“I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I started painting graffiti in 1985 eventually graduating from Art center college of Design. The content of my work is pronounced by my travels and continuing exploration of animal spirits, nature, and the struggle of predator vs prey in male and female roles.” – Shark Toof
Here for his debut RUN, Shark Toof, brings us a cutting psychedelic detail laden print Two Girls & Three Tigers. Read on as Shark Toof gives us the RUN Thru on his debut RUN, his past influences and more.
1xRUN Thru Interview
Two Girls & Three Tigers Show by Shark Toof
1xRun: Is the original still for sale?
Shark Toof: The piece recently sold at a group show at Thinkspace Gallery titled Wild At Heart. It is 24″ x 24″ framed in thin pine and is $3000. The inspiration behind the piece and continuing inspiration is from my recent travels to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand.
1xRun: When was the piece drawn/created?
Shark Toof: 5/17/2012
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Shark Toof: This piece is significant in the journey towards my solo show in October titled “Ping Pong Show.” Two Girls And Three Tigers illuminates the contemplation of nature, culture, predator vs. prey, and recent travels to Thailand and the middle east.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Shark Toof: The idea is a culmination of seduction, animal spirit, philosophy of culture and its roll in the idea of predator vs. prey.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Shark Toof: 2 weeks.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Shark Toof: 1 square inch could take 1 – 5 days depending on how it’s working with the painting as a whole. My process can be masochistic. It’s a chess match. My roots as an illustrator is that everything is planned out. I’m going against the grain in more of a fine art direction by allowing the painting to guide me, to ask me questions. There are very small to very large details to this piece from color, to shape, and form. These details were in large part not preplanned and a manifestation of content. Also, each print will have a completely unique spraypaint stencil hand embellishment.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Shark Toof: It’s an investment in feeling alive.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Shark Toof: Sexy.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Shark Toof: Since my early kinder years. I didn’t have all the toys other kids had so you are left to be supremely resourceful. A stick was a rocket ship. A rock was a planet. A pencil, I could create any toy I ever wanted.
1xRun: What was your first piece?
Shark Toof: I would always draw space vehicles and lunar battles. My first graffiti drawing I did on the inside of a dictionary in 1985 said “PUMA”. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me Pumas though, so I wore Vans.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Shark Toof: Before I did graffiti, I was heavily into comic books, Stan Lee, etc. The first graffiti black book I saw which changed my life was David Arquette’s in 1985. My early influences include Caravagio, Richard Bunkal, Ray Turner, Victor Vasarely, Edward Kienholz, Robbie Conal, Kent Twitchell, Clayton Brothers, Manuel O Campo, and a slew of others.
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Shark Toof: For shear bravery in his art and work ethic, David Choe. The people who keep me in check: Ai Weiwei, Mark Jenkins, BLU, Os Gemeos, Lister, David Jien, Andrew Hem, Bast, and Devin Strother.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Shark Toof: Yes, I can go from Devendra Banhart, MF Doom, to The Stooges on Slacker radio. Most of the time KCRW and NPR keeps me grounded.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Shark Toof: David Choe. I think it would be a perfect mixture of hilarity, mayhem, and sexy shit.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Shark Toof: Marcel Duchamp. I think it would be a perfect mixture of hilarity, mayhem, and sexy shit.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Shark Toof: An Andrew Schoultz painting in 2004 and yes I still have it.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Shark Toof: A piece from Frohawk Two Feathers.
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Shark Toof: I have a hardcover book to be released this fall by ZERO+ Publishing. There will be a limited box set edition which will include an original piece, handmade box, and other items. There will be another edition which will come with prints. And lastly the regular edition which is just the book itself.
My solo show with The C.A.V.E. gallery in Venice Beach, titled “”Ping Pong Show”” will be in October.
1xRun: Where can people find you across the internette?