SCOTT SPEH GALLERY
845 W Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Wedensdays thru Saturdays
11am to 6pm
11 - October 10, 2009
PAUL NUDD VOMITROMITON
| images | press:
Art Review | Bad
at Sports | Fecal
Face | Huffington
Ongoing Email Interview with Paul Nudd
by Evan Lenox, 2009
E: What do you have planned for your upcoming show at Western Exhibitions?
Will you continue to explore past work, or will this next show be
P: I'll be showing a number of pieces, all new, all from the summer
of 2009. I'll be continuing with past work in a general way, i.e.
dealing with the abject, disgusting, gross and funny, or what I like
to call the perianal universe, but the issues I'll be addressing are
more specific, exclusive to what interests me now. I'm trying to flip
back and forth between different approaches to offensiveness in relation
to color. Sweet candy-colored pop tones on the one hand and dirty
fake dog vomit on the other. This show will feature unbleached titanium
and generic readymade "flesh tones" as points of interest.
Also, materials. The situation in my studio right now is dire; I'm
in the midst of a total crisis in terms of the materials I'm deciding
to use and not to use. I have a gold mine of materials that I've been
accumulating for years and the supply is dwindling. I've lost sleep
over this. I'm fighting between being concise and going for broke.
I may be over strategizing, which must always be bad. I'm also trying
to push my usage language and text a bit further, really trying to
beat it into the ground a little further. One of my paintings is called
E: I am excited that all of the work you will be showing is
so recent. It’s unfortunate that you are running into a material
crisis though! Nonetheless, I am intrigued by the fact that you are
ascertaining different approaches to offensiveness. Who is it that
you are aiming to offend? Is it the public in general, or more specifically
the art world? And why is it that you are interested in offensive
P: The two aspects of any work of art that interest me the most are
what the piece looks like and how the piece was made. Most of the
cultural production that we encounter today is way too slick, overproduced,
very neat and oppressively tidy. There's so much stuff that just screams
to be mussed up. The world and universe are so chaotic and random.
Awful things happen to the sweetest people. People should be suspicious
of anyone who "gets it", anyone who has it all figured out.
I don't aim to offend anyone; on the contrary, I want people to engage
with my work for as long as possible. I just think there is an entire
abyss of color combinations, forms, textures, and approaches to making
things that people need to see. Crust, slop, and meditations on fake
vomit and its uses are all interesting points of departure.
E: That’s a very valid point you make; everything is
too tidy for such a chaotic and random world! I like how your paintings
and other pieces include a wide range of combinations in regards to
color, texture, smell, etc. I also am intrigued by this ambiguity
and mysterious quality that your materials take on when they are forced
to engage with one another. The compositions they form are almost
like cells fighting with one another. Will these new works also include
strong smells like some of your past pieces? And on a separate note,
how do your various zines relate to your current work? And what is
it that you love about making your zines?
P: No, the smells event was a one-time thing, a real hoot. Everyone
had a real blast; although there were some serious death smells in
the air, everyone made it out okay. My good friend Jon actually never
made it back from his car, it’s such a horrible story. A poor
homeless woman approached him for some money and she caught a whiff
of his concoction and, sadly, vomited all over the inside of his car.
We were so worried about him and it wasn't until days later that we
were able to contact him.
The zines are a good way of getting a whole bunch of my drawings out
into the world for pretty much no cost at all. The drawings have to
be made with their eventual xerox reproduction in mind. I used to
just give them away and include them in submission packets, etc. I
started making nicer printed covers some time ago just to add to their
collectibility. Like all my stuff, they're a pain in the ass to actually
sit down and do, but i always like leafing through them for ideas