We recently came across Brooklyn-based artist Justin Paszul and his artwork, and thoroughly fell in love with it. Luckily, we got a chance to interview him to see where he draws inspiration from and what makes him tick. His answers in the Q & A below are very inciteful.
Q & A WITH JUSTIN PASZUL
I grew up in upstate New York, actually, but I went to school in MA (at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, about a half hour north of Boston). And now I live in Brooklyn.
I usually try not to? I just say I draw pictures. That’s all that’s important, right?
Star Trek! All my other influences came after I was done growing up.
Thomas Pynchon & Roberto Bolaño. Sun City Girls. 50′s science fiction novels & 80′s science fiction computer graphics. I keep thinking of more things to maybe name and it’s really nothing but books. So I’ll just say ‘books.’
For my senior thesis show I did a 9-foot by 3-foot drawing in the same tiny geometric-line style I was doing the smaller pieces in. It’s definitely not the best drawing I’ve ever done, by far, but it was so satisfying finishing something that massive (it also has one of my favorite titles, ‘The constellations Leo Strauss and Sirhan Sirhan enjoying a chat and a cup of tea, nestled in the stellar hammock of the Magellanic Clouds’ which is really just the dumbest thing when you think about it) I’ve always meant to work that large again but I don’t have the means right now.
Repetitive line networks & science fiction cartoons, and everything in between.
I always used to just doodle repetitive line things all through high school and eventually in college the systems got organized and I got more serious about their composition. Mostly I just like the process, it’s almost meditative for me to just get lost in the lines.
Carl Sagan! or Charles Gocher or Tom Scharpling.
Two books is too hard. Five! Alvaro Mutis ‘The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll’ – Christopher Priest ‘Inverted World’ - Flann O’Brien ‘The Third Policeman’ – Vladimir Nabokov ‘Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle’ – Elaine Dundy ‘The Dud Avocado’. And two movies. No, three: The Holy Mountain (Alexandro Jodorowsky). Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (Lisa Kudrow & Mira Sorvino). OC & Stiggs (Robert Altman).
It’s all basically complete nonsense. I do the drawings then days later when I get around to scanning them I come up with a title. Sometimes it’s more like a dialogue thing, sometimes a caption, sometimes like an excerpt from a story. But it’s all basically arbitrary. I just like having fun with words.
It’s actually ‘impossibly large structures.’ Like when you’re dreaming and you come across some sort of building, or monument or whatever and it’s miles and miles across and your mind can’t really come to terms with the scale? That sort of thing. And also I always have sort of imagined my abstract drawings, the geometric line ones, as being these unfathomably massive objects floating out in deep space.
Well I’m sometimes very consciously trying not to rip off Marcel Dzama too much. So maybe that.
I would be Henry Darger’s counselor on an episode of ‘Hoarders’ (I mean come on I’m already bringing Henry Darger back from the dead I might as well give myself a job as a TV host too).
I usually don’t have much in my pockets! So I would probably only have a couple pens, a little pocket sketchbook, hopefully a little paperback book, and almost definitely my Jew’s-harp.
Mohorovicic (as in the discontinuity).
I would really love to be the guy who works for the Department of Weights & Measures, who goes around to every little shop and deli and cafe that has any kind of scale, and inspects it to make sure it’s fair and balanced. I think that would be a fascinating job to have, especially in New York.
Monitoring menisci at the heliotrope distillery
In which a meeting of the Headlicker’s Union Local V7XX1-3 is called to order
Nestled in the ӕtherial digits, a birth
Hey man you got your face on my face! No, you got YOUR face on MY face!
Performing a small test on the newly-fallen Nibiru fragment