NYC-based artist, Judith Supine’s latest solo show, Golden Child, opens at Mecka Gallery in Brooklyn on Saturday 29th March 2014. We caught a few minutes with Judith Supine to talk about Muay Thai, prostitutes and obsessions…
More jump off after the jump off…
Very Nearly Almost: So, you’re based in Brooklyn, right, are you originally from New York?
Judith Supine: No, I grew up in Virginia in South Carolina.
VNA: What made you move to New York?
JS: I came here following a girl, we broke up after a week. That was a good thing.
VNA: So tell us a little bit about your art, you use a lot of garish colours and montages of different images, what’s the main inspiration behind that?
JS: Basically, I make shitload of collages, where I try to produce tonnes of stuff and be very loose, and not create any narrative, then I edit through those and find one or two I like out of maybe 20 or 30, then I turn those into paintings.
VNA: So, just looking at your work here, there’s quite a lot of work that you’ve printed, then you go back and start adding colours and textures to it. Is that fairy typical of your work?
JS: For the pieces I do outside it is. What I enjoy the most is making small things at home. I collect certain types of trash, Newport boxes and lottery scratch tickets and telephone cards. I have thousands of them, all obsessively separated. I make little sculptures out of Newport boxes and I make little collages on the scratch tickets and telephone cards. That’s what I enjoy the most, because there’s no pressure, I can make it in one sitting, relaxed. I used to make huge wood cuts, it would take me four months. I could never print at all, it would always crack and I didn’t really care about the image, I do better with work that takes 15 minutes, done.
VNA: And what about your larger pieces, your huge sculptures, is that a different process for you?
JS: For me, the part of that that I enjoy is less making the art and more the wandering round the city and figuring out how to get into places, or do things and get away with it. Like a very tame version of a bank robbery; that naughty, childish behaviour, I enjoy. That’s the part I like about that.
VNA: Is there any political motivation behind any of the larger sculptural pieces?
JS: As far as politics go, through my art, is there any political agenda? No. I mean, I guess as far as doing things illegally, is some kind of political act, but I’m not thinking of it as trying to beat any drum. I generally feel opposition, or negative towards the government.
VNA: So it’s more of a blanket ‘fuck you’?
JS: In a very juvenile way, I still have the same ideals of a 14-year old – angsty.
VNA: Is there a theme that stands through this show?
JS: I titled this show ‘Golden Child’, after the Eddie Murphy movie, because I was in 8th grade and my Earth Science class had this teacher called Miss Boulden, that I loved, and she would wear house slippers and smoke cigarettes in our class and she’d watch Golden Child every day, she’d rent it from the library. I’ve seen that movie hundreds of times. I’ve somehow got in the habit of watching it again recently, over and over, it’s a weird nostalgia thing.
VNA: In terms of the body of work, what kind of themes are you dealing with in these pieces?
JS: Well, I have these two huge hermaphrodite figures, with cigarettes coming out of their vagina/mouth areas. I do have a fascination with hermaphrodites and ladyboys. It’s intriguing to me.
VNA: So, have you been to Thailand recently?
JS: I lived in Thailand for a while, I quit making art and I was just boxing for a while. I enjoyed it. I had a ladyboy trainer for about 6 months at one place. It was interesting. He’d wear lipstick and white face-paint, it was intense. He’d be flirting with me while beating the fuck out of me.
VNA: Yeah, Thailands’ weird, it’s pretty seedy.
JS: It is a weird place. I never indulged in all that, I had a girlfriend and lived in the mountains.
VNA: That sounds kind of Zen?
JS: It wasn’t. I was living with a prostitute and obsessively fighting 4 hours a day…
VNA: Do you still have an obsessive drive? What’s taken over that obsession?
JS: I’m obsessively cutting lines, not those kind of lines, anymore, but cutting pieces of paper, back to art.
VNA: So that’s your release now?
JS: Yeah, it’s healthier.
VNA: Do you find you get the same outlet?
JS: No, boxing was more consistent; that level of endorphins. Art’s few and far between, occasionally I get real manic for a day or two off of it and start thinking I’m invincible. Then I get depressed…