We are very excited to bring to you the work of Zach Taylor with Odd Mailing #2. The best way to get a sense for his funny is to see what he's done with his life here and to read the following interview. It is my pleasure, and hopefully yours, to interview each artist in the Odd Mailing series. They will be posted here just for you. Say hello in the comment section if you like. Thanks!
Conrad Freiburg: I just got your nifty little pop intervention with jokes. How would you say this mailing is typical of the kind of art you make?
Zach Taylor: I would say this is typical product from a corner of my brain that tends to project it's humor into my artwork, whether i like it or not. It just feels right to not take every damn thing seriously. Sometimes mixing humor into art actually creates a melancholy feeling for me. It's the sad, wandering "hobo clown" kind of thing that I find appealing and the joke is frozen and forever dangling, vulnerable and subject to a new formal criticism that it never had before. Perhaps the artwork should be in danger of being hit by a rotten tomato or beer bottle!
Sorry, that was an incomplete thought. Maybe that explains everything!
C: What do other parts of you brain do?
Z: Other parts of my brain do math, cooking, art, and sex stuff... But It is mostly devoted to thinking about travel.
C: ...and these "Incomplete Thoughts" you speak of do explain something, or allow the fruit of the unknown to blossom. Is it even possible to feel complete with so many brains? or even with one brain? or one idea? I promise I will never say fruit of the unknown again. It is a shameful thing to say
Z: I appreciate you embellishing the unknown with " fruit of". It's nice. I make work without a clear design of the finished product. I've tried to plan artworks from beginning to completion, but they seemed to take much longer to finish. The excitement would wear off too early and the shit would flounder. Humor is a sure-fire way to make something happen fast, sometimes the "one-liner" is the best approach for me. I think the funny pieces of art help support the serious pieces and help define and separate my work based on when it was made. I can remember the good times and the bad in my life by looking back at my work.
What do you think about an artists body of work as a diary for their memories?
C: I think that's right. the work marks out time for the audience too. For instance, when I think of that floppy glued together bunch of pine scrap we called "Lamar's javalin," I think of Winter in LA, and this is all because of you. In my own work I actually use bits of old sculptures in the new ones precisely because they contain memories. The drawings I'm making with charcoal of the Slipping Glimpser are physically and psychologically connected to that time of my life spent with a roller coaster. You have collaborated with Aaron Williams on paintings that are image stacks of pop culture. They seem to be using this idea of memory in an expansive way, where the paintings are about stacking up association on top of association until some hum is reached between all the hollering ideas. Then the viewer has their associations on top of that. All this swirl of subjectivity is what that work seems to be about, well that and skilled brushwork. But getting back to art jokes, do you have any favorite art comedians?
Z: Some of my favorite funny people: Mitch Hedberg, Rodney Dangerfield, Louis CK, Peter Sellers, Carol Burnett, Richard Pryor, Dr.Chorizo.... List goes on, but Most of those people are dead. Dave Chapelle is great, too. I think I'm lucky to have a very funny family and my close relationships with friends are usually based on very long running jokes that seem to slowly evolve over time. inside jokes that eventually become outside jokes! Didn't you see Andrew Dice Clay wearing sweatpants in a Los Angeles Starbucks?
C: Oh I did, and he was wearing sweatpants and bedazzled sunglasses. I told him I like what he's done with his life. He said thanks. I'm not sure, but I think he smelled like sarcasm. Old man sarcasm.
Z: I'm want to spend more time looking at places where water and land meet. Estuaries, inlets, lagoons, coves, harbors, rivers, bayous, creeks, etc. I like the reflection of earth and sky on water, especially as bright sunlight returns after a storm. I also like tacos.
C: Do you think it is possible to have a romantic taco?
Z: Definitely. I think it's called "Taco El Romantico" on most menus.
C: Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the good reader out there?
Z: I think this photo of Elvis Presley's porcelain monkey from Palm Springs pretty much sums it up. Happy holidays!
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