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Home FEATURES Artist Interviews Matt Furie Interview

Matt Furie Interview
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 04:01
"The Neverending Story was a big deal to me growing up"
We've known this SF based artist over the years. We've invited him to participate in some shows at Low Gallery and in some Fecal Face shows over the year and have been following his work for like the last two years. His work has just been getting so damn good recently that we had to get him up on the site. Below is a short interview conducted through instant messaging technology in two parts because we accidentally deleted the first part and had to redo the interview... Note to self, prepare questions further in advance when conducting an interview through IM and don't do it hungover... Oh, and so you get a vibe for the interview, this is what Matt looked like as he typed the interview you're about to read.

Howdy doo dee

yo yo

What's behind all those animalistic acts you draw? What leads you to that? Question submitted by Drone.

Hmmm... Well, we're all animals. I watch a lot of animal programs on tv and it reminds me of human behavior. I've been drawing animals since I was little and it's fun to draw scales and fur and stuff like that. Teeth and eyeballs, tongues, claws, feathers... what a world of wonder we live in!

If you were offered a cartoon staring your characters... what would it be like? Soundtrack?

It would be like sesame street or the muppet show-only animated. There would be lots of characters hanging out and learning lessons together. A lot of riding around on the backs of flying creatures and creatures of the land. There would be volcanos, the jungle, street style, water slides, pizza, lots of dancings, good vibes, animals wearing sunglasses, ect. the soundtrack would be totally o.c.

o.c.?

o.c. the tv show

What about sex? There's a lot of sex in your work.

I think about sex a lot and it's good exercise-one message to the kids--- safety has no quitting time- especially 'under the covers'.

Ok, you think about it, but would you include it in the show, and if so, how would it be there?

It would be hinted in the show-like a dog and a bird would go into a closet or something. What happens behind closed doors is up to your imagination.

Would they come out all sweaty? Would adults be the only people who get it or would the kids know that somethings up?

Adult males will get a thickening sensation in their pants, moisture for the ladies. The kids won't really know what's up unless they have pretty freaky parents who teach them to be "sex positive" at an inappropriatly young age.

Enough about cartoon sex... What movies were you into growing up? You can see a lot of film influences in your work.

"The Neverending Story" was a big deal to me growing up. That dog-dragon falcor was an instant friend and there was tons of cool and imaginitive characters throughtout the movie. Like that evil wolf with the glowing eyes-that thing was scary and awesome. I also like Pee Wee's big adventure- I was always into wacky stuff like that.

That is a great movie. Limahl rulez!... The princess was hot right?!... What do you do to pay the bills?

That princess was amazing. I work in the children's department of the community thrift store. I sort through a large amount of toys and clothes and games and stuff. I'm always keeping my eye out for ALF stuff and I have a large plastic pizza and hamburger collection going. I also build picture frames in the dogpatch with my best pal nasty Joe Neff.

Somehow that job makes sense for you- you must come across a lot of pretty cool shit... What's your worst personality trait?

Worst trait? I can be pretty bad at remembering names. I'm working on it... is that a trait?

You know you kinda train yourself to NOT remember names by telling other people that you can't... It's true. By trying more and being confident, you can remember people's names... Like I'll get someones name and am nervous or something and I'll not even hear them tell me... If you take a second to try, it'll work much better... at least that's me. I'm bad too, but when I try it's much easier... not saying you don't try.

It's true... it helps to take the extra effort.

What are some of your favorite places in the city? Drinking? Art? Neighborhood?

I've been making it a blockbuster night most of these days but when I go out I usually frequent the mission district. The Cassanova Lounge is a favorite after work spot. Delirium is fun because there's dancing going on there a lot. It's nice to have a few cold ones and then dance it up a little. I live in Bernal Heights now and I really enjoy going to Holly Park. Yesterday I watched the bucks beat Michigan on tv then strolled to the park to play frisbee with my friends and we had fun and watched an amazing sunset. You get a great veiw of the city up there. Artwise there are billions of places to check out- I always check out the Fecal Bay Area Art Calender to see where I can get my art on!

Describe your process please... you scratch out the paper first? Elaborate

My process is rooted in my work as a picture framer. There was always scrap mattee board around and I would chop little peices of it into 3in x 3in squares. I would sneak around drawing on these small squares at work with a ballpoint pen, then take them home and color them in. Because of the soft nature of the board itself, I noticed that when I drew overtop of where I erased lines were revealed. I eventually made purposful indents in the board with a printmaking tool and colored over top with pencils to bring out the texture.

These are my favorite of your work. So interesting looking.

Which ones?

The ones where you use this practice... like of the guy holding the owl... this is what you're talking about right? the pencil ones.

