Sunday, 17 December 2006

Interview with Jason D'Aquino

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age, some background info, etc?

A)Jason D'Aquino -descended from San Thomaso D'Aquino or Thomas Aquinas, -not Iva Toguri D'Aquino-the Tokyo Rose. I am a fine artist who works primarily in graphite on found surfaces. My work is extremely labor intensive and densely detailed. I am also the owner of Blue Moon Tattoo studio in upstate NY-so when I am not working on paper, I'm working on flesh.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)The age old most professional artists, I have always had an intense interest in the arts. I guess what sparked it was my Mother's work.She is an artist, and I sort of inherited it.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)I am a miniaturist who works in graphite on found surfaces.I use a lot of fairy tale imagery and most of my drawings have multiple layers of meaning.Some have compared my drawings to bizarre childrens' book illustrations.

Q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

A)I spend a whole lot of time seeking out the materials before beginning a particular piece. My studio is what most would consider a disastrous mess, but it's got it's own system(at least that's what I tell people)I have piles and boxes and shelves filled with parchments, ledgers,maps,matchbooks,manuscripts,notebooks, letters-just about anything I could possibly use as a drawing surface.It is these surfaces which usually dictate the images I will create upon them. Some of them have come from some pretty outrageous locations-I recently exibited a drawing which was accomplished on an original piece of gestapo letterhead , and one on a surface retrieved from a(documented) haunted house.

Q) What are you working on now?

A) I am currently wrapping up a piece about Freemasonry-using the three little pigs

Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A)I have worked in many mediums, but the one I am most proficient in is Bullshit. That is actually not true.Graphite is my chosen medium-I have a very minimalist approach to my art and artistry.Basically, I strive to be able to -regardless of where I am(a foreign country whatever)-pick up a scrap of worn paper,be it a paper bag, or a cigarette pack, and with only a pencil-be able to create a work of art .

Q) Do you collect anything?

A)Very many things. I collect blank books for example. Mostly pre 1900 -when books were works of art themselves. I collect strange antiques, paper, artifacts...

Q) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?

A)I hate computers. I've seen several of the jobs I have held -wiped out by computers and computer programs. I am very old school in this aspect...just me and a pencil and my brain .

Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?

A)Best place would be in a gallery where the gallery-owner or curator likes your work(not just the money it will make) -and I think it is very important that the gallery owner treats the artist fairly and without tension or pretense.In the worst situations I have experienced, problems arise from a power struggle between the artist and the gallery -you just have to trust your gut feeling...if someone really rubs you the wrong way-just walk

Q) What are your artistic influences?

A)My mom-foremost...later Maurice Sendak, Wayne Anderson, Grosz, Bellmer,D'Arger,Steadman,Gein(he did some interesting assemblage sculpture-mostly found object..and some great couture clothing)

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)Usually recieved well by those who like it and not so well by those who dont.

Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?

A)Sleeping .

Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?

A)Finding the proper niche.The playing field is really changing in interesting ways. the internet has changed the gallery-artist relationship, and brought everyone closer

Q) What is freedom to you as an artist

A)Uninterrupted uninhibited studio time.

Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A)I just sold a piece to Chi Cheng of the Deftones and I think it was the most successful large work I have created to date The title is "Fable" and you can see it on my site

Q) What it the coolest thing you have seen recently while wandering the streets?

A) Up here in Western NY , we had a huge snowstorm in October (2 months ago) and all the leaves were still on the trees. Imagine every tree on your block bending under the weight of 2 feet of snow in one afternoon, and snapping and crashing through windows and windsheilds, tearing out power lines and killing people, blocking roadways and causing havoc.

Q) Do you carry a notebook? Do you draw in public?

A)Yes and Yes .

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?

A)Robert Craig, Amanda Wachob, Chris Mars-for galleries...RoqLaRue in Seattle, LaLuzDeJesus in L.A. Lineage in PA, FUSE in NYC

Q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?

A)Every single piece

Q)Your contacts….E-mail…links

A) is my site -it was just totally redone so check it out!
Best to all, and Happy Holidays!!!


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