Monday, August 17, 2009

Interview With 66 Questions in 45 Minutes

…Brent Nolasco, full time artist.

Brent Nolasco
We were incredible happy when one of the most popular toy customizer of our time agreed to be the first laboratory “artist” for our special interview feature “And the rest is nonsense: 66 questions to…“.
He was all into it the moment we approached him with the idea about our little “experiment”. And we can’t thank him enough to test together with us the waters. He was kind enough to answer all our 66 questions and shares therein some little secrets with you, our beloved JAAB readers. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did! Read the interview right after the jump…
name: Brent Nolasco
family status: happily married, one son
date of birth: 04/25/1975
place of birth: Long Beach, California
educational background: Jr. College in California, Center for Creative Studies Detroit, Michigan.
residence: Pennsylvania
first show: ”Mutation” at Seams Gallery Long Beach, Californien, 2007
JAAB: Hey Brent, we will try to get to know you and your art a bit better, hope you don’t mind all the (weird) questions. If you do not like one say “next”, OK?
Brent Nolasco: Ok
1. When was the last time you talked to the ocean?
Everytime I’m in California, I always make it a point to go to the Huntington Pier. It’s my favorite place to go to clear my mind. We always end up conversing back and forth. It makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
2. Early bird or grumpy bum?
Early bird – I can’t wait to get up in the morning.
3. The Brent Nolasco-home-alone-activity?
I am usually working when I am home alone because my family is not there. It’s my catch up time. Sorry, no juicy answer!
4. What makes you angry?
The crinkling of plastic shopping bags and the squeeking of balloons.
5. Best quality you like in a person?
Honesty and realness, and I love humor.
6. Last time you had tears in your eyes?
7. Always a pleasure to look in the mirror?
Yeah, except I’m starting to get some grey hair in my stubble. Old man winter style.
8. Incredible guilty conscience or normal bad conscience?
I don’t feel guilty about things.
9. Last time you said “I love you”?
10. Gonna be questioned at heavens or hells gate?
11. Any problems to get in?
Hope not!
12. No pleasure without pain?
Without pain, there is no pleasure because nothing is handed to you.
13. There is no accounting for taste?
I like to keep things tasteful because if something is too provocative, it can overthrow the
creativeness and skill.
14. The Nolasco think tank?
It’s all in my head. I always conceptionalize it in my head, and not on paper. I think it out before I start.
15. Profession of your parents?
Mom- housewife, Dad- medical professional
16. House or apartment?
17. Planned to become an artist?
I’ve always been creative and that was the outlet.
18. What kind of brush?
No specific brand name, it’s all about what they can do for me. I like a good “liner”. I don’t buy expensive ones.
19. Based on which kind of fear/panic develops the greatest art?
I stopped creating out of fear or panic, and negative emotions. I work best when I am content. And sometimes I’m not content until I work.
20. Most of the people out there probably know you by the incredible custom vinyl toys you did
so far. Skull-faced creatures, armed with deadly teeth and boney extremities floating often in a colorful mushrooms setting. Where do you get your inspiration from?
All inspiration comes from nature. I have a great appreciation for what is all around me. I take in from everyday life and images. I mash everything together. I like to page through magazines and books. Whatever soundtrack I’m listening to sets the tone of my pieces.
21. Any favorite sculpt?
Tim Biskup x T9G Helper
22. Still taking commission jobs?
Yes, always. I like working with people on a personal basis. It’s fun to know who they are.
23. Favorite custom project you have done so far?
The Mindstyle “Stitch project” and “Mickey Halo Brand Project”
24. Anything you desperately wanted to customized but yet had not the chance to?
A 4 foot “KAWS”.
25. Your customs stand out not only by the detailed and realistic sculpting but moreover by the vivid and colorful paint application. Want to share some details on the technique?
That is a really involved question….I’m having an A.D.D. moment.
26. Your recent Edward scissorhand custom MAD*l in the “Crazy 4 Cult” show at gallery1988 (shown above) was quite different to the style you are known for so far. What happened?
I wanted to get back to what I use to do. I use to do realistic paintings when I was younger.
27. Any plans to pursue this direction?
Yes, I plan on adding that to my current style, just as another option, but not replacing.
28. In your recent show “From mind to matter” with NEMO at ToyQube gallery you not only showed splendid customs but a series of paintings, too. Can you shed some light on the background of the characters you portrayed in these?
The characters a metamorphoses of what is in my head. They came straight from my mind, like instinct, and not preplanning.
29. Is there any background story or general theme to it?
