Back Talk with Emek

Juxtapoz // Monday, 13 Jul 2009
1


Over the past two decades, Emek has created hundred of posters for top bands including Beastie Boys, Bright Eyes, Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips, Queens of Stone Age, and many, many more.

 

 

Okay, I’ll name a few more: Radiohead, Velvet Revolver, The Decemberists, The Pixies, Mars Volta... Now I think you get the idea.

His work is hand drawn, detailed, and cerebral, lending itself to the nickname “The Thinking Man’s Poster Artist”. Read more from this talented artist and check out some of his radical art below.

 

How do you feel right now?

 

Feels good to get all the staples out.

 

If you could wake up in a different place tomorrow morning, where would it be?

 

I do wake up in a different place every morning. Sleepwalking has its benefits. But I would like to wake up in the house I grew up in. before they exorcized it of course.

If you lost your creative skill, how would you see yourself making a living?

 

I lost my creative skill years ago.

 

If you could punch one living contemporary artist, who would it be?

 

Tara Mcpherson, 'cause she's so good. And cuz she's a girl.

 

But really, I am not a punch guy. I’m more of a hug guy. True contemporary art is what I see at all the finer art gallery openings I go to. I mean, this guy's work is ubiquitous.

 

I am talking about the artist that invented sprayable cheese.

Was your first kiss worth writing a song about?

 

It was called sorry I threw up in your mouth.

 

At what point were you particularly happy?

 

When my son was born. I knew I could harvest his organs.

 

No regrets allowed, but there must have been one?

 

Not having more kids.


What trait do your friends have in common?

 

They are always about to step out the door whenever I call them, even when they are driving.

 

If you had to evacuate your home or studio, what's the one thing you would grab?

 

My shower. I do love my shower.

Greatest love of your life?

 

Art, you silly.

 

My wife says I am married to my art, but my art complains that I am still sleeping with my wife.

 

What is your favorite vice?

 

The one where crockett and tubbs kicked phil collins' ass.


When you blow out the birthday candles, what do you wish for?

 

More candles.

 

Growing up, we could not afford light.

 

If you could play a character from a favorite film or TV show for a day, who would it be?

 

Duh, Ash Williams.

Do you ever lie?

 

I try.

 

Do you think viewers understand the intent of your work?

 

If you like trees, and the killing of them to make art about the saving of them, then yes.

 

What virtue can you do without?

 

Religiosity.

Do you even notice you're swearing?

 

Is that a typo? fuck, are you psychic? how did you even know?

 

What has been your proudest moment?

 

That I am still here.

 

And by here, I mean, I made it to question #18.

What would you like to be remembered for?

 

Art is a good way to deceive yourself into immortality.

 

With mental patients in an institution, they give them basket weaving and finger painting because the very act of working with your hands is therapeutic. I guess my art is like a combination of weaving and fingerpainting, maybe that would have been a better career choice. It’s the same thing with making posters, it’s a handmade product. You have to come up with an idea, you have to draw it, color it, print it, sign it, pack it, ship it …it can make you mental. But it’s therapeutic. For a period of time, you get two rewards: You get the reward of distraction — you don’t think about the outside world, and you’re faced with solvable problems, and if they’re not solvable, you die. Or not. And then, if people like it, you get pay your bills and think you are special, until the next job. Because you are only as good as your last job. But it’s an interesting way to waste your life. Except for the shock treatment.

How would you prefer to die? 

 

Is that a threat?
 

Vault

Full magazine features from Juxtapoz

visit the VAULT >