:: JOHN GILL ::
Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to a sort of art bbq get together type thing. Lots of amazing artists all kicking back in the 80% weather drinking beers in West LA. It was super fun. Of course, lots of beers and lots of artists made for lots of new friends. One guy I met in particular was John Gill. This dude is hilarious. And, his work speaks for itself. It's colorful, illustrative, clean, messy, serious yet playful, and emotionally driven. Plus, I've never met anyone who can laugh so hard while discussing total human tragedy. But, he laughed in a loving way. Yesterday he told me he had a bunch of shows coming up so I thought I'd introduce him to the rest of the world beforehand. So, here is John Gill.
PC: Who the hell are you?
JG: John Michael Gill, a.k.a.john gill, a.k.a, gill, a.k.a. WORMZER3000, a.k.a. the blissful ignorant.
PC: Tell me about your work?
JG: My work is a language that resides in me. My work is me on whatever surface I use. It's an ever changing thing which is a mixture of a plan and where the painting takes me. I love color and design maybe from a love for graffiti.
PC: Is there a larger message you are trying to convey with your work?
JG: Sometimes. There are times when, like most artists, something very profound comes out. Like if you're dealing with issues in your life or if you're really inspired by something. I try to convey a sense of spirituality. I'm very consumed with the idea of death in all facets, from the shear pain of it, to the beauty of it, so death comes through a lot as well as life. Mostly what I'm trying to convey is the old primal urge to prove I'm alive. It's my mark ya dig..
PC: How many cigarettes do you smoke a day and why?
JG: Too many. I'm one of those stupid people who always talks about quitting and getting healthy and stuff, but damn it, I'm compulsive. I'm down from like a pack a day to maybe 19 a day. Will power is a gift..
PC: What is coming up for you artistically Shows? New projects?
JG: 2006 is gonna be fresh, this year was good for me with art but I'm starting to pay more attention to my work and its progressing nicely. 2006 I have a solo show at walled city gallery, a 2 man show with my girl Sophia Pottish. I'm really amped on that cause she's so good and our styles work well together, plus its at a new gallery opening up soon called red dot. Julie Rico is doing it, she gave me my first show when I was 17.. As for projects, I'm writing a book about death, I'm gonna self publish a book of my art, and I've been illustrating the bible. Also keep putting out my zine "the well read sophisto". And keep scrawling stuff on walls...
PC: How do you feel about art in LA?
JG: Well, I feel it's starting to come full circle. I think the community is getting more focused. People are all starting to know each other. I have to give it up to cats like L.C. and Michele from cannibal flower (who just had their five year anniversary) for pushing art shows like nobodies business. These 2 cats have harnessed a huge energy source of creativity. Really the art scene out here is most likely like the art scene anywhere else, it's a scene. You have your real deal innovative cats and then your egomaniacs. Nuff said
PC: What artists/galleries get you inspired in the city?
JG: Artists: Sophia Pottish, Eduardo Benedetto, Jeremy Szuder, Mear, Dennis Larkins, Greg Simkins (Craola), Joshua Petker. Too many to name. There is also a bunch of dope emcees out here that are on the art tip and inspire me like, Shape shifters, Awol one, Circus, Radioinactive, and Busdriver. Galleries: Walled city, Cannibal flower, 1988, Project, Hive.. any gallery that gives my work a chance.
PC: How long have you been making art?
JG: Since I was a fetus.. all my life. Anytime my parents take the wallpaper down theres all these old kid drawings which are similar to what I do now. They have pictures and phrases. and I hope to live forever to become the illest I can be.
PC: Do you have a cat?
JG: At the moment no.. but fear not, I love cats. Me and my girl had a bad year with cats. We lost our homies Chet and Mama. I don't want to talk about it.. but we will be getting kittens asap. I want dogs too. labradors are very intelligent. good names for cats or dogs are Bela, Lugosi, Elton John, or Hank.
PC: What is your working method? Drawing? Painting?
JG: Really, I do it all. 99 percent of my work is mixed media. I'm young so I have no set formula. I'll try anything because you achieve different things. I love doing ceramics too. mostly acrylic based stuff or oil pastels.. all graffiti utencils are welcomed. I see a lot of cats who already have a set style or formula at such an early age. i think that's dangerous when it comes to progression.. all my art heroes went through "periods" where work was similar.
PC: What is your favorite piece of art ever created in the entire Western World and why?
JG: Damn! uuummmmm.. Well, what artist is most copied?
PC: Do you think alcohol inhibits or encourages creativity?
JG: I'm a big believer in doing art sober. Not that I do all the time but I know lots of cats who say stupid shit like "i cant paint unless im high". that's whack.. those people are frauds..but sometimes its fun to down a few and paint. as for the actual question. Bukowski was loaded a lot, i dig his writing. it seems through history, creativity and self destruction are a marriage of sorts. but im also down with nancy reagan.. hold up, i gotta get another beer....
PC: Sum up your hopes for John Gill as an artist in 10 words.
JG: I want to get really, really, really, really, really good.
:: JOHN GILL ::