Friday, March 4, 2011

Jinx in the Sky...With Diamonds! (an interview)

With the LowBrow Art Movement becoming prevalent now since the 1900’s according to The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, artists all over the world have emerged with different color schemes to display outrageous surrealist themes. I was able to interview one artist in particular who for the past year has gained a popularity increase in New Zealand: Jinx in the Sky. Here is her take on being a LowBrow Artist:

Me: Thanks for agreeing to this interview today, I checked out your blog and I am not filled in exactly with the event with Christchurch, can you fill me in on what that event is about?

Jinx: Hi, no problem. A big earthquake struck the city of Christchurch killing heaps of people. The city lies in ruins and lots are still missing. It's in the media all over the world. Very sad.

artwork auctioned for the Christchurch earthquake
Me: Wow that does sound tragic. I saw the painting you did for it. Was it directly influenced by the occurrence or did you dream about it?

Jinx: No, it was a painting I did in 2009 after returning from Austria. I thought it would be a good thing to auction it off and give the money to Christchurch.

The painting was influenced by a dream I had about my friend moving into a new house in Vienna and the house was all crazy with stairways coming in and out of the walls and floor.

Me: That sounds interesting, what has been the craziest dream you ever had?

Jinx: Wow that’s a hard one...I think the first one that springs to mind was a dream I had when I was about 16 or 17. I dreamed I was running up a spiral staircase in a dark stone tower. On the side of it there were small windows. On one of the windowsills was something white and translucent. I looked at it and it was an embryo but only like the white, translucent skin of it. I looked closer and saw the skin of its guts and organs like a cicada larvae leaving its old body. Then I ran downstairs again, it started snowing and there were logs on the stairs. Wild animals and dogs were racing upwards as I was running down. I exited the tower and was looking for a friend. I went into a restaurant and ordered a glass of milk. It was on a tray and I looked at it to find it making waves like the ocean. Then the milk turned hard and black like ashes. That was my dream.

Me: Besides dreams, is there anything else that inspires your artwork?

Jinx: Just life, music and nature. I'm a very emotional person and whenever I don’t know how to express or don't want to talk about it, it goes into my paintings, disguised in symbols and metaphors like dreams do.

Me: That is how I am with poetry and drawing. How long do you usually take in completing a painting?

"Those who walk with diamonds"

Jinx: It depends on the size and such. Usually around 30 - 40 hours, but that's just painting time without drying then. All in all it can take 2 - 4 weeks to complete. Darker paintings take longer than lighter ones.

Me: I went to your websites and checked out the photos on the "Sk8 of the Art" event at New Zealand's Te Papa Museum. How did it feel like to see your artwork displayed like that?

Jinx: It was awesome! I also loved everyone else’s stuff, some very crazy boards there!

Me: what sparked to get your first gallery viewing of your artwork?

Jinx: I didn’t show my art to any galleries until the start of 2009 when I moved to Wellington, which is where most of NZ's art is based. Friends of mine told me about this gallery that looked like they'd like my style and so one day we went in and I showed them my stuff. They loved it and shortly after displayed some of it in their "shop" area. That was the first time my art was shown in public.
The gallery was Manky Chops Gallery which is Wellington’s lowbrow, pop surrealism gallery

Me: How exciting! Would you ever consider your artwork as part of the "low-brow movement"?

Jinx: the Low Brow movement and Pop Surrealism as such, has many facets. Artists that are very different in style all belong to it. For example, Lory Earley belongs to it just as much as the likes of Mark Ryden. So yes, if you were to put my art into a category then this is the one that fits best.

Me: I am really curious and interested in the low brow movement, so when I googled images for low-brow your painting "The Glory of Gloria's tadpoles" came up. I was instantly captured by the color scheme and the pink coming out of "Gloria's" mouth. How did that one come about?

"The glory of Gloria's tadpoles"

Jinx: Well the painting originally was made after a much darker sketch. In the original sketch the girl’s eyes were rolling upwards and black stuff was coming out of her mouth. I painted it to express how you feel when lots of bad things happen all at once and instead of swallowing them down you spit them out again because you know they're no good. I decided it was too dark and swapped the colors for brighter ones because I love color and you can still see the darker core of the picture without it having to be all black.

Me: Do you see your artwork ever crossing over to a museum in the United States? (If it hasn't already happened)

Jinx: I would love to show over there, but it's hard to network with galleries when you live so far away. Maybe it will happen someday.

Me: What is one strong symbol that has drawn your attention to you from your dreams, artwork, or both?

Jinx: For me, the crescent moon because it stands for dreams. I recently got it tattooed on my wrist. It helps me to do reality checks during waking life so it makes lucid dreaming easier. Lucid dreaming is when you know that you're dreaming and you can influence what's happening. Don’t even get me started on that one.

Me: Cool. What inspired your art name, "Jinx in the Sky"?

Jinx: I’ve had my name "Jinx" since I was 17 or 18. During class we wrote into a little "chat book" at school instead of passing letters. We all had incognito names in case the teachers would ever find it and my name was Jinx. I chose it because in my dictionary it said it means something like "unlucky talisman". I liked that at the time cause I felt I was a bit unlucky and dark - I guess lots of people of that age do... later on I really liked the Beatles song "Lucy in the sky with diamonds" and I named myself Jinx in the sky with diamonds but that was too long so I dropped the diamonds. The diamond symbol (as cliché as it might be in hipster art nowadays) also means a lot to me. My website is called diamond soul so I haven’t completely lost it.

Me: Last but not least: if you could go back in time and visit yourself, what time in your life would you go to and what would you do or say to yourself?

Jinx: hmmmm, I think possibly I'd visit myself around 6 - 9 year old, just to relive everything. I think that time of my life was very cool, playing in the garden, climbing trees and walking in the river, living in a fantasy world at times. I don't think I'd say anything to myself, I wouldn't want to change anything because everything that happened made me the person that I am today.

Me: Great! Thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Jinx in the Sky is just one of many Low Brow artists gaining popularity. She sells T-shirts with her artwork as a front piece. If you are interested in checking out what is up with Jinx in the Sky’s artwork and travels check out her blog:

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