[RS Gallery] • James Victore is an artist and designer living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His work is known for its shocking and raw visual aesthetic, and strongly advocates artistic integrity and individuality. He's worked with clients like Esquire and TIME magazine, has an Emmy for television animation, and has had his art has exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art. He also teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, as well as around the globe. See his work at his website, http://www.jamesvictore.com/.
Interview between Michael Robinson, Evolver's Art Director, and the artist:
1. What's your personal mantra?
JV: I have many mantras that I live by and use to remind myself daily. Some of the more frequently used are: "Help me, help me, help me." I am not afraid to ask for help or admit that I know nothing. I also "Ask for more" as much as possible. A good one to remember everyday is that "Complaining is not conversation."
2. What does the role of Artist/Designer mean to you?
JV: This means that we, as artists and creators, have a vision, and we ply it onto different surfaces, be it ink on paper or dinnerware or the shape of a new shoe or auto.
3. What is the driving force behind your creativity?
JV: I have no clue where this drive comes from. I know that if I were not a designer I would still create. Possibly I would make furniture; I like working with my hands. That's it - I would make wobbly chairs and slanty tables!
4. What transformative experiences have influenced your life and how has that manifested in your work?
JV: Reflecting back, I think my role as a father (for 14 years) and teacher (for a lot more years) has taken me through many crossroads and has also given me the opportunity to revisit my ideas, my path and my expectations. I feel that the work and the studio is under constant flux and change, trying to become what it was meant to be - my job is to listen and let it change. This requires me to be open to transformation - even though I may dread it ("Change is good," is another good mantra.")
5. How long does it take you on average to complete a piece of work, and do you ever do several pieces simultaneously?
JV: The deadline is rarely ordained by me. And even if you give me three months, I work rather quickly. We generally are working on two or three assignments at once. Added to the fact that I teach, am dad and husband, write books, create personal projects, write a newsletter... geesh - I'm kinda busy.
6. Why should people check out your work?
JV: Because we have done meaningful work and some funny shit. I have a book out now titled, "Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss?" from Abrams. It is a monograph of 20-something years of work. It's a good read and has a "best of" collection of work. If you want really funny stuff, I have another book coming out, also from Abrams, that I did with my pal Ross MacDonald titled, "In and Out With Dick and Jane." This is a hilarious (albeit sometimes raunchy) take on popular culture and society via the guise of a children's book.
7. How does your work affect Consciousness, and what are your views on the evolution of consciousness?
JV: I guess this question is the endnote to the previous question. I think people rise to my work because I have something to say. My goal is to make work that is pregnant with humour, sex appeal, poetry and philosophy - all the fun stuff that gets your heart beating. I am very conscious of not adding more distraction to the already buzzing and jigging of modern life. It is my hope that real human beings are attracted to my work, but I am not in control of that. All I can do is give my best effort on a daily basis and trust that that will be good enough.