Photographer: Tom John Kubik.
Here's a taste of what's in Carpazine September/October. Carpazine Underground Art magazine featuring: Jesse Mosher: Punk Art, A.R.D: Hardcore since 1984, Ear and There: Be a part of this worldwide phenomenon, Matthew Lineham: New Wave Saints, Stax Museum: Stax: Visions of Soul, Street Artist: Sath, Muskga: The revival of guitars with substance, Leigh de Vries: Strange, and many more!
BUY PRINTED CARPAZINE FEATURING JESSE MOSHER ONLINE! CLICK HERE!
Carpazine interview artist Jesse Mosher. You can read the full interview below…
Thanks for doing the interview Jesse. Give the readers some background information about yourself?
Jesse Mosher - I was born on August 11th, 1977 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. I grew up in Shutesbury, Massachusetts on a small family farm. I was always drawing and making art until I was 11. I wrestled in High schhol and College, getting back into creating and selling art in 1998. I sold alot of signed prints in the first 8 years, over 14,000 in all at concerts and art shows. I switched to painting on wood in 2006 and have made 1,800 paintings that way since then. Between Print series, and paintings on wood I have made 2,491 different pieces since September 1998. I have worked with many artists and musicians over the years. CJ Ramone , Jack Kerouac's Estate, and the Beat Museum are some of the most important to me. The 726 performances I have made since 2006 represent the hardest part of what I have accomplished.
Carpazine - When did you decide to become an artist?
Jesse Mosher - I decided to become an Artist when I was very young. I remember having a callus on my right middle finger from drawing when I was about 7 years old. Around that time I saw visions of myself as an old artist, painting in a studio. Also at that time I first had dreams of painting in the rock n roll style I do now, but it was about 22 years before I took the first steps to actually do it. The wrestling, manual labor and studying the mechanics and philosophies of Rock n Rollers, mostly guitar and bass players, were my self education to do what I do. I wanted to be very ready before I got up to do the performing my way.
Carpazine - How long have you been painting/drawing/etc?
Jesse Mosher - I first had a piece, a Pen and Ink drawing of a map of Africa in an art show in about 1983 or 4. It was in the Franklin county Massachusetts student art show. at the same time there was an Alan Moore art show of panels from the Swamp Thing comic book in another room. seeing those panels really influenced me. I made less art during 1991-1995 when I wrestled in High school, but saw Wrestling as my art foorm at the time. by wrestling in practice to Rock N roll tunes by AC/DC, U2 and Minstry among others, a found a way to sync up my physical performance to music, the back bone of what I do now. I guess I have been making work, drawing and painting with an eye towards finished art for 32 years.
Carpazine- Do you do a lot of shows?
Jesse Mosher - I do as many shows as my body will allow me to. Earlier this year I took about a 2 month break from performing. My right knee, elbow and hands had taken quite a beating. at that point I had done 675 shows straight without more than a 14 day break. I have had 6 years of over 100 performances, and a few years around 70 shows. as I get older I eat better, exercise, stretch more, closer to the life I lived as a wrestler. I rarely drink alcohol, and my days revolve around preparation for the performance, managing my career as an artist. its an all day thing as I do all aspects of the work, from wood preparation, booking, promotion, and of course painting myself, no assistants.
Carpazine - Tell us about some the bands that you have performed with?
Jesse Mosher - I have only rough estimates on the number of performers and sets I have done. My records are complete (160+ pages of log books) on subject matter, date, and number/ location of shows. I usually perform with all acts on a bill, so up to 18 in one day. Of the 726 shows, I would estimate 2,500+ bands/acts, with more like 3,200 sets. 3-4 bands a night is pretty average to me. Some of my most memorable, important acts I have performed with/for/at are, CJ Ramone, Richie Ramone, Joan Jett, The Stooges, Sihasin, Third Thursday Band, The Breeders, Social Distortion, Members of Johnny Thunders bands, Ernest's Liver, Strangefeather, Batusis,Pierced Arrows, Jerry Garcia Band, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Phil Lesh, Stonar, Ride the Blinds, The Merry Pranksters, Huey Lewis, John Sinclair, David Amram, Kepi Ghoulie, Mean Jeans and many many others who have moved me deeply. Im at 53 shows so far this year, but my goal is to top 100 shows.
Carpazine - What medium do prefer to work in and how would you describe your artistic style?
Jesse Mosher - Im most happy working in paint on plywood for the past few years. I use Benjamin Moore Impervex for my black paint. It is a water based enamel for exterior use on wood and metal. the white paint is wood primer, matte finish, various brands. the layering of the two paints, in generally thin layers gives the best paintings a marble sculpture like look that I love. most finished paintings are between 12-25 layers these days, literally building up a slight Bas Relief effect. In the past, I tried to nail down the image in 3-7 layers, but found the process limited me to a drawing like effect. Although faster, I felt I had reached my limit performing, and depth wise with that approach. To free myself up (which is always the real challenge, I add more layers, and am unconcerned about "nailing' a painting by the end of the set. to let go of that controll opened me up to the possibilities of really going all out in performance. the last 100 performances are that way, and the growth for me has been unprecedented. I include the ideas of unpredictability, explosiveness, agression, Art Violence, assertion of the individual, and all I know, hate and love about the world, coupled with the unknowing that I have into each performance. I think of what I do as a testament to the physical and mental potential of human beings and the power of primal thought and action. I feel Rock N Roll is an art form that speaks to our most basic instincts, and the miracles we see in its performance are the potential we all possess in out primal minds. For me its a mix of the ancient sacred, wrestling and the out liers of Rock N Roll.
Carpazine - What inspired you in general?
