Friday, April 10, 2009

Andrew Kuo Interview

Andrew Kuo is an artist with a show up, 'I'm Dying over Here,' at Taxter & Spengemann
123 East 12th Street
New York, NY, 10003
Tues - Sat 11-6

picture via image search

FMS: Your blog is called Emo + Beer = Busted Career. Do you still consider your ‘career’ ‘busted’ and if so, do you think it is reparable?

AK: I feel like there is no such thing as a "career". You are only as good or identifiable as what you're doing at the moment. So that title has more than a few problems with it. Sometimes I feel busted and sometimes I don't.

FMS: I went to your show and it took me about a half hour to get through everything, all of the graphs, which was longer than I’ve ever spent in a gallery by myself.
Do you read a lot, or watch TV mostly?

AK: I don't read that much outside of restaurant reviews or fantasy sports columns these days. My TV is always on. I would take a bullet for that thing.

FMS: Do you want to explore depression and negativity, or is it just ‘what comes out?’

AK: It just comes out, man. I must have the best friends in the world cause they put up with all of this all the time. When you make things you always manipulate them. I did it all on purpose. I hesitate at the word "negative." I tried to make a show that had a strong sense of hope in it. Maybe I blew it?

FMS: I don’t know. I wasn’t bummed at the show at all. I was mostly concentrating, decoding. Rodney Dangerfield’s quote as the title for the show suggests you are like, 'performing' and having a hard time keeping a good face on. Is that how you feel?

AK: Both? Who doesn't have a hard time keeping a good face on? Have you seen the papers?


FMS: Are you writing/have you written a book?

AK: I would really love to. My parents always wished I went that way. In college I would write short stories and send them of to literary journals and such (to no response). That was before the interweb, which is either the best thing to have happened in my life or worst (literarily). I write lengthy e-mails to my friends every Monday as reminders for a weekly party I throw. They get really personal and weird. That's the "writing" I do now.

FMS: At what point did you start turning graphs into a tool for music criticism?

AK: Maybe 3 years ago. 4?

FMS: Writers complain about reviewing books. Say that reviewing a book is somehow ‘beneath’ the writer, maybe, is seen as more ‘commercial’ than artistic – sometimes even seen as the antithesis of creativity.
Do you take your role as a critic seriously and do you think it conflicts with being an artist?

AK: I think I take criticism seriously, but if someone tells you a slice of pizza isn't good, do you believe him/her? "I'll be the judge of that!"

FMS: I might not buy the pizza.

AK: I think everyone should have opinions about things. My biggest complaint about humans is when they feel nothing. If you like art, you think about it and skip nude self-portraits. If you're a chef, macaroni and cheese should move you. They don't say "Everyone's a critic" because it's not true, right?

FMS: I have noticed you are posting less graphs on your blog. Are you bored of your NYTimes music graphs? Do you consider the NYTimes music stuff, like, a meal ticket? Do you ever feel like you’re ‘half-assing’ them?

AK: Dude I am/was swamped! I literally got cold sweats thinking about all the things I had to finish. But I gotta step my game up for sure. Thanks for reminding me! I try not to half-ass anything though. I try hard. (Can you tell?)

FMS: (Mostly yes)


FMS: You seem to like order. Like you are right brain dominant. Have you ever thought about it that way?

AK: Except you should see my apartment. What a mess! I like controlling things that I can control these days. Usually on flat surfaces no bigger than something i can carry with my two hands. I don't see splatter paintings in my future. Or maybe I do! These things look clean and orderly and maybe they are, but I can't wear a clean shirt to save my life.

FMS: I think you posted a picture of Dash Snow under the heading ‘Geico Man,’ a little while ago. Are you guys bros? I think of him as having a mystique. And you seem to want to demystify yourself, lay yourself bare...

AK: That's not Dash, that's my friend Jason Nocito. He takes photos and sometimes will take a polaroid of Shaq or the Lohan and have them sign it to "Earl." He was at a "club" once and he was making it "rain" and the MC screamed "GEICO MAN'S GOT MONEY!" It stuck. But the real Dash Snow is a sweetheart. He is not mysterious. He just is hard to get in touch with.

FMS: I haven't asked you about what you are into wrt art or emerging artists or what you look at when you need to be inspired. Do you have any comments on that kind of thing? Have you seen/did you like the OMG obelisk at New Museum?

AK: the OMG thing is pretty funny. A "text" piece I got it! I consider myself a fully emerging artist so yeah, I look at "emerging" artists' work. (Who isn't "emerging"?) I try to look at everything but it can be a lot so I shut it off from time to time. When I'm making a show I try my hardest not to look at things. I just work better that way.

FMS: What are your cats' names?

AK: No name for my cats. I tried but nothing stuck. Some of my friends say that's mean but I don't know how having cats who eat whenever they want, sleep wherever they want, and purr five hours a day is "mean".