, John Heartfield,(p.s. thank you erick for showing me his work), Duchamp, Ub Iwerks, and all the other amazing artist that have influenced me.
You can find more of FLAN’s work at his website, and buy one of ten original pieces he graciously made for us for $15 here.