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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Exclusive Q&A with Artist Scooter LaForge

Scooter LaForge's art exhibition, Travels with Johnny, is at Munch Gallery, 245 Broome St., NYC through March 8.

Buddy Beaverhausen: Scooter LaForge, welcome! Sorry I missed opening night at Munch Gallery but I am going this week to see your work. How did opening night go? 
Scooter LaForge: Charles, I was hoping to meet you!  The opening was so humbling.  So many people came out in this freezing weather we are having here in the city.  I was amazed at the turn out.  Loved it all.  Tried to say hello to EVERYONE who came.  I was blown away.  Words cannot describe.  Met tons of new amazing colorful people.  Everyone was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS! The show is based on a cross-country road trip I took with my best friend Johnny Rozsa.  We rented an RV and drove to California and back.  It was a life changing 4-week adventure.  I did 15 paintings from photos I took on the trip.  

BB: Who/what are your artistic influences, not necessarily visual artists?  
SL: I have created what I call my "Army of Love".  This is people who support, love, inspire me.  Life is too damned short not to be around this energy.  These are my biggest influences, singers, dancers, poets, doctors, secretaries, and yes lawyers.  I am so lucky to have amazing, creative, talented, loving friends here in New York.  Inspirations also come from the most mundane as well, such as the glitter embedded in the side walks, or Play-Doh. 

BB:When did you start painting?
SL: I was painting at age six.  I still have some paintings and drawings that my mother saved!  THANK YOU MOM! 

BB: What do you consider to be the best and worst things about being an artist?
SL:The best thing about being an artist is doing what I was put on earth to do.  I am happiest when I am creating.  The most difficult thing is making a living.  There is no set way, everyone has to find their own path.  Making a living off of one's art work is a creative process in itself.  

BB: You're kind of a man of mystery in some ways. For example, are you a New York native? 
SL: I am not a New York native,  I was born and raised in a small town in New Mexico called Las Curces. I knew from age six I would be in NEW YORK CITY.  At age 10, my mom got me a subscription to Andy Warhol's interview magazine and also bought me a copy of the Warhol diaries.  I read this book at least 10 times cover to cover.  It is kind of boring, yet exciting!  I also came here because of movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Desperately Seeking Susan.

BB: What do you like to do when you get to relax? 
SL: I LOVE MY BED.  I have to say I just love reading and drinking tea in bed.  I love cuddling with Charlie and watching movies.  I love going to the movies and having popcorn.  I am very simple that way. I love cookies and chocolate. 

BB: Tell us about your work with Patricia Field. How long ago did you connect, and how did you connect?
SL: Patricia Field, now that is a very powerful and intense, very INTELLIGENT lady.  I have the upmost respect for her and what she has created for herself.  She is the center force of downtown New York City, and still a force to be reckoned with.  I got connected with the store through Miss Reiko Lauper, who was at a Spank Party in Bushwick, where I was silk screening tee shirts.  She phoned me later that week and asked if I would want to sell the tees in the store and that was five years ago.  Pat and I work very close on numerous projects, such as Converse, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Keith Haring Museum,  Major Hollywood Movies (The Other Woman, Shame, The Good Girls), and television shows (Selfie, Gotham and Blacklist, HBO's Girls).  Pat has also outfitted my wears on Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Jemima Kirke, Toddrick Hall, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Nicki Minaj and MORE.  I am so grateful she has made me part of her family.  Patricia Field is fabulous because she hires her friends and builds them up!

BB: You did the concert tee-shirts for Blondie's No Principals tour. (Loved that show at the old Roseland.) How did you get that honor?
SL: MISS GUY! Debbie's best friend was responsible for that. Miss Guy is always commissioning me to make very special pieces for Debbie, and Debbie LOVES THEM!!!!  I got to work with Fashion Designer Todd Thomas for Blondie's latest tour.  We made two incredible dresses, I got to do fittings with Debbie and she is the coolest beyond words. Debbie is very generous too.  She always gives me rides home and always asks if I need money.  I just love Debbie so much. Debbie has one of the most gorgeous faces ever, CHEEKBONES FOR DAYS!

BB Well, I heard a rumor you're going on tour with them. True or false?
SL I did get to go on a couple of dates with them!!!!  The best thing about that was working in the merchandise booth.  I loved seeing all of Blondie's fans buying all the merchandise first hand!  It was also great to sell the tees I made for the show as well!  I got to meet so many great people, JOAN JETT to name one!

BB Your work often has a certain dark cartoon quality. Why is that?
SL I have a dark side to me.  I love spooky things and Halloween is my favorite holiday.  One has to go through to get to the light.  It is just part of life.  I am just attracted to monsters and scary things.  I love ugly things too.  I love grotesque.  I think if we look deeply in things that are considered ugly we can find something really wonderful, interesting and beautiful.

BB  The Buddy in my name is actually my childhood nickname. How much of "Scooter LaForge" is your birth name?
SL 50% of Scooter LaForge is my real birth name.

BB What's so fucked-up about what's going on in this country right now in your opinion?
SL Our country is a mess right now.  I think we need to stay out of other countires business.  This country gets involved in other countries fights.  It is sad that our country puts so much money in the military and not the arts.  I think is it backwards thinking, and going to a dark place and not the light. Like my friend and fabulous fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck says on his new Fall 2015 collection "STOP TERRORISING OUR WORLD".

BB I saw some watercolors of your niece that you painted. Do you have a "soft" side?
SL Oh, everyone has a soft side.  When we meet in person I will show you mine. I love painting flowers and beautiful landscapes.

BB Any last shout-outs?
SL Oh yes HUGE shout outs to Debbie Harry, Patricia Field, Johnny Rozsa, Gazelle Paulo, Susanne Barstch, Walt Cessna, Lilan Munch, Brian Cummings, Stephen Bruce, Joey Arias, Juano Diaz, Krys Fox, Reiko Lauper, MIss Guy, Ken Wilson, Jorge Clar, Pollack-Krasner Foundation, Bjarne Melgaard, Jemima Kirke, Rachel Singer, David Dalrymple, Todd Thomas, Walter Van Bierendonck, Betty Tompkins, Bill Mutter, Stephanie Theodore, Elizabeth Harrison Kubany, Tony Mansfield, Barbie Beach, Kyle Brincefield, David Robinson, Jane Friedman, Nick Lion and Marc Desplaines.  I will stop there.... 

1 comment:

  1. Honest heartfelt interview so different from some of the intellectual stuff you here love it love you scooter Xx