Jesse Mosher - In general I am inspired by people and things I have encountered. most of my strongest influences have been from Musicians, who I feel have been the most cutting edge artists of my lifetime. Also Poverty has really shaped me and how I perceive everything. The strength of the working man, the struggle of female artists, and those society has thrown away, outlaws, the marginalized always inspire me. Those who overcome the most, and struggle to find greatness are the real heroes.
Carpazine - What are you currently working on?
Jesse Mosher - Currently Im working on a series of video, films about performing, traveling. This was an Idea CJ Ramone gave me a few years back, after I made my first film about him making the album Reconquista. (CJ Ramone: King Cobra, the making of Reconquista. Available on Youtube). Also I have been collaborating with CJ on paintings and art pieces for several years. We have a few new projects to finish this year in anticipation of a group art show next year.I also have 2 books i am writing, which will be ready for next year I hope. The style of them is my own, but similar to Jack Kerouac's On The Road, and Dee Dee Ramone's Legend Of A Rock Star. T^he books take place on 2 very hard tours in Europe, and have many flashbacks to my life.
Carpazine - What role does the artist have in society?
Jesse Mosher - Ah the artists role in Society, always my favorite question. This is where I can really speak to what i feel. I have always thought that the artists role in Society is to not mearly question, but challenge. The true artist for me is one without peer, friends at the deepest level. The instinct to express ones truest feelings super ceeds all other urges, or efforts at self censorship. We never follow but lead, without the expectation that others will understand, agree or follow. There are things the artist can do, say or express that even the most powerful others cannot. The supreme self belief that the most powerful artists possess, is the utmost a human being can achieve. In that way although disgraced, martyred or maligned, great artists are the true leaders of their generations, regardless of their generations, regardless of wealth, political power or success by the terms of the society thry live during. The true position of the artist is outside of society as a whole, looking in, commenting, holding up a mirror, but always in a way apart, unfazed by the wisdom of the crowd, reliant only on their instincts.
Carpazine - What do you dislike about the art world?
Jesse Mosher - Ah the art world, a great mistery for me. Ha Ha. Well in short, I haven't found a place for myself in it yet. Many times I would equate the experience to being underdressed at a fancy party. I can count on my hands the number of artists i have met which I can really relate to in the same way as you, Fernando. Although the history of American art is filled with people from my social class, most of the legends by my account, in my experience it skews toward the privileged, with the buyers market being similar. I am very fortunate to have supported myself for many years off of sales at reasonable prices to people of many socail backgrounds. my subject matter sells better to working class, and strtuggling peole, because in some ways the subjects undermine the sense of authority of the elevated social classes. It is too raw, tough and rough for some art lovers to grasp. It is an overall trend I see that subject matter in art is bending toward the everyday, intellectualization,the relatable, the quirky, the nostalgia of youth, the contextualization of life, the personal as in self absorbed. I like to think what I do is the antithesis of that, and is swept under the rug at times because of that.The power of the individual, and power in general is a rare quantity in art.
Carpazine - What makes you angry?
Jesse Mosher - Anger, and righteous anger in particular is really the best fuel for me. It is something I have drawn on since my days as a wrestler. I was the smallest kid in weight in my school of 1,000 kids. I started wrestling when I got to 72 pounds (32.6 kg), and was consistently outweighed for the first 3 years. at 91 pounds i made the minimum for 103 pounds by 3 pounds, yet went to the state tournament and competed. It seems I'm always against great odds, not afraid to fail, just going all out, to prove something to myself. The only thing I have to measure myself against is the pinnacle of my efforts thus far, and trying to top myself has always been my standard. In that way when I fall short of my own goals, I am still in an advanced position I can be proud of. There is this idea that I have, that all the suffering, hardships, and tragedies that build up anger inside us, the injustice of it all that spills over into innumerable forms of brutality, cruelty and violence can be concentrated and released in a single explosive performance is not mine. It is something I have taken to heart and explored, but I first heard it talked about and defined by Iggy Pop. His ideas are the first of that kind I had heard. In a more general sense, issues like income inequality, poverty, suffering and violence in general, fuel me, but are the power behind my art, not the subject of it. I don't make Overtly political art these days, I'm on the tail of some thing big for me with the performances and paintings I'm doing, so I'm full time on that for now.
Carpazine - Is there a town or place in the world you consider inspiring?
Jesse Mosher - There are many places that inspire me, but I will tell you about one. Northern Italy is a place I have explored alot this year. I have done 21 shows there this year, 2 tours. There is an amazing mix of people there, and I had my first encounters with ancient things. The prestige the Italian people place on paintings made what I do very special. The bio that an Italian promoter wrote for me said I was " touched by the Madonna" which set the bar very high for me, and drew 100-280 people a night.I met some very pure artists in Parma Italy, the band Ernest's Liver. Last April at a festival I painted with them, and had a real transcendent momement. out of thousands of bands, they really struck a chord for me. I said when I started painting the way I do, if I ever found a band that touched me the way the velvet underground did, I would move mountains to work with them. i have and I will.
Carpazine - Can you give the readers your Website and facebook addresses so they can check you out...
Jesse Mosher - I have 2 facebook pages, I encourage people to find me there. Also as i find them, I collect videos of me painting and interviews on my Youtube channel. all are under my name. If you Google Jesse Mosher all that stuff comes up.
Carpazine - Anything you’d like to add?
Jesse Mosher - In Parting, I guess I would say, what I 'm doing, what I represent, the passion behind it are all the result of a life lived not for comfort, but Adventure, Wisdom Learning and Understanding. A life that at best, will leave a high water mark, at least will be a personal best. Work hard and think deep.....Jesse Mosher.
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