1. Does your works have an unambiguous interpretation? Or any understanding of your pictures can be legal and the aim is in the spectator's emotions?
Most of my art is ambiguous, and I prefer
it that way. Much of the time, I have no idea what it "means"
and people can read many different things into it. That's part
of the fun and the appeal of it. People can see themselves in
it, but on a level below the surface of verbal understanding.
My art is intuitive, rather than intellectual, and this works
nicely for me, considering my philosophy of art. I really have
a big problem with "conceptual" art, because I feel
that art should be first and foremost VISUAL--it should be a feast
for your eyes. It should make your eyes want to look and look
and look. Then, I feel that art should speak to your heart and
your gut and your spirit; words and concepts are not needed for
this, in fact, they often get in the way. Sometimes, when I'm
in the art museum, I'll see people who spend more time reading
the information next to a painting than looking at the actual
painting. I want to go over to them and say, "Just look at
the painting--really LOOK at it. You don't need to know when and
where it was painted, you don't need any words to explain it--in
fact, just shut off your mind and LOOK." I'll bet these people
would have a much deeper and richer experience of interaction
and communion with the art if they could do this. Of course, this
is just my own personal soapbox opinion. If you're into conceptual
art, that's just fine--I'm not looking for a debate. Much of my
art is the subconscious expressing itself; kind of like inkblots
or word association. Of course, I often do have some conscious
idea of a particular direction--I'm not a blind medium--but it's
usually not clear-cut or spelled out, and this leaves lots of
room for the piece to evolve. And it often does evolve, changing
into something that bears little resemblance to what I started
with. Sometimes people tell ME what the piece means, illuminating
some personal significance that I was unaware of when it was created,
and that's always fascinating.
2. Some of your works dedicated to political lies and state oppression. Is art and social criticism sufficient tools to solve these problems?
A good question, and one I have pondered
somewhat. I think it's really hard to say how much artistic social
criticism helps to bring about change.
One of the things that makes art powerful is that it enables people to communicate. One can express things that are hard to express in words or linear thought forms, and one can communicate on deeper, more visceral and spiritual levels. If you feel the need for social reform, it can be empowering to know that there are others who share your views and concerns. And sometimes, a work of art can stir something within the collective unconscious and mobilize large groups of people into shifting their thinking. And when I say art, I'm using the word in it's larger context to include films, literature, music etc. Artists are often the advance antenna of the culture, picking up on social trends and movements before most of the populace. By creating art that communicates this shift in the zeitgeist, I think that art can sometimes galvanize the forces of change and help to usher them in. I also feel, however, that the more didactic and ideological the art, the more people will tend to resist it. If you try to control people's minds with art they will resist you; if you try to touch their hearts, they will hear you. I sometimes feel the need to do more politically oriented art, but my muses always bring me back to the personal. Ultimately, I believe that if every person worked to heal themselves and others within their own small sphere of life, the larger society would be transformed automatically.
3. You show us cynical distortions of our idols and dark reflections of our fantasies. Don't you worry about positive effect of your works or you just want to shock people, "to pee in a cultural soup"?
I'm not really trying to shock people. My work is about healing my own inner wounds and befriending my demons. Some of it is very "in your face" because I have a lot of repressed anger still left over from my childhood. And as an idealistic free-thinker and humanitarian, I see much in this modern world to be angry at, especially given the current political climate here in the US. But it's more about me saying "Listen! I have something that needs to be said! It may not be pretty--in fact, a lot of it is really ugly, but the truth will set you free!"
4. Can you teach something to Durer, Dali or Giger?
Haha--wow, that would be really presumptuous of me! No. To me, they are masters, and I will always be learning from them.
5. What do you feel when you stay alone with your images? Is it fear, desperation, hope, joy or indifference?
It's really hard for me to be objective about my art. Every once in a while, I'll be able to shift my perception and look at my work as if I was another person encountering it for the first time, but I don't really experience any emotions. I'm not indifferent to it, in fact, my pictures are almost like my children. However, they do not evoke any emotional reaction from me once they've been completed. I think the art becomes a container for the emotion; it's taken out of me and held within the art, therefore, I no longer feel it. This is why I'm often surprised when people have strong reactions to the art which I look at with complete neutrality. I have to remind myself that other people are reacting to what the art is holding for me.
6. Every culture has its own matter and subject as well as human has his own body and soul. Post-industrial culture is dead. You draw post-mortal existence and putrefaction of its "body". Where we can see things that happens with its "soul"?
For me, body and soul are artificial distinctions created by a brain that exists in three-dimensional reality. We need to classify and make distinctions in order to make sense of the world and navigate through it. But in my world-view, the body is the same energy as the soul vibrating at a slower rate, making it denser and more palpable. Since we cannot see the soul directly, there is a long tradition in visual art of representing spiritual things with symbols and metaphors: angel wings, halos, light-filled images, etc. In my world-view, the distinction between dark/light and physical/spiritual is not so clear-cut, in fact, it's an illusion. The putrefaction I depict is part of an alchemical process of spiritual transformation. Something has to die and disintegrate and make a fertile soil for something new to be born. The dying something is one's misconceptions and self-defeating beliefs and illusions. The birthing (or re-birthing) something is a deeper and fuller understanding of the true spiritual nature of physical reality, the union of once-conflicting opposites, and the embrace of paradox.