Extra! Extra! Outtakes from the Christopher Lusher Herald-Dispatch interview


One of the toughest things when it comes to putting an article together is deciding what to leave out. The interview with Christopher Lusher went so well and so much was said that didn’t make it into today’s Herald-Dispatch article, that we thought it appropriate to post this addendum to the reposted article above...

On putting Destructive Criticism together:
“The first show, the idea was there, it had always been there, it was just a matter of putting it into action. We had had people’s work, say a week before the show. And it got down to the Thursday before the show, and we were still getting people’s stuff. And this was the first time I’d ever done this, put a show together.

“But it was surprisingly easy to do. But I was just asking myself ‘Am I doing this right?’ I guess where it was my first time. That whole show really came together the week leading up to the show. Before that, it was just an idea in my head if not for my girlfriend kind of making sure she had her foot planted firmly in my keister, making sure I was crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s, making sure the show would happen.”

On finding beauty in strange places:
“When I first started selling photographic prints, people would want to buy the same stuff. Like, there’s a really obvious beauty in like, here’s flowers, here’s a sunset, because there’s that really obvious beauty.

“And people were like ‘Oh I want that sunset, I want that sunset, I want that sunset.’ And what that does to me is, it makes me want to go in the opposite direction. It’s too obvious, and it’s too easy. And I just wanted to flip that on its head and do something else.”

Portrait of an artist as a youth:
“I’ve always kind of accredited it -- around 14 or 15 years old -- my mom would go to work in town, and sometimes she’d let me hang out in town while she worked. And I was obsessed with comic books. Not just the stories, but the art. And I’d always drew as a kid.

“When I was a kid, that was all I cared about was drawing, that and becoming Indiana Jones, which obviously hasn’t happened. (laughs) But I started skating at 16 and won a contest and then when I was 17 I cracked my ankle in half at a demo downtown and that put the brakes on my skating. Then I saw a film with Tim Roth playing Vincent Van Gogh. For a while I was a film freak. I was just voracious about it, and that really inspired me to start painting. And starting out it was really structured, portraits and flowers, and then I quit. And after my mother passed, I did a painting about a week after she had passed away, and there was no structure to it, just complete abstract expressionism, and it’s still the style I do to this day, it totally relates to that first painting I did after she passed.

“And that morphed into me getting really into skateboarding -- this will make sense in a second -- um, when I was 18 I started painting. I didn’t start taking pictures until (thinking) about five years ago. I had written for a few websites, I made a short film, I played in a few bands, not a proficient musician by any means.

“When my mother passed in 2003, around that time I had dabbled in music, had been writing a lot, had made a short film. But aside from that the only thing I was doing was running wild and being a mad man and ingesting every substance on the face of the planet. And when she passed it hit me like a ton of bricks and I just thought I needed to get my life together. So I got married because I thought that was what I was supposed to do.

“Well, that ended, and I was working at this liquor store and this guy came in one day, and I had a friend who lived overseas. Well, this guy who I worked with came in with this little digital silver camera. And I asked, ‘Hey can I borrow that?’ And the idea was for me to take a few pictures of where I live, and send them to my friend, and say ‘This is where I live, this is my area.’

“Well what ended up happening was, I had to walk about 20 blocks to and from work every day. And I would take the camera with me and I would start documenting all the things I would see. And my friend was like ‘Dude you can borrow that camera as long as you want.’ And I kind of got obsessed with it, hitting the streets every day taking photos. And I look back on those photos now and I’m not really happy with them, but a lot of people were really encouraging about it, saying you’re really good at this. And it just became a part of what I did every day. There wasn’t any question about it, it was just what I was going to do. And that led me back into painting and collage work.”

On making “goofy little videos” and directions his art is taking:
“My friends would come over and get drunk and I’d film them to make fun of them the next day. It’s just another avenue. Since Destructive Criticism I’ve not necessarily got away from photography, but my thing has always been street photography. And after five years, man, that well has run dry, and I can’t take my camera anymore, because I’ve taken pictures of everything.

“And in a way that’s good, because you can see things in a different way. Since DC I’ve done four paintings. One of them is the biggest I’ve ever done, it’s here in my living room here, it’s fifteen feet. God I can’t tell you how many collages I’ve done, maybe forty. I’ve done a whole bunch of mixed media stuff, just taking images from the internet, and um, and re-appropriating them, I’ve just been having a lot of fun doing that.”

On the internet:
“It’s just a double-edged sword. The most important thing for me about the internet is, my girlfriend lives in another country, in New Zealand, so we’re doing the puddle-jumping thing for a while. Things have become so impersonal, people literally live their lives through social networking. How much of that shit do you need? You have Facebook, you have Twitter, and now you have Google Plus now, what more do you need?

“Nobody talks to each other anymore, this is the longest phone conversation, dude, I’ve probably talked to my girlfriend longer, I’ve had in years. And I’m not saying I’m not guilty of it too. We’ve become so enmeshed in living our lives through Facebook, and texting each other, another way of avoiding conversation.”

On where this kind of art fits in Huntington:
“When you think about your options, its not the kind of show that goes on around here. I was recently invited to a show here, which will be unnamed, and I went to the show, I went into the show, walked in a circle, and went to Rio Grande and drank for three hours.

“I want people to hang out, not head to Applebee’s for three hours.”

No comments: