Drew Maillard is a product of his environment . Nature and nurture , environment and conditioning combined , like chocolate and peanut butter or bacon and mayonnaise , ( Or bacon and peanut butter . Trust me . ) to produce the specimen present , before you today . Born and raised in the last quarter of the 20th century , he has tried to go out and see a little of the world and times in which he lives , and has used his experiences to inform his artwork . His crazy , crazy artwork . He has been drawing near as long as he can remember , and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon . Cheap and Lo-Tech are the media he uses to advance his ideas . From pen on board , linoleum block and silkscreen prints to stuff he finds in the street . Scraped off and polished up a bit , of course . He can spend days or months on a single drawing , hatching tiny little lines with a tiny little pen , or do a print start to finish in an evening. Regardless of choice of materials he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and jump in with both feet head first .In the rising tide of media mediocrity and global standard cooling , it is necessary for someone to take a stand and proclaim , in a loud and commanding voice "This Shit Sucks ! ". And Drew will shout it from the rooftops . Figuratively and literally. He uses layers of chicken scratch cross-hatching over watercolor to make formal
Carpazine - How did you initially become interested in art ?
Drew Maillard - I have the same answer that just about everyone I know who is an artist has , which is that I've been interested in art as long as I can remember . I've always been drawing or making something . And while I'm sure I would have found my way to where I am anyway , I was lucky in My Grandmother was a painter and would always give me art supplies as gifts , we always had art books around and would go to museums when we could , living in upstate NY that wasn't all that often , and also I had some really encouraging teachers in school , particularly high school that helps me out a lot .
Carpazine - when did you become serious about art ?
Drew Maillard - After my first year at S.V.A . . I loved it at that school , but it might not have been an ideal fit because it was just so expensive and after my 1st year , which was kind of horrible. I had to figure out how to pay for it , and I decided to join the Army Reserves for the G.I. Bill . So the subject and content of my art really didn't change , but after I had taken a year off to go do Basic Training and A.I T( Advanced Individual Training ) when I came back , my attitude and intent was completely changed . I didn't really realize it at the time , but after taking a year off and going back to school , I would look around and think , " My God , what is wrong with these kids ? "
Drew Maillard. Photo by MF Gallery.
Carpazine - What do you find most challenging about being an artist ?
Drew Maillard - Self promotion . Far and away . More so than having the focus and discipline to go back to something day after day , more than trying to think of a new and different presentation to a point of view or trying to represent my thoughts and feelings visually. I have a job that I have to go to daily to earn the money that I need to live , and I have a second job , when I come home to try and create things that give me pride in myself and abilities a sense of self fulfillment and joy ,and then there's this whole other job of getting your stuff , 1st of all , seen, which if you can't , is like screaming yourself hoarse in an empty room , which is hugely discouraging to an artist and on top of that , getting someone to believe in it enough to buy it , which is really really difficult and I am just not very good at . So , Fernando , I want to take the oportunity , here , in print . to thank you for putting my artwork and views in your magazine and hopefully allowing me to reach people that will appreciate my artwork that might not otherwise find or come across it .
Carpazine - What do you dislike about the art world ?
Drew Maillard - My day job is for a high end auction house and before that i was working for an art shipping company for a long while, so Get to see the worst parts of the ART = COMMODITY equation . Things like but not limited to ; value of name recognition over content , the art factories , flipping art for profit , the high end gallery fame machine , etc. On the street level , where we are , and our friends are , the only real problems I see are that there isn't enough time and money to go around for every one to have a commercially viable way to pursue what they want .
The Awful Truth. Ink,watercolor, spray paint on illustration board.30"x20".
“American Soldier”,pen and watercolor on illustration board, handmade frame. (40”x60”)
American Goddess. Ink,watercolor on Illustration board. 60"x40".
almost static compositions, evoking the oppressive itchiness of a strait jacket. Combining iconic and absurd images pulled and mashed together from different periods and sides of the tracks to create ironic and satirical compositions; to explain as much as I can the paranoia, fear, pain, loneliness, dizziness, humor and outrage that is the televised, bought, sold, marketed, homogenized, prepackaged, and prefab 12 car pile up that is the American culture at large. A sensation not unlike being an ant, under God’s magnifying glass, waiting to get burned. With the increase of media, and genres, the lines between commercial art and “fine” art are becoming blurred and almost negligible. The only real difference being the audience. The true validation being intent, as long as you always make the choices and decisions in your work. Besides it’s not selling out it’s buying in. Right?
Carpazine - What are your thoughts on art school ?
Drew Maillard - I really liked art school , and felt like I learned a lot . There is an attitude among some people , even a lot of people I met while at school of " You can't teach me how to be an artist man . I already know ! " Which is completely true . They aren't able to teach anyone what to make , or why to make anything , only how to make the things they want to make . I studied illustration , which is one of the reasons I went to S.V.A. It is one of the fields their known for, and I took it because I saw that as more of a classical education . I tried to strengthen my skills with a lot of drawing and anatomy classes and increase my abilities and range of experience by taking classes in other disciplines like printmaking , sculpture , computer assisted design and . So I think it can be great as long as you go with a realistic ideas about what they can offer , and when you do , go with your cup empty , and be willing to learn what someone else is teaching , even if you think it may not be something you will want to use in the future .