Oh ya-the black and white ones. I actually use this tecnique on almost all of my stuff. It's all ink and colored pencils. It's fun to just use blacks, whites and greys because it looks like early printmaking stuff.

What are your future plans?

In the future I hope to happy, healthy and strong. forever.

Ever almost die?

No, but a very close friend is hanging out somewhere in the great beyond. I think about death everyday. I think our mortality makes life important. it's good to live everyday knowing it's a blessing to be alive.

What's the origin of your name? Is it Italian?

yea-furie comes from the word "fiore" which means flower.

You have family in the mafia?

Not that I'm aware of-but my great grandpa was form sicily. My dad, my brother jason and I traveled there over the summer. We took a train from rome and ended up crossing the water by having a large section of the train actually pull into a barge. It was very sci fi.

Actually, you might... um, I'm so hungover today. It sucks. When a friend goes to close the bar and invites you to stay after hours and drink Fernet, say no.

Fernet is good, huh?

Too good and sometimes too painful.

Bad medicine

Do you like the Jurassic Park movies? I could see you being into them.

Definitly! My brother and I still say "hold on to your butts" if things are going to get hairy. (it's an obscure jurrasic park quote from samuel jackson I think)

I feel like such a moron for liking them, but man, they're always pretty good... anyway... What's your favorite SF gallery?

Creativity Explored!

Why do you have to make fun of mentally challenged people?

It's not making fun if you're an "outsider" artist like myself.

Nice one... I read somewhere that you describe your work as children illustrations for adults... If you were given the chance to make a book, what would it be about?

Well I have a comic book to be released next year by teenage dinosaur press titled "Boy's Club" you can preveiw it in my myspace blog. If I got to make like an actual book it would be full of creatures interacting, fighting, playing, ect.

Can't wait to check it out... How old are you?

I was born on august 14, 1979 at the ohio state university hospital. I'm a leo.

Describe your work space inlcuding music.

I've always worked in my bedroom. I have a bed, 2 desks, 3 flexi lamps, tons of colored pencils and paint, clothes all over the floor, some scented candles, a computer, books, ect. music... I'm listening to Smashing Pumpkins right now: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I've been on a 90's kick lately. I sang "found out about you" and "hey jealosy" by the Gin Blossoms last week at kareoke and it was so much fun!

When you're not arting, what would you be up to? What fills your fancy?

I really like going for bike rides through the city and outside the city. Just walking around all day is really fun too. I like swiming at hotels and going in hottubs. I like going to parties, stuff like that.

I love this epic piece you did... can you describe it for us.

Yeah-with this guy I wanted to spend a ton of time on it and just let it develop on its own. I was thinking about war a lot-the current war and the concept of war thru the ages. I started it as a new years resolution... I was watching nature videos by David Attenborough as I drew and getting inspiration from the often violent animal world. Worked on a little section at a time.

So what's the deal with the one guy who has all the color shooting out of him and into the sky?

That's his spirit. I've never seen a spirit but that's what I imagined one could look like.

I'm always touching parts of my body like my sweaty feet or something and smelling them. I think it's a normal human thing to do, but it's weird. Why do you think people do shit like that?

Evolution?

Some basic animal stuff that sort of has no purpose... and since it doesn't kill ya, well, it's there?... I'm too hungover to think about it too much so I thought I'd ask you... anyway... Do you have a show coming up at Triple Base? I saw that you have a profile on their site?

No... but that would be a blast. We talked about doing a workshop.

Last question... What are your plans for tonight?

Well, a friend just dropped of a dog here at "man manor" where I live. I'm going to play with his and make sure he dosent miss his moms

Sounds good. Thanks for talking, Matt.

Alright! It's been a pleasure...how about Seinfeld's Kramer?

Mental, right? You think he was in some strange mental/ actor comedian state or something? Aiyana knows comedians. Do you think he was trying to be zany/ off-the-wall? or just fucked?

I've been going to the comedy club and hangin with Aiyana a lot and it seems that a lot of those dudes walk the borderline when it comes to racial stuff. Gets pretty tricky. Kramer said some crazy mean uncalled for bs for sure.

publicity stunt?

That's some bad publicity. I think he was in a genuine rage. It bums me out... did he formerly apologize or what?

He did apologize, but whatever, that shit was out of control and weird. It wasn't just saying nigger, he said some other crazy shit too... the guy sucks and doesn't deserve to be talked about.... going to layout the interview now! Night.

Night {moscomment}

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contact FF

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IMG_9585_sm

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lead

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


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ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

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Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

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Sun Milk in Vienna

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Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

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Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

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Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

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The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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