Curated by Melbourne’s Sean Morris, Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos is a group show, highlighting 25 internationally recognised artists. Or as Sean has put it ‘world builders.’ These artists are seen to be divided by their unique styles and visions but united by the honesty and humanity found in their work. Damian Wardle grills Sean Morris for his take on the latest installment.
More jump off after the jump off…
DW: Thanks for chatting with us Sean. This is the third Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos show. Can you explain to us the original idea and concept of the show, and what the show now represents?
SM: The first show was in Perth in 2012, and the original idea was just to put on the kind of group exhibition that I would love to go to – featuring art that isn’t easily categorised, stuff that falls in between illustration and street art and comic art. It was also about bringing together a bunch of friends I had made through travelling for art shows, and bringing work to a city where it wouldn’t otherwise be shown. That first show was a lot of fun and went really well, so I took the formula to London in 2013, and I’m wrapping it up with this big Melbourne show – the goals have remained the same and I’m hoping this one will be just as fun as the first two.
DW: If this is the final installment of Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos, can we expect something bigger in the future?
SM: Probably the opposite – I’d like to focus on curating some smaller, super concise shows over the next couple of years. It’s been a lot of fun doing this run of big shows, but it feels pretty complete at this point.
DW: There are some remarkably talented artists on this planet. How did you decide on who to include in each show?
SM: A large part of the list was put together gradually over the last year, I asked people in person while I was travelling… Wishcandy and Ambird in LA, Yok and Sheryo in New York, Manuel Donada in Madrid, Ghostpatrol while we were in Berlin, and Mel Stringer, Benjamin Sea and Maddy Young when I went to Brisbane. And then there were a few favourite artists, like Brendan Monroe and Will Laren, to whom I had never spoken to before, but I sent hopeful emails which were happily returned.
DW: I was lucky enough to check out a preview catalogue of the show – which looks awesome – and saw a piece of yours. How and why did you get into art?
SM: Art was a pretty casual hobby that started to completely consume me in my early 20s. There’s not really a ‘why’ that I can pin down, I do it because it feels more natural than anything else. That’s one of the threads I see in the people I chose for this show – doing this stuff is more of a compulsion than anything else, everyone is united by this relentless drive to constantly make awesome weird art. No matter how impractical or irrational of a life choice it is.
DW: How would you describe your style?
SM: Swamp trash romanticism.
DW: What and / or who are your influences as an artist?
SM: People and all the dumb awesome shit they get up to. And the rad artists I’m lucky enough to be friends with.
DW: Can you describe the local scene. Having held three Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos shows, does the scene differ city to city in Australia, or is it similar everywhere?
SM: Well the shows have been in three pretty different cities, but they all have things in common culturally speaking. The mix of art that comes out of each scene really differs, but there will always be individuals making the sort of work you see in this show, and there will always be a group of people who want to look at it.
DW: Any other exciting plans, exhibitions, projects or otherwise coming up this year?
SM: I’m in a cool group show later in the month in Cardiff called Salad Days, which my favourite Welshman Phillip Morgan is curating. Then some US group shows mid year, but I’m going to take a break from putting on my own shows for a while and focus on some exciting illustration projects.
DW: Where else can people find you?
SM: www: www.seanmorrisisnotyourdad.tumblr.com
Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos opens on Friday 7 March 2014, at Backwoods Gallery.