How artist Matthew Zacharias talks GI Joes and coming of age
Published: June 6, 2012
MT: Describe the reaction of your ideal gallery gawker who really gets what you're doing.
Zacharias: Well, no one would know anything about what I'm doing without the opportunity to occupy a space. Simone's [DeSousa] gallery [Re:View Contemporary] is a perfect space and it's a privilege to be a part of what she has going on. She's making shit happen in Detroit. As far as the gawkers go, my hope is that people will have their own reaction to the pieces versus any kind of agenda that I'm trying to say-create-construct. My hope is that they will create their own meaning and stories based on what's riffing off of the wall.
MT: You started out as a filmmaker? Why the shift to the canvas: the silent text, the still image?
Zacharias: Still, moving, static, or whatever: it's all one big movie in my eyes. The canvases are biggie-sized storyboards for a large bowl of visual-soup. I'm a visual freak. Scott Allen is the same way. He and I will flip through magazines [for collage work] all day in the studio getting drunk off of imagery. Then we do the same with the silkscreens: playing, riffing with pictures. ... Then we play until it "works."
MT: If this show had a six-song soundtrack, what would it be?
1 "Punk" Gorillaz
2 "Dumb" Nirvana
3 "Jackie Blue" Ozark Mountain Daredevils
4 "When Yer Twenty Two" Flaming Lips
5 "Open My Eyes" Nazz
6 "Let Forever Be" Chemical Brothers
MT: Childhood, Boyhood, Sonic Youth: a sort of where I've been, what I've done, what I wished I'd done. What part of the bigger picture do you see yourself entering at this point of your life?
Zacharias: Hopefully, some form of "Sonic-Manhood." There is always a kind of closure, or cathartic chapter-closing that happens after a body of work is produced. The content of this show, as the title overstates, has a "coming-of-age" theme. My maturity level is a work-in-progress, but I need to keep moving forward. I can't play with GI Joe forever.
Peter Markus is an author and senior writer of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project. His most recent book of stories is We Make Mud. Send comments to email@example.com.
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