America’s culture-spinning Czech vandal, Ales “BASK” Hostomsky is back with brand new collection of never-before seen, mixed-media works called Box of Fun. Throwing innocence and purity into the meat grinder, BASK’s newest series of portraits are both playful at heart, and sinister by nature. Through these difficult times in which we live, BASK shows us that we can still have fun by manipulating our own realities, even while they constantly change around us. A metaphor that indicates that in this twisted world, we don’t always come out in the same manner in which we came in.
Between putting the finishing touches on his fourth solo exhibition at William Rupnik Gallery, and preparing to start on two officially commissioned works for the estates of The Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur , BASK took some time talk 1xRUN about his latest print Fun Box Toons which is available exclusively here on 1xRUN.com starting Tuesday November 15th. This 24 x 24 in. giclee is printed on 330gsm archival cotton paper and is priced at $75. The edition is only available for seven days beginning Tuesday, November 15 at 12:00pm and can only be purchased here at 1xRun. Read on for the 1xRUN Interview with BASK below and check out the print below on 1xRUN.com
BASK: The jist of the new collection is I’m taking these old retro characters and essentially I’ve always been a fan of just stressing my work and my paintings, and kind of really pushing it to these limits of absolute forced decay. With this I’d have say it’s at the absolute peak. What I do is I crudely draw these cartoons, and then I take that drawing and create the painting out of that drawing. So with each layer it shifts. So it’s already kind of different from when I draw it and then it shifts too when I paint it. Then once I painted them I cut it up and reassembled them in completely just awkward positions. Just an even more contorted piece, the way these images are perceived. Then after that, it’s a process of more distressing, it’s really just an exercise in how much I can bend images and distort them and really kinda (for lack of a better term) violate them to see what kind of life they take on through that process. It’s kind of like the way Miles Davis bends notes and places things off-key and through the repetition of that comes some of his music. It’s really just kind of like thinking outside the box (no pun intended) in regards to my show. So yea, that’s kinda the general theme in there. The name of the show is actually just a spin off of how desolate and miserable the times are to some large degree. You can’t turn on the radio without listening to some kind of just horrible travesty happening around the world, whether it’s economic or otherwise. So I just wanted to have a show with the most joyous sounding name.
1XRUN: Ok, so let’s talk about the next 6 months. I know you’ve got some interesting things coming up with the Biggie and Tupac mural. Obviously the last couple years of traveling and murals around the world are starting to pay off.
BASK: The next 6 months are pretty slammed. I’m doing two commissioned paintings for Biggie and Tupac, one for each estate. The prints will then be sold at RareInk.com and a percentage will go to various charities that the estates are involved with. The paintings of course will be for sale as well. That’s a big deal, because there’s a lot of people that throughout the years have done paintings or portraits of Biggie and Tupac. You know, you walk into a mall and see a kiosk with somebody doing portraits from them to Humphrey Bogart to Marilyn Monroe. The differences with these were specifically commissioned by the estates. We’re directly working with photographers of the shots. It’s a pretty big honor. I’m a fan of both of those guys. It’s an honor to do something on the level and pay homage a bit. That’s happening this week then I have a solo show in Chicago and a solo show in New Jersey coming up. (Check out Ice Cube introducing RareInk.com in the video below.)
Also, I’ll be implementing a little bit of a different approach to my works focusing on creating prints off of the work that I do. I’m going to be taking more time and attention to detail to the paintings that I do. I’m going to phase out any small paintings unless it’s involved in some larger installation. I’m really just focusing on large scale paintings and making prints of those pieces. Hopefully that will satisfy all the demographics of all the people that maybe want to obtain a certain piece, but maybe it’s out of their financial means. This way it’ll be a nice limited edition glicee that is signed and numbered that will be available to them.
1XRUN: So basically you’ve got a shift in the approach, in the past you’ve created works that were in the few hundred dollar range and those things will kind of be eliminated from the repertoire and be replaced by limited edition prints that could be hand embellished or things of that nature. That will give you the ability to create the works that you feel more comfortable in creating like Draw 50 Characters and some of these larger pieces?
BASK:Exactly. Every show that I do right now there are obviously the pieces that carry the weight of the show in regards to crowd appeal, those are $2-4,000, those are the bigger pieces. But to do a series of smaller works, it takes me just as long to do a large painting. With the individual small pieces, the elements that are in these pieces it’s such a diluted amount of the aspects that people find appealing in my work. For me the creator, the things I find appealing to paint. I like the layering stuff, I like spending time on a painting and putting 15 layers of images on there where the first image is barely visible but it creates this textural effect that I like. There’s a creative kind of satisfaction that I get from doing the larger scale works. I want to indulge in that a little more. I want to give people that want to purchase something from me to have the better of me, rather than the diluted smaller version, say like an ingredient in what sometimes is a giant stew.
1XRUN: Right and if you create some of those limited edition works on wood or your own framing there’s still your aesthetic that comes through with the pieces.
BASK: Exactly. There’s different things I’ll be exploring creatively while doing these prints. I’ve thought of doing them black and white, even if it’s a painting, I’ve thought about transferring the painting and essentially hand coloring each print. This way there’s still a hand touch in there, which I’m a huge fan of. Even if it’s prints I want it to be as far away from anything homogenized as possible. I really want my hand to be in everything that I do. That’s what I pride myself on, from what I do in my paintings and even what I think is expected of me for the people that follow my work. It’s an exciting time. I feel like this will truly satisfy everybody and open up new doors for me creatively with the print world.
Check out Fun Box Toons on 1xRUN.com.