There’s a monster LA art weekend (well, including a Thursday) that we will be talking more about coming up in November featuring Craola, Audrey Kawasaki & Friends, Kukula (teased here), Sas Christian, and Tin. First up, an interview that Tin did with us by graciously setting aside some time from his busy painting schedule. AM was first inspired to approach him not only because of his tremendous talent but because there is just not that much information out on this emerging artist. Hopefully, you will find this dialogue as informative & interesting as it was for us. Interview after the jump.
Arrested Motion (AM): Tell us a little about your work.
Tin: — it exists … i don’t really know how to answer this question …
AM: What lead you down the path to becoming an artist? Childhood experiences?
Tin: … in childhood — comic books started it all and then the cartoon star blazers … i sketched from time to time and did ok in high school art class. then i became a fisherman, like the kind out of the movie “perfect storm” … i almost died three times and should have lost my drawing hand at least a dozen times … after my last close call with death i decided to become an artist … i didn’t look at art as a career until i was 22 years old … i was terrible artist … just the worst … i collected unemployment checks and practiced day and night until the money ran out … then i took out a loan with help from family and practiced some more … for me, it’s always been a lot of sweat and a bit of talent.
AM: Any formal training or background in art?
Tin: … no i’m self taught … i’ve always wanted to take classes though.
AM: We assume Tin is not your real name although you know what they say about assumptions… Is there any special meaning to the name you chose?
Tin: … definitely … june 11, 2007 that was my birthday … i had built a name doing pin-up/erotic art for 7 years and i was tired … i was depressed. i was just going through the motions and creating things that didn’t challenge me anymore … the art i was doing had no heart … so on that day i was finishing a pin-up girl and i remember saying out loud to myself “if i only had a heart” — which reminded me of the tinman from wizard of oz. at that moment i decided to do more interesting works and call myself tin … and down the yellow brick road.
AM: One of the reoccurring themes in your work seem to be the seductive female archetype. Is she based on your ideal woman or are you modeling her after someone? What compels you to return to this over and over?
Tin: … i don’t think they are based on what i think is an ideal woman but certainly one that i think is attractive artistically … i read a quote by an anonymous artist that went something like this “i don’t know if i like curved lines because i like women or if i like woman because i like curved lines.” … the quote fits me and whatever the answer is, that’s why i return to it over and over … with that said though, there will be times where i’ll do something other than a seductive woman. i get bored really fast and when i’m in the mood ill try something else.
AM: Can you explain the melding of machine and living creatures in your paintings?
Tin: … i like contrast and dr. frankenstein … so a soft woman and/or a fluffy animal combined with hard metal helps me get my contrast fix … i’m also fascinated by broken women … women with mental problems or scars. women with hard history … women who have survived heartache and who are likely to stab me for who knows what … then the dr. frankenstein — i like the idea of experimenting in art about the experimentation of science … i definitely wasn’t a great science student but i appreciate the problem-solving involved … “how can i make this work?” i say that a lot when doing my art.
AM: Many of your paintings are done in black and white although some are in color. Also you mentioned that you recently started doing oil painting. Can you explain a little about what mediums you use and how you decide on whether a painting will have color or not?
Tin: … if the art has a lot of detail and background elements, i will stick with black and white … if the idea is simple then i’ll try color … that will change eventually though, i’ll move into color with lots of detail … i’m always practicing so when i feel i’m ready, you’ll see more color.
AM: Can you run us through your creative process from concept to completion? Is everything planned or is there some spontaneity involved?
Tin: … it’s very spontaneous for the most part … i figure things out as i go. i won’t name the art until i’m finished … some ideas happen because i suck … like my piece “the burden.” (seen below) that was supposed to be just a woman holding one unicorn bunny type creature, but i kept screwing up her arm and hand that was supposed to be holding the bunny … so i said frig it, i’ll just pile a bunch of bunnies on top of each other and then i won’t have to draw her hand or arm at all … that was the burden.
AM: I have heard it mentioned that if a painting goes unsold, when it returns to you, it has a date with fire. Is there any truth to this and what are the reasons behind it? Have you had to do this yet?
Tin: i like the process of doing the art more than the final product … once its finished, so is the fun for me … i’ve exhausted all my enjoyment once its finished … it needs to be with someone else … that’s the larger reason … the smaller reasons are — if a gallery doesn’t sell the art, it means that i didn’t put enough emotion in it to connect with a collector … i failed … the cost of the art outweighed the excitement to the viewer … i don’t want art to exist that reminds me of failure … lastly, it keeps me from being lazy … i truly want the art to be enjoyed by someone else … the desperation that comes with failing and thus burning, gives me motivation to do my best … i haven’t burned any unsold gallery art yet, but i know of one piece that may come back to me soon … i’ll post pictures of it burning in my journal.
AM: Can you share with us some of what you have coming up in the future. Shows? Projects?
Tin: … doesn’t everyone like surprises … i do.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview Tin.
He seems to like secrets but we know he has a show coming up at Copronason Gallery on November 8th as well as a show next year (February) at Black Maria Gallery.Â The image directly above is for the Copronason show but hopefully we’ll have a more extensive preview to follow…