AM recently got the chance to catch up with California based pop surrealist & art professor Bob Dob while he was preparing this year’s Baby Tattooville (other interviews here). Bob uses an illustrative, retro style to capture feelings of optimism tapered with cynical images to capture strange moments with a cast of recurring characters (most notably the red devil Luey). Questions and answers below... Arrested Motion (AM): Tell me about your history with Baby Tattooville? What are you most excited about? Bob Dob (BD): I was one of the featured artists for Baby Tattooville 2008 and then I attended every year all the way up to 2013. It was always something new every year. It's great meeting artists that your a fan of. This year, I'm really excited to meet Brom. Ever since I first saw his work in The Spectrum 2 Fantasy Art Annual, I've been hooked. AM: I have read in other interviews that there are recurring characters and places in your work, that they are always telling a story. Can you tell me one of the stories? Are the stories / characters / locations inspired by real life? BD: At a Halloween party in high school, some guys showed that didn't belong. They started getting agitated and were saying some unpleasant things to our female friends when out of nowhere my three friends in hooker costumes started beating the crap out of these guys. It was pure entertainment watching what appeared to be three grown men getting pummeled by three women. AM: I know that you used to play in a punk band. Can you tell me what it is like preparing for a concert as opposed to an art show? Which is scarier? BD: The band was a collaboration as opposed to an art exhibition where you are working solo. Putting on a solo art show is definitely more labor intensive and frightening from a financial standpoint mostly because you are strongly invested in selling the work after months of painting. The shows I played with the band you had a few new songs always but a lot of older material was a part of the set list. You can't keep bring back old paintings at an art show. I feel you have to keep it fresh each show with art. AM: Do you think being a professor has helped your art? Do your students ever inspire (or scare) you? BD: I learn a lot from my students. They keep me up to date on things happening in the art world. AM: Can you tell me about how your art feels when you create it? Is it therapeutic, fun, energizing, draining? Do you feel like you have to suffer for art? BD: All of the above. I struggle at times on every painting. But for me personally, the end result is the satisfaction not the journey. But I'm never happy 100% which makes me strive to do better on the next painting. AM: Projects coming up that you would like to talk about? BD: I have a solo show November 7th this year at Gallery 1988. Mario and Luigi leave the world they know and become gangsters in Los Angeles. The usual cast from Super Mario Bros will be there. Discuss Bob Dob here. Discuss Baby Tattooville 2014 here.
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