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← Marcel Dzama: Organizing Chaos | Art21 "Extended Play"

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Showing Revision 1 created 11/14/2018 by Amara Bot.

  1. [Marcel Dzama: Organizing Chaos]
  2. So these costumes are quite old.
  3. [LAUGHS]
  4. This one was just a halloween costume.
  5. [LAUGHS]
  6. I guess I have a hoarder tendency.
  7. That was the one thing I didn’t adapt to
    in being a New Yorker,
  8. to get rid of things as quickly
    as your small apartment allows.
  9. I'm originally from Winnipeg, Canada.
  10. The winters are quite cold,
    and last for almost half the year.
  11. It’s hard to get together to socialize
  12. because there's this barrier of weather
    that keeps you isolated.
  13. I used to color a lot as a kid.
  14. I would draw a lot of Universal monsters.
  15. Any of those characters
    like The Wolfman and Dracula.
  16. And then created my own world
    to have something to do.
  17. The thing with living in Winnipeg is,
    especially in the winter,
  18. the horizon and the land just kind of...
    they just dissolved into each other.
  19. So you would see this,
    almost like a blank page.
  20. And if someone would walk into it,
    it would look like a blank piece of paper
  21. with a figure.
  22. And so I think that really
    subconsciously influenced my style.
  23. When I was in art school,
    I was still living in my parents' place.
  24. I did have quite a bit of larger works
    on board from my grandfather's farm.
  25. He took apart a barn
  26. and I used a lot of the panels from that
    and painted on it with house paint.
  27. Then there was a house fire.
  28. I basically lost all of my work from the past
  29. and most of my possessions.
  30. So, I started drawing on hotel stationery
  31. and that ended up being my thesis.
  32. ["The Royal Art Lodge" collaborative work]
  33. Those were the works that
    I would start to get known for,
  34. this isolated background
    with just a few figures.
  35. After the house fire there was
    this real feeling of loss.
  36. But, on the other hand,
    there was also this possibility--
  37. and, in some ways, also made it easier
    to move to New York.
  38. I used to have more of a red and brown palette.
  39. I'm definitely going through a blue period.
  40. I did some political work in the Bush years,
    during the Iraq war.
  41. In Trump years, I kind of felt like,
  42. to go to sleep, I needed this exorcism of
    the news media that I had taken in that day.
  43. So I needed to get it out.
  44. --I included the Dada image because
    they had the disgust of World War I.
  45. --So I thought it was good timing for the
    disgust of what’s going on right now [LAUGHS]
  46. --in our political age.
  47. --I think it's gotten me in a
    bit of a downward spiral.
  48. After the Sandy Hook shooting,
    I stopped drawing guns.
  49. And then once Trump got in, I felt like it,
  50. as some sort of resistance symbol,
    I brought it back.
  51. The revolution is going to be female.
  52. --Switch it up.
  53. When I moved to New York,
    I found the work getting much more claustrophobic.
  54. I wanted to put some sort of order to it.
  55. I found these old dance magazines and
    realized I should put them in dance positions.
  56. That's how I put some
    organization to the chaos
  57. of this claustrophobia.
  58. I even turned a lot of the creatures
    into costumes for humans.
  59. I thought of it more as a stage
    from that point.
  60. More of a dance element,
    kind of almost like a Broadway show.
  61. This has been a few artists that I like to
    reference in my work quite a bit.
  62. Duchamp, Goya, William Blake, Picabia--
    definitely my heroes.
  63. [LAUGHS]
  64. Picabia, had done this ballet,
    where there was this polka-dotted character.
  65. That really inspired me to move into
    more of a polka-dotted direction.
  66. I did this just after the school shooting
    in Florida.
  67. Emma Gonzalez did this really powerful speech
  68. and Fox News was trying to bring her down
    with some sort of criticism.
  69. So, I drew this group of
    conspiracy theory people
  70. and this circus surrounding this young lady.
  71. I start quite late in the studio.
  72. The more interesting ideas
    come out of my work
  73. in that witching hour.
  74. I feel that's where that world is set--
    that I've created.
  75. There's more of a flow,
  76. because I have one foot in subconscious
    and one in reality.
  77. I try not to censor myself.
  78. So I just let whatever at the top of my head
    come out.
  79. Butterflies have come into the work.
  80. Moths and different insects.
  81. I always keep it open to
    whatever the mood is.
  82. There's this possibility of
    anything can happen.