Whatsup everybody, Jimi Jaxon here! Disco Droppings won’t be ending the year quietly. Got interviews on the way with some superb characters. Encouraging collaboration, elevated consciousness and the rebellious spirit. For those unaware, this site now hosts a monthly at Kremwerk, fittingly called “Disco Droppings Presents”. Now third Thursdays, I bring the energy of the site to the club, with varied attitude and quality as the unifying theme. Next week, you can see 3 brilliant Krissy Downing pieces alongside musical performances from Goodwin, WMD, Mascara, Greyspot and myself. Lightlinked will also be VJ’in. RSVP here
Today, we go deep into the subconscious with surrealist painter & musician, Krissy Downing. This is a first for site, and perfect timing I feel. And, jump..
DD Well I first heard about you through True Love Art Gallery in Seattle. I’ve been doing shows with them since opening night, and it’s truly one of my favorite places in the city. What was your experience like at the latest “Misfits & Mutants” opening? You have quite a few pieces there, of different feels and I was really intrigued.
KD True Love is the best (most professional? fancy?) place I’ve gotten to show my paintings since I moved here. I dig the whole atmosphere there. The people there are so nice, laid back, smart, cool. I feel like it was a major accomplishment landing that opportunity with them, and the opening was a lot of fun. A lot of my core group of pals didn’t make it for whatever reason, but I met a bunch of new friends.
DD My favorite was called “Uprooted” I believe. What was the theme behind that one?
KD That’s a good question. I like to hear how others interpret my pieces, because my approach is so loose, almost subconscious. I literally just started painting the tree into him without thinking about it. It usually starts with looking at the composition and thinking very technically “where is there blank space?”, “what kind of lines do I need to add to change focus or add balance?”, and then random stuff like that happens :].
It’s very similar to how I write music.
Loose and improvisational.
DD I think this is an interesting mindset to bring onto Disco Droppings. More focused on the subconscious. Are you ever surprised at what comes out of you, when pulling from these dream like spaces?
KD Not really anymore. I’ve been at it so long that I just expect unusual things to materialize. I love it. Sometimes the stranger the better. I love feeling confident in just letting go and not succumbing to an inner critic…telling me that what I’m creating is too whacky. It’s very freeing.
DD I bet:) So you started out drawing in this free form way as a child with your father. Did you later learn about Surrealism and see the connection?
KD Yes, it’s funny I didn’t even really make the connection with how I approach Surrealism until recently …basically until I was thinking of what to say to explain things for a video. I had never really tried to explain it before that. My art, writing and music have always been weird/absurd/surreal…I think just because of my sense of humor and a very strong desire (I’ve had since I was a baby) to rebel against conformity and to try to shed light on unusual perspectives. That’s a great question by the way. All these are great!
DD Thank you! I’ve had lots of practice:]].
From what I’ve researched, Surrealism points to Freud’s dream theories as a main emphasis. How much importance do you place on what comes up in your dreams?
KD When I was younger, I used to be able to control my dreams whenever I was at the point close to waking up. And I would conjure up these fascinating 3D images and just study them, …spin them around and examine their textures, colors, how they moved… And then when I did wake up I’d try to sketch them out (I was much worse at drawing back then so I couldn’t quite get the drawings to convey the dreams precisely). I think that helped motivate me to keep drawing as I was growing up. I really wanted to be able to show other people the super weird creatures objects and worlds I could see in my dreams.
I haven’t had the same ability for several years now, so I tend not to think about my dreams as much. But it was a big influence in shaping my whole art journey :].
DD That’s fascinating! And lastly with music, what are some of your strongest inspirations?
KD This is going to be an odd answer. My strongest inspiration for pursuing music goes back to my innate rebellious nature. My family was very poor but my parents made sure I was always in a good school (which meant full of snobby wealthy kids and snobby teachers) And one day in 6th grade I was told outright by my orchestra teacher “You will never be as good as an Asian kid at the violin.” –OH MAN did that spark a fire in me. I spent every moment of free time practicing. We couldn’t afford lessons so I would use a tape recorder to record things off the TV (like the theme song to Masterpiece Theater, or the violin part from Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush”…heh) and then just practice and practice until I made my violin sound just like them! So that was my main inspiration. Some of my favorite musical influences are also kind of rebellious: Modest Mouse, Dresden Dolls, Cat Power, Rasputina… or just insanely brilliant: Dvorak, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Holst…Beatles, Metallica …Young the Giant
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- Jimi Jaxon