Carpazine - What media do you prefer ? And how did you come to use it as your primary one ?
Drew Maillard - I consider myself a draftsman , and not really a painter or sculptor but occasionally I do those , and other things as well . My preferred medium is pen . Black on white or over watercolor and lately colored pens as well . I find that drawing transfers really well to printmaking , which I like doing as well . Silk screening and lithography are great , but require a lot of input on the process side as well as specialized equipment . I recently tried etching for the first time , and I want to do more but haven't quite got the hang of it . I was using plexi plates instead of copper , which I hear makes a huge difference . But my favorite print medium is linoleum block printing . I really like the graphic look , and its fast and cheap and dirty . ( A relatively immediate printmaking medium , with little special equipment required . )
Carpazine - Did you go to art school ? if so where ?
Drew Maillard - I went to the School of Visual Arts , which is a mostly applied arts school around the chelsea area of Manhattan . I had a great time there and believe that I learned a lot . One of the greatest things that an art school can give
Exquisite Corpse - Collaborative Project#1 with contributions from: Joe Simko,Aaron Tompkins,Alessandra Norman.Ink and watercolor on illustration board on wooden armature.13 3\4"x 41/4"x 41/4".
a person , I believe , is just the time to focus on their artwork and to improve their skills and to decide what exactly it is that they want to address in their own artwork . It's pretty much a 4 year residency that while yes , you are paying for it , you may not have the opportunity to do again .
Underground.Graffiti.Punk Art Magazine.www.carpazine.com
Carpazine - What art or artists inspire you ?
Drew Maillard - Well I grew up reading comics , so Jack Kirby for sure and all the old Marvel artists from the 60s and 7os . I've always gravitated towards the surrealists Max Earnst in particular , the more I look at the more I'm amazed by . I remember when I was just starting or maybe just about to start art school , I was thinking that what I really wanted to do was increase my skills as an artist and then use those skills to do works of what I saw as the marginalized or dismissed areas of the pop ( contemporary American ) culture like comics , cartoons horror and sic-fi movies , punk and industrial music etc. that I lived and breathed and loved .Then by show caseing these kind of underground subjects in a " serious " thoughtful , skillful way in an established respected gallery or museum setting be able to bring attention and a new relevance to my heroes who I thought were being somewhat discarded and forgotten. Then I saw an issue of "ART ?,Alternatives"(Robert Williams 1st try at mass media before"Juxtapoz") on the news stand and thought "DAMMIT!These artists totally stole my idea!… years before I had it." So I was picking up on something that was floating around in the zeitgeist,and while I feel that I am completely doing my own thing artistically,once you let genius artists like Robert Williams,Todd Schorr or David Sandlin ( to name a very few ) In it's hard not to be influenced by them and their vision , even though I believe I was already heading in that direction .
Carpazine - What's your favorite book ?
Drew Maillard - OH ! Where to begin . This was a security question on for account I had somewhere , and I thought my favorite book was " Catch - 22 " but apparently I'm wrong . The book I've been recommending most , lately , is " John Dies at the End " by David Wong , which is a really funny horror novel that has some genuinely creepy parts . A book that , once I finished , I thought I should keep and read again in a few years is "Galactic Pot Healer " which is about becoming an artist . it's really great but It was better on the 1st read . If you want to read something really horrifying then try " God bless You Mr. Rosewater " by Kurt Vonnegut , which is all about money and all true . " Understanding Comics " by Scott McCloud was hugely influential to me in my early years . There's a lot of stuff in there that is specific to comics but also a lot that just applies to arts in general or helpful in life . " Cannery Row " by John Steinbeck is sublime , and just makes me happy . … I could go on .
Carpazine - Where is your favorite spot in Brooklyn ?
Drew Maillard - CONEY ISLAND ! Without a doubt . It's cheap and dirty in the most beautiful way . I make my pilgrimage there at least once a year and have sacrament at Nathan's on the boardwalk and pay homage at the freak show .The Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone are totally overpriced and 100% worth it . I usually go with a bunch of friends and we always have a great time . It's changed a lot since I started going in the 90s but if you look you can still find the smut and grime .
Carpazine - Any upcoming projects ?
Drew Maillard - There's always something bubbling up and around . I've been thinking of doing another large scale drawing , possibly of a battle ship , which the way I work is a commitment . I've been thinking of redoing the tarot deck , which would probably be a really long , involved , time consuming project , that is jut in its beginning stages . I've been working on a series of praxismascope drawings which are simple 19th century hand held animation curiosities . Kind of analogous to cartoons in the same way that the stereopticon is to 3-D movies . So , there's always something .
Carpazine - What's makes you angry ?
Drew Maillard - The intentionally obnoxious , the willfully ignorant and the pridefully lazy .
Carpazine - Website ?
Drew Maillard - http://www.drewmaillard.com, which is a pretty recent development and thanks in large part to my friend Alessandra Norman who is herself a really great artist . Please take a moment and have a look . Thanks .
Carpazine - Anything you'd like to add ?
Drew Maillard - In closing I'd just like to give Shout Out , ( do the kids still say " Shout Out " ? ) to Martina and Frank of MF Gallery . They have been great friends and great supporters of my artwork for years . They are each incredible artists themselves , and their gallery has provided home and oasis for a lot of amazing and talented people over the years and I would just like to thank them .
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