On July 1st, we are proud to present the official debut of Shalo P's self-published zine "LOVE IS SUCH A DANGEROUS GAME", a book of interlocking symbols and drawings culled from over two years of "torment reworking and visceral composing". These "fables of inner conflict", layered in metaphors and aphorisms play a recklessly fun game with space and time on the picture plane, weaving together narrative elements concerning the ramifications of love and loss on the humanistic level. Who would have thought that you could learn so much about neurotic desire from seeing Bart Simpson wink at you while showing you his asshole?
Along with the book release, a special selection of drawings will be on exhibit, chronicling the stages of the zine's creation. The drawings, in the artist's words "boil down to semiotic excursions that resonate personally" with his "theories of humankind ascending into an information age that is yet to reconcile on an emotion level with the desperate message caught within the headlights of it's own progress into the utterly unfathomable". With a flair for shock and tendency to awe, we sincerely ask you to come and see for yourself what Shalo P is offering up this time.
Shalo P is a San Francisco audio / visual artist interested in emotions and ways of describing feelings. When asked what he does in particular he usually says he's “surveying the digital apocalypse and embellishing it with rainbows”.
Interview with Shalo P.
Age? Hometown? Occupation? Where are you from? How did you get here?
Nothing in particular.
Describe a day in the life of Shalo P.
I wake up like any one else. I stay there and stare into my own eyes for a few hours until they reach my beard. I have a coarse dark brown beard. Besides the fact that I have one - they're weird. Then I writhe in complete anguish, take a cold shower and write a letter to my self of tomorrow. I read the letter I wrote myself yesterday during breakfast.
What does making art mean to you?
Art is the perpetuation of myths - or it's the shattering the backwardness we face each day. The world runs ass-backwards. It's a goddamn joke. Us artists are treated like dogs in America, snapping at each other for bones. Art is an exception to rules. It deeply moves and transforms. It needs only that much (with complete disregard towards medium). As object commodified with "culture" label attached it belongs to the "industry". There, art is just a word, an excuse for exclusion and decorating the homes of the upper class. Most of the time I consider art a moral question. What you do with these feelings and emotions in the face of time itself? Are you gonna say that your work is part of culture or denies it completely? Does it fight something or would it better to go volunteer within the community to fight a fire?
Yet (as with most things) the essential is nameless. Art, to me, is like the sweetest knife sinking into you from a tender fog. An Unknown warmth is released into a charmingly cold universe.
You are a San Francisco Implant. How do you regard the local art-scene?
The local art scene is a blast. It has it factions, of course. Humans are petty and tribal. As much as I would complain about the leeches and scum-fucking snake-eyed assholes (a lateral truth to all trades), it's not. There's a lot of love there.
It depends in so many ways at which angle it's viewed... Best not to be apathetic, the gulf between doing and not doing is a greater gulf than "that which is ill-wrought" or "that which inflicts ecstasy" (mostly due to the fact that tastes are broad and diverse within the countless echelons of artistic practice). But, participation - that is most crucial to the vibrancy of these circles. Community is far better than any one "scene". Lines that overlap spring hope. The hope is to live in an era that is unforgettable - one that bred the unbelievable.
How would you describe your work? You come from a strong video/ performance background. Why did you choose to just show drawings in this show?
My work is weird to me. Sometimes it's too true and it infuriates me. Then I look around after - when no one sees behind its veil. Then I sigh in relief. I want celebrations. We're living in one of the creative apexes of all human civilization. It takes risks to outlast everything with an expression that is timeless and beautiful from such aberrant harshness. I want to do that. I want to touch dolphins. Some assholes think that if they think up a good enough gimmick they'll win the art lottery. It just has to be awesome in an era of awesome stuff.
This is the future. Its complexity and importance remains unfathomable. Any predictions applied to it are like throwing matching into the wind. Our stalins work in corporations. Our feelings are assaulted with pure inhumanity or assimilated into the nothingness of consumer culture, which starves the spiritual. Desperate messages are everywhere. Who can hear them? Love in popular culture, is either treated vapidly or with a blithe disregard to its scope. Why do we love in the first place when most of the time we're beating this or that person to death for such and such for whatever the hell reason? It's a bullshit term to most. No fucking way. I wanna be true. I want to love truly. I want to love like god on fire crying out "YOU..." (I imagine it would trail off as my enflamed holy body plunges from heaven into glittering ashes, blanketing the sky in the stars of pure joy, but in the chance that the scenario ever comes about, I think I'll wing something).
Before I made videos I wrote plays that seemed best described as "scathing". Things changed. They became performances. Then there was a time i made paintings of car crashes. I lost my painting studio a few years ago and began the book I am debuting. I felt that I'd lost track of myself in my video and performances work. They are like seances to me. The spirit moves me and I sing happy songs with a rage-filled heart. They are anachronisms like myself, seemingly foreign when I step back to look at them (although layered in those weird personal energies that swirl in "makers"). After reading a lot of Last Gasp comix from the 60s I decided to work with time and space on the picture plane in a similar fashion, bringing all my eccentricities and logic along in the process. They became erratic confessional tomes embodying my conceptual framework and totemic coded maps to my thought processes. They are like "time at play". The unique qualities of drawings and comics appeal to me with the interconnectivity of successive imagery within a series while inversely encapsulating a cycle of time within a single plane individually. There are always loose threads that the eye and mind must synch. There is always a mystery path into what is behind the gnarled pen-stroke that is either born out of obsessive compulsion, the human will to communicate or something more interesting. That's why I like drawings so much. The short answer to the question is that a sentient being (the void) fills me when I zone out composing videos. A lonely desperate madman sings my songs. A troubled young man makes the drawings, trying to reconcile life, death and common struggles to attain some some new awareness from it's pool of fragments glittering from the dank bear trap of memory. I have a strange relationship with memory and yet I want to live forever. I will love this world until the day I die. After I am dead I will pretend to be alive.
What are you currently listening to?
I listen to so much sound. I am lucky enough to have befriended some wonderful musicians too. I currently listen to songs that aren't simply sung but heard - like a song you sing to yourself and the whole world. I really like Denny Dougherty's version of "Got a Feelin'". A tune is deep when a voice turns around in gust of strings, holds you to it's gaze, and says: "oh baby it's true / the jokes on you". On a side note, did you know the last words in Henry Darger's big gigantic book were "We were fooling". Those phrases encompass so goddamn much. Like every fist that hitting a wall, just trying and trying... knowing you were just trying with all your might to bust in your own teeth. It's the human condition... sometimes.
Who do you think is the greatest entertainer of all times?
I think the best entertainer is that one person you make love to that does like no one else. That little star shines forever. It's all relative anyway. But that's my answer.
I absolutely love my friends. If I have you called you as such, I mean it.
Thank you, I'm know I'm not the easiest guy to get along with.