VOICE 1156 Q&A WITH BRENDAN MONROE
Interview conducted by Noah Spahn

Voice1156: Hello Brendan, what was your impression of the two opening nights for the current show at voice1156?
BM: They were cool. The best thing is meeting new people who have similar interests. Itís good to see for myself whatís going on outside in the world, in other cities. Even though SD is only two hours from home.

Voice1156: What are some of the more exciting projects you have been working on lately?
BM: Well, after the Voice 1156 show I came home and started working on my first solo show. Itís scheduled for April 2 in LA.

Voice1156: Letís hear a little bit about the paintings that you have on display at the Voice 1156 Gallery; within the tree paintings (This is Circumstance, Good Morning Triangle Tree, This Happened Yesterday and The Murderers) you had told me that one story spawns another in a story like sense. Can you elaborate on that idea?
BM: Yeah. I tend to create my own small world of things in my work. In those paintings I just began with the simple idea of people living life in tree tops (this is something I wanted to do when I was a kid). Then I think to myself what else can exist in this world. That kind of gets me going on strange organisms and their role in the environment of the paintings. Then the images are made to show important moments that come together to tell a bigger story.

Voice1156: The paintings in the Tadpole Series reminded me very much of the creative mind of Hieronymus Bosch, who are the artists that influence you most, and what are other sources of inspiration?
BM: Bosch is amazing, but not someone who influenced me mostÖ and Iím not really sure who did. I like Takashi Murakami, Ai Yamaguchi, The Clayton Brothers, Marcel Dzama, Roy Lichtenstien, Edgar Degas, and some more. My friends are lesser known and I think they influence me quite a bit to. Other things, I like nature and science a lot. I feel like I have always had an analytical curiosity to outdoors type stuff.

Voice1156: I sense that there are larger ideas behind these paintings- what (if any) are some of the themes that you work into your pieces?
BM: There are a lot of things I look at life to be like, fun, sadness, work, death, food, survival, friendships and enemies. I think for the most part the things I paint partly parallel my experiences with others ans myself. I think this probably happens to a lot of artists.

Voice1156: What do you believe is the artistís responsibility, to make a statement or to make a sale?
BM: Iím going to choose a different answer. I think the most important thing artists need to do is express themselves somehow. Thatís the basic thing. It doesnít really have to make a statement to anyone unless that of course is what that artist wants to do. Sale is good, but if the artist is just making something that sells well and not making what they want to make, then that sucks. First someone has to be true to themselves then they can connect to others to make a statement or a sale.

Voice1156: What is your take on symbolism in art? How about discrete symbolism in the art that is meant to convey a message?
BM: Thatís cool. Sometimes things like that can go way over my head and I wonít understand whatís going on. But on the other hand I get a lot of satisfaction when I can connect to art that has the kind of symbolism I can relate to.

Voice1156: Where will we be seeing you in the near future? (any future art shows/events?)
BM: Iím hoping to get further out of LA. Iíd like to show on the east coast and also in some other countries. I donít know when and if it will happen but thatís what Iíll try for right now.

Voice1156: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, and we look forward to seeing more of your art in the futureÖ
You're welcome. You guys are doing really good things for people. I look at you guys as helping me out just as much as you look at me helping you out. Congratulations on having made a really good thing for the San Diego community. Keep it up.