Vol. 2 Февраль 2010

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Pop Surrealism. Interview with Gilbert Oh

Tovarishi! Дамы и господа! Ladies and gentlemen! Другс!
Вашему вниманию представляется интервью с поп-сюрреальным художником Гилбертом О (Gilbert Oh)!

Маэстро, Вам слово (читатель! список вопросов см. после ответов):

(1) I was born in Seoul Korea. I was a skinny awkward child who didn't do well in school. In Korea, there is nothing more important in child's life than an academic achievement in school. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say, that the success of one's adult life depends entirely on which university one graduate. If you can't graduate from this handful top universities, it's almost impossible to survive as an adult, because no company will hire you. The competition to get into these universities is simply mind- boggling. So to be an artist in country like Korea is almost like committing suicide. One way to survive as an artist was to be a good student, have a good grade and be a university professor later on. The strict academic culture of school system in Korea left no breathing room for any kind of creativity. To conform was the order of the day, and to be different meant life sentence of capital punishment. For me, even as a child, Korea meant pure Hell. It is no wonder, I spend most of my childhood buried in a cartoon books. Even as a child, I instinctively knew that I was born in a wrong place. I somehow knew that there was a better place for me. When our family moved to Canada in my early teen years, finally I could breathe little easier. In Canada, our family never stayed in one place for very long time. Our family was always on the move. I never felt at home in Canada either. It felt too rural for me. The only place, I felt at home is Manhattan. I love manhattanites. They are international in race and culture and totally open minded.

(2) When I was about thirteen years old, I used to paint lot of dark paintings, such as people practicing cannibalism and drinking blood and so on. I was much in love with Goya's work at that time.

Mr Right. Gilbert Oh

(3) I've been drawing since I was a child. However, after all these years of drawing, I still don't know why I draw. Only thing I know is, if I don't draw, I'll probably go mad.

(4) My style of painting is called low brow art or pop surrealism which is almost a half century old art movement in America. It started in west coast. Maybe the only original art movement ever made by Americans only second to creation of Jazz. I believe pretty much all the art movements that came to flower since early 1900 in America has been countless regurgitation of European heritage. American Minimalism is regurgitation of European Cubism. American Color Field painting is from European Fauvism. Abstract Expressionism is from European Expressionism. American Pop Art from European Dada. If there is something truly original about American art, it is Cartoons. Mickey mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Batman and Robin, Superman, wonder woman, X man, Hulk, and countless characters from Marvel Comics not to mention endless small publications of truly original cartoonists. I think these cartoonists have been ignored way too long.

Face to face. Gilbert Oh

(5) I like all kinds of Surrealism. But I think life itself is very surreal, even when you look at most mundane daily routines such as people watching.

(6) I'm a member of Pop surrealists. You should Google "Pop Surrealism" and you will know what I mean.

Body Snatchers. Gilbert Oh

(7) I love the films made by Ingmar Bergman. His plays read like poem. They read as though, he has written the whole play in one sitting. He is a true genius. As far as painters go, I like the work of Anthony Pontius, Joe Vaux and Ryan Heshka just to name a few.

(8) I think whether it's an ancient or a modern world; life has always been the same for the most part. I'm sure that, ancient caveman will be able to function in a modern world as good as anybody. Of course the world is made of full of cruelties but at the same time, it is unimaginably beautiful as well.

Barbie Madonna. Gilbert Oh

(9) Yes.

(10) Sorry, I can't think of one right now.

Brother Sam. Gilbert Oh

1. Кто Вы? Откуда Вы (локально и глобально)? (Прошу прощения за столь банальные вопросы)
2. Вы помните свой первый рисунок и первую dark picture?
3. Почему Вы рисуете?
4. Имеет ли Ваш стиль имя?
5. Испытывали ли Вы влияние сюрреализма и фрейдизма?
6. К каким группам художников вы принадлежите?
7. Ваш любимый художник, писатель, музыкант, философ.
8. Что Вы думаете о современном мире? Мир ужасен или нет? Вам нравится этот мир?
9. Вы верите в Реальность?
10. Вопрос, на который Вы бы сами хотели ответить.

Эти странные вопросы задавал Артур Вафин, который выражает благодарность Гилберту О за ответы на оные.

Thank you, Gilbert!

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