I have long admired AJ Fosik's wooden beasties. His ability to transform wood is astounding. Every time I am in the presence of one of his pieces, I always feel like I am staring into a frozen beast, that is just waiting for the right moment to bust free. Each piece is quite literally epic in its construction. So incredible and fierce, and so easily tell a number of different stories to every viewer. I recently asked AJ via email about his beasts and his upcoming show at Guerrero Gallery. Take a gander - meighan
AJ Fosik New Works opens Saturday, November 13th and runs through December 4th, 2010 at Guerrero Gallery.
Your pieces seem almost ritualistic. They remind me of Southeast Asian temples and quite possibly something you would find within a temple. Can you talk to us a little bit about your influences?
People have been trying to top each others mystical nonsense from the beginning of time with some really amazing ideas and imagery. I'm just another in a long tradition of these con artists, only I'm putting it all on the table. My 'gods' represent an embrace of uncertainty, doubt and the absurd.
There is a lot of repetition and symbolism within your work. Is the symbolism conscious?
Yes and no, the overarching themes are consistent and intentional though the individual parts tend to be more about enticement and change from piece to piece. I try to tap into that same seductive power that the purveyors of mysticism and religion have always employed but I would like to lead the viewer to a much different conclusion in the end.
I have read that you hesitate to use the word sculpture to describe your pieces, how do you see them?
It's stupid really, I just think there's a preciousness and a formality to that term that I tend to shy away from. I don't make art about art so I don't really care either way. It just seems anytime I try and describe what I do to someone they either think I'm chiseling marble or carving eagles out of tree stumps with a chainsaw...I wish I could do either of those.
Can you take us, briefly through the formation of one of your pieces?
Well they always start with a drawing. From there it is 2x4s, screws and framing nails to form the skeleton. Plywood and finishing nails for the sinew and muscle. Birch faced luan cut into a million pieces, paint and pin nails make the skin and hair.
Are a constant nuisance to be sure but sawdust is the true enemy. Never forget.
What can we expect to see at your upcoming show at Guerrero Gallery?
Idols for the mind, freed from the burdens of superstition.
And in 2011? What's coming up for you?
2011 I plan to spend more time mocking the obvious liars...reality in general is very confusing and not something I claim to have any real hold on. I could just do with a few less idiots in funny robes mucking it all up.