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Interview Todd "Reas" James

vendredi 5 septembre 2008, par Thibault Choay
Tags : Art | Reas | Todd James

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A l’occasion de son exposition personnelle “Blood & Treasure” à la galerie Lazarides en ce moment à Londres, le magazine Complex s’est entretenu avec l’artiste.

Un portfolio complet de l’exposition vient accompagner l’interview.

Nous vous avions annoncé l’exposition ici. Voici l’interview menée par Jack Erwin pour le magazine Complex :

The good news ? There are 4 months, 26 days, and a handful of hours left in the George W. Bush presidency. The bad ? Homeboy has seriously effed up a bunch of things, most notably the war in Iraq.
It’s with that in mind that graf legend and multi-media artist (and Complex cover designer) Todd “REAS” James opens his latest exhibit, “Blood & Treasure” at the Lazarides Gallery in London tomorrow night, where it will run through September 26. Before he jetted off to the U.K., James sat with Complex to discuss the science behind his latest batch of beautiful mindfuck pieces.

By Jack Erwin

Complex : So the stuff in “Blood and Treasure” is new work ? How long have you been working on it ?
Todd James : Since the beginning of the year. It’s an extension of the work I did at V1 Gallery for a show titled “Trouble.”

Complex : What’s the inspiration for the work in this exhibit ?
Todd James : Global conflict, Iraq. Basically the state of things now.

Complex : As far as the mainstream media is concerned, the view is that the war in Iraq is going better now. What’s your take ?
Todd James : Well we should have never been there to begin with. Really, the situation on the ground for the troops might be up but on the whole, for the country, it’s not. We are spending shitloads on this thing and we borrowed and are borrowing the money from other countries.

Complex : When you’re putting your work together, do you think about trying to challenge people to look at things any differently ?
Todd James : I don’t know. I made this work for myself initially, just kind of a reaction to watching the news. I don’t know if people will view the war differently. I think most people know this was wrong by now. Maybe it’s just a reminder.

Complex : So are you worried about a “preaching to the choir” sort of thing creeping in ?
Todd James : No, because I’m not really preaching. It’s through my filter and not trying to be heavy-handed even though it’s a heavy topic. The subject matter isn’t new and it’s not meant to be. I’m just presenting it in my voice.

Complex : You mentioned this being a reaction to things you saw on the news.
Todd James : It’s both the events and the method of the way it’s delivered. “Shock and awe” sounds like an energy drink. It’s a packaged, focus-grouped war built to sell in a way that seems less horrible than it is. The language and the candy-coated news graphics remove us from the reality.

Complex : And you’re debuting a new animated short at this show ?
Todd James : Yeah. I’m still thinking about the title, it might just be the title of the show. I just wanted to make a new piece of animation with the same visual language I’m using in the paintings. A lot of what I’m presenting is like a horrible cartoon, so animation is a great vehicle.

Complex : So any parting comments about the exhibit ?
Todd James : Yeah, we made a great catalog book for the show and Jonathen Lethem wrote the intro. People I’ve shown the work to have had a positive response to the paintings so far and I’m really excited for people to see it all as a whole.

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