Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Interview with Art Whino Artist David Foox

David grew up as quite the wild child in New Zealand. He was living alone and far away from his parents at a very young age. Other than getting into heaps of trouble, he developed a creative personality that is one of the largest contributor to his style. When he moved to New York he started painting miniatures with a professional career model painter who worked for DC Comics. David painted with him everyday in his studio and obtained a certain style from all of his 3D practice. The highlights and line work in his paintings come directly from the many hours he spent painting miniature models in the small Brooklyn studio.

When canvas became David's second medium he started out mostly painting women. Women he was chasing, women in different sexual position or orgasming. Most of these paintings are part of the secret collection that only his closest friends own. His more well-known work explores broader and less taboo topics such as the samurai, lucky number 8, the Buddha, certain types of weaponry and assorted foreign currencies. His most recent work, the Scary Money series is a product of his obsession with foreign currency. It is by far his most fascinating work and he will continue to grow this series much more in the near future. He also plans to paint more erotic material this year to give others a chance to collect these breathtaking and sometimes shocking pieces.


What drew you to become an artist?
When I look at something beautiful I get a really good feeling inside. I guess you could call this a feeling of joy or happiness. I have responded this way to beautiful things ever since I was very young. It impacted my early choices in toys, games, girls and now my paintings. That and the limitless ability to create things 2D and 3D.

Who or what has made the biggest impact on you and your art?
I think my art carries with it a certain youthfulness (like playing with GI Joe or Star Wars) but also a very distinct political and socially responsible message. I try to make everything so subtle in this regard that it is almost un-noticeable. So to answer the question, I like toys and toys have massaged my style. But I also like the numbers "88" and "18" and of course Buddha.

What is your medium of choice? One of two things: 1) acrylic on RIVES paper 2) sculpy and no.8 wire (for 3D creations)

If you were asked to paint a self portrait what would it look like?

HA! I have thought about this a lot and I have a few ideas of what I would want to convey. Prolly the one I have settled on is as follows: A bare-chested, well-muscled, warrior type character from either around 800 AD or much much earlier in history wearing a white sheet around the waist with some brown leather extras. In my right hand I carry a sword made of Damascus steel and wrapped around my left arm down to my hand is a brown leather strap 1 inch fat and lined around my left arm. On my head a halo of light and my face serious with concentration. Magic would surround me and a sense of strength would imbibe the viewer. My other idea is a lot lighter.... I thought it would be cool to create a self-portrait of me as a MUNNY Toy!

What projects are you working on now?
Whew! Too many to list. Ok... Organ Donors by FOOX (this is a toy line that I've developed that is coming out in October), developing the "Scary Money" series into something bigger both in terms of storyline, my personal message, and mediums. Painting for solo shows in Houston (Oct), NYC (Nov), Vegas (Mar '09), and SF (Apr '09). And then some secret projects!

Do you have any art available in shows/galleries at this time?
I am actually out of stock. I really tried to stick with only doing original pieces for as long as I could, but I think we will be starting a print run for certain pieces pretty soon. I really want to try doing a run with a laser etching machine.

There are still a couple of paintings available right now at at www.kungfoox.com but it is mostly my older work. There are three specialty shops in Los Angeles that carry some fun products that have been made out of my work like stencils and skins. You can find them at Lab 101, Black Maria and Black Market, all in LA. Also, I am dedicating the entire next month to painting for a few upcoming solo shows. So the pieces for those shows will be available for purchase at the events. The first is in Dallas at the G-Star Raw Store in Victory Park for a one night only event September 18th. At the end of October I'll have a lot of work done because I am doing a solo show in quite a large space in Houston and then in November I will have a large body of small pieces prepared for a one night only show at the Mansion in NYC curated by P
aper Magazine. I'm really excited to get some new work out for these shows.

Do you think formal training or not having formal training helped your art?
I have strong opinions on this. I will try to answer it diplomatically. An artist is not created in a school, an artist is born. Art schools are great for churning out clones of old masters or photocopies of their teachers. I think practice, dedication, desire, and observation are stronger teachers of art than any school. Just looking at life, the characters that come in and out of the frame, and your good old fashioned imagination are the greatest tools available. Use them! Having said that, I did do a quasi-apprenticeship under a well-known miniature painter. Learning to paint models and monsters first has certainly allowed me to develop my brand of shading and shadowing.

Can you give us a description of an upcoming project that is still only being developed in your head (a project in progress).
No. Well. Alright. I want to re-brand the State of Texas. Recently, my wife and I were in California for Comic Con and we were rolling in our signature black on black on black on black Chevy Beast (with Texas license plates) and at the light some douche yelled out "Go Back to Texas You Fucks". I just wanted to drive the Beast over them but that is not allowed. :) So I thought about WHY Texas has such a bad rep abroad. And the answer lies in a combination of Republican backlash, backlash against Pres. Bush, and a shift in geopolitics. Well I love Texas and I love it for the reasons that make it unique and distinct. Open roads, little traffic, friendly people, big hats, big trucks, cheap(er) gasoline, the cowboy history (Remember the Alamo), the Lone Star, Sheriffs and Deputies, Texas summers, the Piney Woods, billboard signs advertising firearms ("Invest in Peace of Mind"), and border towns all make for a pretty interesting story and one that I want to explore - but only from the positive aspect - unfortunately the negative is already well advertised!


Rico Horsley said...

I am a friend of David's and have seen the artworks which you refer to as "Most of these paintings are part of the secret collection that only his closest friends own". In my opinion these artworks are really impressive very original. I feel privileged to have seen the secret collection.
Rico Horsley, Auckland, New Zealand

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work bro.

David said...

! cool !

Steven said...

Very cool. Interesting ideas and beautiful work. I look forward to the upcoming work and shows!

Jenny M said...

Lovely :)

Daniel Barojas said...

David is a great artist with a unique en personal artistic process & work. This is complimented by his cool persona & awesome disposition as a human. Stay flossin' homie

Anonymous said...

I met the Foox Duo at ArtWhino's opening as a result of being friends with the writer from OnTap who had interviewed them and was there to see the work in person. I had no idea that when I went, I would find myself enamoured with a painting and end up purchasing it!

I surprised David in my choice. I fell in love with an old man, while my fiance was away. Of course, by old man, I mean "The Old Man and the Sea".

It is the first work of art that David and Jessica created together, and it is a phenomenal blend of their styles (not that I'm biased or anything). It surprised them that I chose to purchase it because I am young, female, urban and the youth minister of a church in the DC Area.

The piece attracted me for many reasons. It is primarily the Old Man's face and beard - a blue beard which flows into the "sea" around it. The face was created by Jessica to look more like sand, and the waters were created with a metal-based paint that reacts to water.

To me, it was an astounding blend of innovation, wisdom, passion, and combined talents. Everyone who sees it gasps and asks about it - and after hearing the stories behind it, fall more in love with it. Just as I did!

I hope that, when they feel led, they will continue to create together!