034 — Jonny Negron (Artist/Illustrator)
Friday, March 7, 2014: with guest Jonny Negron (Artist/Illustrator)
I invite Long Island/Austin-based artist, Jonny Negron, known for his voluptuous erotic drawings and comics, whose work has been included in various group shows and featured in The New York Times and Vice Magazine. Jonny will showcase a series of acrylic works in his debut solo exhibition entitled, ‘Heavenly Threshold Companion‘ opening at Farewell Books, in conjunction with Jean Nagai’s, ‘Gridlord‘ exhibition opening at Las Cruxes.
I conduct an interview via chat where we discuss his forthcoming exhibit, process, and interests:
You're gearing up for your debut solo show at Farewell Books this weekend. That's exciting.....
Yes, I'm very happy to be exhibiting my work in Austin finally.
Yeah, we’re all excited to see what you'll be showing.
How has this process varied from what you're used to? Any particulars that have made it either exciting/stressful for you?
There are always moments when I feel uncertain about what i'm doing, or just flat out think what I'm working on is crap, but I try not to think about my work too much. I mean, once a begin a project, I start with a few initial ideas, and from there I just try to let the work flow. I look at a lot of the work I've done recently, and it makes me feel almost as if I disassociate creatively, because my styles/subjects vary often.
I was actually going to ask about that....would you say your work is evolving or advancing in any specific way or have you maintained a firm style from the beginning?
I think my style varies so often because I don't think about it a whole lot...or maybe just lack discipline.
I'm asking because lot of your work (and more recently) seems very metaphysical, does that ring true? Do you do any spiritual practices or meditations to help you with your ideas? Or what place do they come from?
I've been interested in the occult, mainly it's symbolism for several years now, and I often try to use symbols in my work. I do practice different forms of mediation (not as often as I'd like recently), and I consider the art I make an extension of meditation.
And you're also a follower of manga and anime, Japanese-arts in general. Any specific memory that sparked your relationship with art and comics?
I've always drawn, since the age of 2. I would always want to draw things I thought looked cool, so as a little boy it was usually stuff from cartoons comics or video games.
Who or what would you like to design work for, past or present?
Hmmmm haven't really thought about it. There's no limit to the work I want to be involved with.
If given the chance, who would score the soundtrack for your art/comics?
Damn, that is a difficult question.
I just have a lot of passion for music, it's impossible for me to choose a favorite.
Fair enough. I'm trying to think of something I'd be listening to while visiting your exhibit – maybe Terry Riley or Warren G.
You read my mind.
Terry Riley was literally the first one I thought of.
That's insane. Hahhahaa!
Walk us through an intimate day in your life….
I get up, clean a little (to maintain the mess from working the night before), I try to do a little reading, maybe take a shower, then I make myself breakfast, usually consisting of breakfast tacos and coffee...haha, it's a pretty typical and boring routine... then I go online, check my email and various news or social media sites.
What are you reading?
Let's see, Crash by JG Ballard, 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I gave my mom the Spanish edition of 100 Years of Solitude for Xmas. How do you like it so far?
Sweet. I just finished it actually, I thought is was great. Epic, very heavy.
Last movie you watched?
David Holzman's, Diary. It's this sort of mock-umentary from the late 60's about this guy living in New York.
'The mirror metaphor is explicit in the film as code for reality.' --- just looked it up, sounds interesting.
I thought it was great.
What are you listening to lately?
A lot of techno, minimal electronic stuff, like the songs featured on this mix. Lately I'm gravitating to more music without vocals, which isn't to say I dislike vocal music - I love a huge variety of stuff, sometimes I just don't want to hear a person trying to get me to feel a certain way, I want the music to move me.
A record you never tire of
Shri Camel by Terry Riley & There's A Riot Goin' On by Sly and the Family Stone.
Following your exhibit, what's in the works for you?
I have a book of comics coming this Spring published by Space Face Books, then I'd like to continue working on large paintings. It's always fun for me to work with media I don't use often.
Tell us a little something about this mix.....
I chose music that I consider to be meditative, or conducive to meditation. I feel that dancing can be a great meditative experience as well. I think the music we expose ourselves to can play a big part in our subconscious.
*For more information, please visit Jonny on — Website | Instagram
01. Jean-Pierre Decerf - Surrounding Seas ………………. (Acceleration, patchwork, 1981)
02. Voices From The Lake Feat. Donato Dozzy & Neel - S.T. (VFTL Rework) ………………. (Voices From The Lake, Prologue, 2012)
03. Boards of Canada - Roygbiv ………………. (Music Has The Right To Children, Warp, 1998)
04. Maurizio - M-4 ………………. (M-4, Maurizio, 1995)
05. Robert Hood - Museum ………………. (Minimal Nation, Axis, 1994)
06. Dopplereffekt - Infophysix ………………. (Infophysicx, Dataphysix Engineering, 1996)
07. Lone - Dream Ache ………………. (soft release, 2014)
08. Model 500 - Pick Up The Flow ………………. (I See The Light, Metroplex, 1993)
09. Jeff Mills - Pacific State of Mind ………………. (The Art of Connecting, Hardware, 2000)
10. Tornado Wallace - Rainbow Road ………………. (Part Nine, Instruments of Rapture, 2011)
11. Michael Stearns - As The Earth Kissed The Moon ………………. (Planetary Unfolding, Continuum Montage, 1981)