1xRUN Through Interview
Momoka and the Vampire Night Garden by Misery
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, was it part of a recent theme or series of work or in a recent show?
Misery: This painting was from my May 2013 Auckland solo showcase titled ‘Momo’. The exhibition was a continuation of work I created in 2011 and exhibited at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. The original has been sold already, but there are 5 new pieces of original artwork that I have created exclusively for 1xRUN.
1xRUN: When was the piece drawn and what materials were used to create it?
Misery: I created this piece back in May of 2013. It took me about a week to finish while using Flashe acrylic, Indian ink, spray paint, Aero Color ink and airbrush on marine ply wood panel.
1xRUN: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Misery: I found a beautiful image from a Japanese children’s fabric design book of a silk kimono from the 1950’s. The design was based on strange characters from a Folklore tale of a crab, monkey and chestnut. I was really inspired by these illustrations and at the same time going through an obsession with drawing vegetables and mythical garden creatures. So the idea of Momoka was created. Her story is a little Alice In Wonderland meets a vegetable love story. Momo is lost in a vegetable patch when she is cursed by an old toad who transforms her head in to a peach tree log. This painting is a pre-evil curse when Momo finds herself lost in the vampire night garden. I wanted the art work to have a rich and velvety colour palette and feel serene but also dark and dangerous, with man-eating plants and bloodlust bunny rabbits.
1xRUN: What is unique about this piece compared to your other work?
Misery: This is the only painting of Momo as a human girl before she’s transformed into a log face.
1xRUN: Why should people buy this print?
Misery: I think people will like this piece because it’s dark, but beautiful at the same time.
1xRUN: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
1xRUN: When did you first start making art and what was your first piece?
Misery: I’ve loved making pictures since I was a little kid. I started doing graffiti and exhibiting my first works when I was 16 years old. The earliest work I have was made when I was three years old. It’s a self portrait with a hippopotamus. My first graffiti piece was a flying kung-fu girl on Karangahape Road in Auckland with Askew One and friends. It was super ugly and I’m grateful it didn’t stay up for long. The first painting I exhibited was pretty strange, it was a kind of taxidermy mutant girl turning into an armchair.
1xRUN: What artists inspired you early on? How about now?
Misery: Dali, Murakami, Nara, Martin Emond, Barry McGee, Frida Kahlo and Japanese art. As for now, it wold be Miss Van, all of the above and most recently a lot of Oceanic and African art.
1xRUN: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what?
Misery: It varies what I listen to when I’m making stuff. I like lots of different music. I think Connan Mockasin and Radiohead are my favorites for getting into the painting zone.
1xRUN: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Misery: I’d like to collaborate with Friends With You or Yayoi Kusama. I love that they all make huge, insane, bright, beautiful environments with their art. It’s mind blowing, inspiring and makes me so excited. My ultimate vision for my own work is to create physical Misery worlds for my viewers to walk through, play on and be a part of. That would be the coolest. (For the latter) it would be Frida Kahlo, cause I LOVE her! I think she would have been an amazing person to be around and learn from.
1xRUN: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Misery: It was an Elliot Francis Stewart painting of a small girl and a bird painted on an old door. I still have it but it’s kind of falling apart. Every time I move to a new house though I have to put it back together. The last would be a Fats White painting of Spock and Jesus hanging out naked.
1xRUN: What else do you have in the works the next 2-3 months?
Misery: Sculpting little animals for a garden installation collaboration with Xanthe White for The Garden World Cup in Huis Ten Bosch Japan. Working on a couple of public art works for children in Auckland City. Illustrating a children’s book. Planning my next art show, painting some walls and making some colossal sized silk screen prints.