Not really, they are like character studies. I just go with the flow.
30. Compared to your last year solo show at MPH the direction of painting or more specific painting technique seems to have changed, too. What made you to approach a different style in
your recent work?
I have a lot of different styles that people have not seen, and I always like to switch it up and not just keep producing the same things over and over. The MPH show was like just one subject matter and tone. I’m always trying to evolve and not stand still.
31. In a recent interview on VPeast you mentioned Jeff Koons as one of the artists you look up to. Any plans to work on installations and sculptures in the future?
That has always been one of my dreams. I love to “go big”.
32. Yes we can?
33. Ernie or Bert?
Ernie the little mexican! (I’m mexican – I can say that!) Lol
34. Favorite movie from the 90s?
Nightmare Before Christmas
35. Which sport will replace sex?
I’m married and nothing replaces sex!
36. Left or right side of the bed?
37. Strawberry or chocolate donut?
Strawberry jelly filled.
38. Lego or Playmobil?
I gotta say Playmobil! My son got me into it. I love the details. We’ve got an entire zoo, and airport, dinosaur excavation site, and an indian village!
39. Best roller coaster ride ever?
Montezuma’s Revenge at Knotts Berry Farm in California. I was able to ride them when I was young.
40. Lee or Levis?
41. Favorite decade of the last century?
The 80s because that was when I was first aware of pop culture, and I still had the innocence in me.
42. Current top 3 on your ipod playlist?
Only 3?! Right now it’s The Dead Weather, The Killers, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs
43. Fan of shower karaoke?
Sometimes, but our batteries died in the shower player.
44. You didn’t attend SDCC this year, any good reason for that?
I wanted to have product to represent me. My projects were held back.
45. Already plans for next years SDCC?
Yes, I’ll be there
46. What’s the status of your vinyl figure project with BIC?
I can’t say much about it. It will come out.
47. I noticed a lot of artist start working with resin recently. Any plans to explore this medium, too?
Yes, I’m aiming at releasing a toy this November!
48. Is resin the new vinyl?
I think that it is more like a fine art piece. There is more flexibility and control.
49. What do you prefer for a toy: Run size of 50 or 500?
50. Any comment on the “colorway issue”?
I think that sometimes there are too many colorways.
51. How important is the internet for your work?
52. Do artists need galleries or vice versa?
We need each other.
53. Do you feel that you are welcomed in a gallery setting when your roots (or at the least, where
you gained popularity and renown) are in custom vinyl, rather than traditional canvas?
I started painting first, and then translated it onto vinyl. Now I’m trying to do a full circle and go back.
54. Is loyalty and respect between artists and galleries important? Does it even exist?
Oh yeah, definitely. I believe in never biting the hand that first fed you.
55. Does art pay the bills?
56. Any attempt to predict the future of the low brow / contemporary art and designer vinyl scene?
We are all always trying to cross over back and forth. Hopefully the scene will have less constraints and be open.
57. What do you think about collaboration between artists? Does it make sense?
Yes it does. You can always grow from collaborations. You can always learn new things. If there isn’t any interaction between artists, you can grow stagnant.
58. How important are group shows for an artist?
They are very important because they expose you to other fan-bases.
59. Next project coming up?
My resin toy with MyPlasticHeart due by the end of the year.
60. Ever caught red-handed?
61. Last words?
Keep it real.
62. Afraid of death?
I’ll be smiling at the white light but not for a long while from now.
63. Life after death?
64. Inscription on your gravestone?
I don’t want to think about it.
65. What makes you smile?
Wifey and son are funny.
66. Your question to Jeff Koons?
Are you hiring?
Thank you Brent for taking the time and joining the spirit of this interview!
Lot’s of more info and pictures on Brent Nolasco’s flickr, blog and facebook pages. Click and check it out!
photos courtesy of Brent Nolasco unless otherwise noted
Filed under: Interview

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blessed Blessed Oblivion By Brent Nolasco August 15th @ Black Maria Gallery L.A. "Mutation Show"

The art of vinyl toys will be front and center when Mutation opens next Saturday, August 15th at Black Maria. While we haven’t seen all the pieces yet, we’re pretty sure Brent Nolasco’s Blessed Blessed Oblivion will be one of the standout pieces. On this piece, which features a Labbit and a Mini Munny, Brent showcases his strong artistry by seamlessly blending painting with sculptural elements as well as the occasional found object. Brent consistently manages to create art pieces rather than what customs sometimes boil down to, technical demonstrations of prowess.

Black Maria Gallery
3137 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA