Monday, June 7, 2010

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT -- Terribly Odd -- by Florida Fine Art Blog

A great show by the Miami born artist Terribly Odd is closing this week and I wanted to review it before it ended. “Le Iconique” is showing at the Bear and Bird Gallery in Lauderhill.  Bear and Bird is a gallery located upstairs in Tate’s Comics.  I have written about Tate’s Comics before – you can find it here.  Please go see the show this week!  

The show’s title is “Le Iconique” and from the website description “is a collection of works paying tribute to iconic French figures leading up to a period in European social history known as Belle Époque or the “Beautiful Era.” From the terror of tiny Napoleon, to the grandeur of Eiffel’s vision; Le Iconique will span the ages of French history calling upon the sights and sounds of her storied past.”

Terribly Odd is a Pop artist with a proper sense of history, humor and irony.  His work has always looked sweet and innocent at first but then revealed a dark twisted side, sort of morbidly cute, if you know what I mean.  He’s a true Pop artist, but with the appropriate amount of the macabre for the times we are living in.  The artist describes it simply as “miserable art.”  This approach worked so well with the current show’s subject matter.  Terribly Odd made beautiful iconic paintings with some of France’s most famous figures.  Like cute cartoon action figures, you could see a line of children’s toys coming out of this series; that is if kids wanted to play with a Marquis De Sade or Marie Antoinette doll.  

The process and medium used for Terribly Odd’s work helps sell the whole effect.  The paintings look like old posters pasted on walls now weathered and torn.  Using the most modern of artistic tools, Photoshop, and outputting it to one of the oldest mediums, wood, is something I really appreciated.

Another great thing about this young artist is he knows that it takes more than just some paintings if you want to reach a large audience.  To that end there are t-shirts, buttons and inexpensive prints that go along with the show fittingly. Terribly Odd is taking full advantage of all the new mediums by working on art for iPhone apps, apparel, a small book and says he is looking into vinyl toys. So maybe that Marquis De Sade doll is just around the corner. GL

The show “Le Iconique” runs through Saturday, June 12th
Tate's Comics
The Gallery and Store are located at 4566 North University Drive - Lauderhill, FL 33351

This week I got a chance to ask the artist a few questions and here is how it went.

GL: What can people look forward to with this current show "Le Iconique"?
Odd: If it means anything, they can look forward to, what I feel, are the best works I've done yet. I know that's a strange way to put it, but I just have a soft spot for all of these works. The show centers around early French history through the Belle Epoque -- being a history buff, I got to dork out a little.

 GL: Can you talk briefly about the process of creating one of your paintings?
Odd: Actually I get this question quite a bit and I'm happy to answer... but it's hard to do it briefly. I'll try my best. Sorry in advance.

I start with a rough sketch. An outline of sorts. I work out the composition quickly. Then go onto a cleaned up sketch of what will be the final work. It's also when I work out the dimensions of the piece.

Once the composition sketch is worked out, I take the image into Illustrator and clean up all the lines; making layers for each color of paint I'll be using. Then take the finished character into Photoshop and distress the image a bit by removing little chunks of the black line art. Then make prints of all assets.

Then, I build a wooden box to the dimensions worked out in the sketch and sand it down in prep for paint.

Next up is to lay down the base color. Tape the box, and cut out the shape of the next color, kind of like a screen-print. I then repeat that for each color.

After all the layers of paint are down, I sand and distress the box using an acrylic "mud" that I mix up according to the type of aging I'm going after.

I then take the print of the character and adhere it to the wood using an acrylic medium. Distress the print by tearing sections of it, then applying a layer of the mud to the print to give it the aged look.

Finally, I seal the entire piece with acrylic medium. This gives the piece an interesting texture. It also helps bring out the color depth as well permanently attaching the print to the wood.

Still there? Do I need to make you a cup of coffee to wake you back up? LOL. Sorry.

GL: In this show all the work is on wood.  Could you talk about how you chose that and what it is like working with wood, as opposed to canvas?
Odd: I did start out, way early on, using canvas, but it wasn't giving me the type of distressing I was going for. I wanted the pieces to feel as if they were objects that had been sitting outside for a while. I've always found a certain something interesting in decay.

GL: Do you go to Museums?  What was the last show you saw?
Odd: Honestly, I don't go to museums all that often. In fact, the last time I went to an actual museum was several years ago in London, the National Gallery. There was a Renaissance sketch exhibition going on and I'm a sucker for sketch work. Something about seeing the lines, the thoughts, that bring a level of humanity... I dunno, I think it allows the viewer a sort of insight. Did that make any sense?

GL: Where do you shop for art supplies?
Odd: Typically. Lowes, Home Depot, Pearl, and Utrecht.

GL: What time of the day do you paint?
Odd: Anytime I get. Sketching? That usually takes place when I'm exhausted and want nothing more than sleep... then a show idea hits and I can't go to bed till I have it outlined.

GL: What’s the name of your favorite local gallery?
Odd: This, again, is going to sound like total ass kissery... but Bear and Bird has a special place with me. It's a great place free of the pretentious cloud that suffocates the arts.

GL: How many hours a week do you spend in the studio?
Odd: I think my answer would be a lot more impressive if I had a studio. LOL. My studio is a little desk and a shed on the side of my parent’s house. I don't have space to work anywhere else.

GL: What music do you listen to when you’re working?
Odd: That varies. For Iconique, I’d found a bunch of old French recordings from the turn of the century. I like to try and put myself in the mindset of the show I’m working on. Whatever it is, I like to have a lot of texture in the music.

GL: Three things you couldn’t be without while you are working?
Odd: Music, sand paper, my hands.

GL: What was your earliest artistic training?
Odd: My brothers, in a way. They are 6 and 8 years older than I am and both are quite talented. I would sit and watch them when I was younger, it made me want to do the same.

GL: Do you collect other artists?  What’s your favorite piece?
Odd: Sadly no, I don't collect. Whatever money I do get goes back to bills or making new work. I respect and love plenty of other artists’ work, but have yet to be able to buy any of their work. God, I sound like a complete ass.

GL: Any other artists in your family?
Odd: As I mentioned earlier, my brothers are both pretty talented. But that's about the extent of it. I'm the only one who pursued it at all.


GL: What are you working on next?
Odd: A smaller show "terribly odd and the untimely death." It's a bit of a morbid theme, but morbid is so much fun. There are some other projects in the works right now as well. iPhone app, apparel, a small book, and I'm looking into a vinyl toy... but we'll see.

GL: Advice for emerging artists?
Odd: Be honest. That's all that really matters.


GL: If you could have one painting in the world, you could rip it right
off the wall of a museum and take it home with you, which painting
would you chose?
Odd: That's really tough... not sure, but I think it would have the name Keith Haring on it.


Anonymous said...

Glenn I am really enjoying your blog. I saw this show a couple of weeks ago and I was so excited to see you feature him. The paintings were so complex in their layering and I was dying to know how he did it. Now I know, I am so glad you asked him the question. Great interview, really enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

The only question I didn't hear: "Terribly Odd"? Is that really his name? How terribly odd! LOL Great interview. Loving it! Your posts are really opening up a new world to me.

glochrie said...

Thank you for the comments! His name is Mike. Check out his website for more info --

FAB said...

Good interview and his work is fascinating. Original but Something about it is retro looking.
Keep up the good reporting, Glenn!

Mark said...

I love and hate that you ask your artists about their process, I like having the mystery of "How did he do that?", but knowing makes me appreciate the work that much more. I think I'll have to go see Terribly Odds work before the exhibition closes. Great blog,thanks for sharing.

odd himself said...


just wanted to say thanks again to you glenn for taking the time to check out the show. and thank you to the rest of you who stopped by and took a moment to read this. it is all very simple looking stuff, but it does mean a lot to me -- especially this show.

if anyone should have any questions, criticisms or whatever, feel free to find me on facebook.