Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary Art Auction: ArmsrockJuxtapoz // Wednesday, 04 Nov 2009
We are very pleased to announce the participation of Armsrock in our 15th Anniversary Art Auction, which is now live. This excerpt from a recent interview with Armsrock goes to show that artistic ability and insightful eloquence are not mutually exclusive.
What fuels your desire to release these beings into the world?
There are a lot of different answers to that question. For one, I don’t just want to sit in the studio and push paint around; I need to interact with and be a part of the world that I live in.
I often feel that art is like a really beautiful, secluded orchard, with a big tall fence around it. Maybe to make art matter we need to scale that fence. There are probably a million different ways this could be done, and I will probably constantly be redefining mine, but I think that it’s important that we ask ourselves: What am I doing and why am I doing this?
I was raised with a healthy amount of social indignation, and a lot of what I do I see as a form of activism. A lot of these images are created in an attempt to create a counterweight to the plastically beautiful and airbrushed humans found in the commercial imagery that completely dominate our visual landscape.
I thinks this sort of visual colonization is extremely dangerous, and a horrible sign of the times on top of that. We view each other through the filter that’s created by socialization, and the human view created by commercials, I find, to be horribly crooked and completely unreal. I wanted to create art that was free of commerce and as close to people as it could possibly get. I guess I have been striving towards this paradoxical language of weightless insistence, trying to work with the history of the city and at the same time relate to its continuous development.
I have chosen mainly to portray those people who are in so many ways considered unwanted, or those who are deliberately forgotten. I feel that I need to make a report on the things I see around me, and that a lot of what I see is the utter impossibility of our situation. But I also find that in the very recognition of this there lies the action of hope.
What kind of network of peers do you operate in?
My network of friends is built on a foundation of coincidences. I spent most of my adolescence in an environment where there were so many creative people that being creative was never turned into a big thing. Not in any negative or dismissive way, it was encouraged so much all around that it wasn’t something people necessarily had to carry around as a label.
I think there’s this strange tendency in our society to yearn for a singular definition point or purpose in one’s life, as a safe rope perhaps, or an anchor. Often when confronted with the question “what do you do?” people—and I include myself here—will answer with their job. I think it’s quite natural to define oneself through the thing that one spends the most time doing, but, fact is, I don’t know a single person who does only one thing. It’s dangerous when we start placing people in boxes and I think that it’s equally dangerous when we place ourselves in a box. It can only lead to limitations, and there is enough of that going around as it is.
So I can’t exactly tell you what my friends do, except that most of them are criminals, and all of them are very sweet and conscious people. I’m not part of an organized collective, but I have done a lot of collective work. Most of this has been in context of the activist environment in Copenhagen. I read this thing that goes something like, “We are the sum of the people we know.” Be that for good or ill.
Excerpt from Juxtapoz n95, December 2008. Interview by Alexander Klein.
Bid on this item here.
For more information on the Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary Art Auction, go to: www.juxtapoz.com/auction