Interview by Ewa Toniak
Is advertising today’s Naïve Art?
Naiveness is a trick, a sham. Advertising is actually super sophisticated. In the Naïve Art - in my understanding, everything is about straightforward communication, in-your-face emotions, and honest colours – the world is supposed to be a little bit prettier. Happiness can demonstrate itself in various ways. In advertising there are no understatements. Everything is under control. A smile is the most important thing.
It must be fun to draw only happy people?
It’s not actually easy to depict differences in smiles. I had to learn about the permanent sweetness. It’s a totally peaceful world. And airtight. It’s a kind of hyper-reality. A single drawing is like a warrant. I have to know what take is it, what people I am drawing, how old they are, what habits and jobs they have. What they can do. It’s similar to a composite sketch and a profile of a suspect. The only difference is that these suspects are mindless– they only dream of consumption.
I can see a subversive potential in your work.
Because they are pushing their luck?
Yes. There is some kind of formal excess, a surplus in your work. And it means something. Your drawings taken out of a storyboard, each one as an individual piece are grotesque. It’s a self pastiche.
I don’t see it in that way as I remember the context. This take was followed by another one and together they became a whole. Here, in the gallery, the individual illustrations fly off the wall as ‘pieces of art’. It’s quite a shock for me. For me this is trash art, a single-use product. All those drawings end up in a bin after a wrap.
A product, which comes back like a bad dream or an obsession? You want to escape from it, free yourself but you can’t. You delete it from your memory when suddenly it turns out that for someone else it has an autonomic value. Just like an art piece.
It has been a big surprise. I don’t treat those drawings in a personal way. I separate them from my own illustrations and comic books. They are of two, very different, untranslatable worlds. They only connect in my head.
For me, they make a coherent entirety. What is ousted from the idyllic storyboard families comes back in your gothic illustrations and comic books. There are a lot of violence and women treated like objects. The compulsory happiness of the advertisements bursts.
They are just explicit.
Advertising is the world ruled by the violence of image and word. Imperative mode. Why do you need more violence in your captions?
This is my little luxury – provocation. I can say what and how things are. Things that can’t be seen.
Can’t they be seen or are they just covered up with a big smile and warm colours?
Job in advertising means living under immense pressure. If I didn’t have my creative, individual art, my comic books, my illustrations, I would probably kill someone.