Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Interview with Olly Moss

It seems like every one is talking about the same thing. NO, not the Royal Wedding or Donald Trump's political views. Olly Moss's solo show here at Gallery1988 (Melrose) opening May 7th, from 7-10 PM. We get numerous emails and dozens of calls a day asking about the show, but honestly, we don't know much. Olly's first solo show reeks of secrets. All we do know is that he's creating an unbelievable amount of new work and that people will be lined up, and most likely sleeping outside. Here's a recent conversation I had with the art wunderkind.

Jensen: First off, this is my second time using Skype, which is hands down the most confusing computer program for me. It makes me feel like my parents on the Internet. I assume working with so many US clients/galleries/friends has you pretty proficient in Skype...

Olly: Can you still hear me? [ed. note - I may have spoke too soon]

Jensen: no I can't.

Olly: Good good. Kevin [Tong] is on the phone and I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear him book a doctor's appointment.


O: I would like to use Skype more than I have to. Most places aren't set up to use it so I end up having to run up crazy cell phone bills. Also, my skype account was hacked this year and someone billed about $150 of skype time to my account. Lamest identity fraud ever.

J: Well, it's not that lame if they knew all the insane stuff you've been doing. Imagine the contacts they had for ONE DAY! It is truly amazing to Katie and I how fast you've become such a huge sensation in design and screenprints. Obviously your immense talent is undeniable, but the speed in which you've become a premiere name is unprecedented. I remember when we first talked to you about 2 years ago, most of the stuff you were producing wasn't even created large enought to print. Is this all surreal to you?

O: Yes, absolutely. It's amazing. I never even considered that anyone might want to look at my work, let alone buy it and hang it on their wall.

J: Can we quickly remind, or let people know, how old you are?

O: I turned 24 in January.

J: That's going to make a lot of our blog readers consider themselves lazy. Because in just 2 years, you've found yourself working hand in hand with not only us and the Alamo Drafthouse, but with Duncan Jones on offical posters for his movies, Marvel creating exclusive commissioned imagery and even secret projects we can't talk about that will have your work as the OFFICIAL poster for a HUGE movie. And the secondary market for your work is INSANE. Does seeing these prices on eBay and on message boards, does that ever affect your thought process?

O: I try not to think about money; it's never been a good motivator for me. Every job I've taken solely for money has turned out badly. I'm lucky in that I often get to work on projects in which I am genuninely interested.

J: Which leads us to a project that has been solely art directed and commissioned by yourself: your first ever solo show, here at Gallery1988 (Melrose), opening May 7th. We all know it's incredible shrouded in secrecy, but tell us what you can...

O: It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. It's incredibly nerdy, by far the nerdiest thing I've ever done. [a few seconds pass] It's huge. I've mentioned that there will be over 150 pieces, which is true. but it's more like one massive piece, comprising of smaller elements. It's a massive pop culture installation.

J: And a majority of these pieces are one-of-a-kind?

O: Yeah, they're all one-offs.

J: Well, all the people who feel lazy for being older than 24, now feel super stressed to get one of these pieces. And you've been living in Los Angeles, prepping for the show, yeah?

O: Yes I've been here for almost a month now. I am a couch surfing pro.

J: How has being in LA, compared to the UK, inspired you from a pop culture angle?

O: The people out here have a better grasp of pop-culture knowledge, for sure. It's easier to bounce ideas off my LA friends and I get fewer confused looks when I'm trying to explain my latest project.

J: And you'll have some new screenprints available at the show as well, too?

O: Yeah, there will be new prints available at the show. I've had a lot of requests for some of my recent pieces to appear as prints, and I've saved them all up for this show.

J: Lastly, this show is basically the most secretive exhibition we've had in our 7 year history, so I know we can't divulge anything...but what do you want people to take from it?

O: I want people to have fun. I think people will get a lot out of being there on the opening night. I guess I'm shooting for a comprehensive exploration of my favourite parts of pop-culture - movies, tv and, of course, video games. I've put months of work into it, and it's a totally new medium for me. But it's designed to be fun, and I really hope people enjoy it.

O: Thanks!


G1988 (Melrose)

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