Thursday, July 16, 2009

Leo Boyd / Arg My Face

LB: To me art is something that I'm compelled to make, something like the cup of coffee that I need to drink in the morning to wake up. It's a slap round the face and I have an almost physical drive to produce. The world we live in is driven by image and signs that jump up and down and shout at us, all vying for portions of our attention. There is a rubbish tip in our brains that is full of this stuff, from the Ladybird books of our childhood to the swine flu pamphlets we read and discarded just a few months ago. All this old information sits there, rotting, getting confused, and I feel I need to use it, to dig it up and paste it back together to create new and hopefully interesting pieces. Its psychic recycling I guess. I like my work to be funny. And dark. There is something satisfying about mixing the two things and it's always good to be able to laugh at the darker side of life. I also find the mundane fairly beautiful. I have a thing at the moment for traffic lights. To me they look like the strange totem poles of some technologically advanced society that worships three colored gods. I can't get enough of them.

MD: What is your background? How did you get involved with art?

LB: My mum is an artist and we were always encouraged creatively. I have very early memories of drawing felt-tip pictures of superman and then covering them in a layer of cellotape so that they would last forever. The pictures didn't last but my creative drive is still going strong.

MD: What are some of your goals and/ or plans?

LB: To keep doing what I do and strive to get better at it. I'd also like to visit Mars.

MD: Have you exhibited your work?

LB: Have just finished exhibiting in Bristol with three other Argists and am hanging an exhibition this week in Temple Bar with Eavan O'Sullivan, another excellent artist (and Argist) who creates these weird collage animals that would be the stuff of nightmares if they weren't so cute. The show is called What the Cat Dragged In.

MD: Have you held any jobs/ careers that you'd like to discuss?

LB: At the moment I'm working for a community arts organization called City Art Squad but before this I have held a number of glamorous positions in Chicken Factories and mental homes.

MD: What are you currently reading?

LB: Just finished reading Light by M John Harrison and Nova Swing by the same author. Two books of brain twistingly good science fiction that will keep you on your toes for weeks after reading.

MD: If you were to build a house out of unorthodox materials, what type of house would you build?

LB: I'd build a tower out of MSG, coffee and twisted science fiction novels. That way I'd never sleep even if I wanted to.

MD: Playlist of a few favorite songs:

LB: I am a big Radiohead fan. I love their oblique use of sound and the way they can make even the most horrible thing seem beautiful. Check out 'four minute' warning on youtube to see what I mean. My friends get annoyed because I play Radiohead too often but I know that they love it really!

MD: What are some of your interests?

LB: I love surfing but I live on the wrong side of the country to do it as much as I want to so I am hanging on for 2012 when the world is supposed to spin on its axis. Hopefully that will send some good swell Dublin way.

MD: Historical figure you'd like to have a drink with, given the chance?

LB: Oooo this is a difficult question. I mean I'd love to go for a few drinks with Lenin mainly so I could get some photos of me and him in the pub but you could say the same of most historical characters. Lichtenstein is someone who I'd like to have met and Patrick Moore too but he's still alive so I guess that doesn't count?

MD: Favorite visual artists?

LB: There are too many to list outright but I love the work of the Pop artists, the Dada group, Otto Dix, Sigmar Polke and the Futurists.

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