12 Questions: Judith Supine at Mecka Gallery
We stopped by Mecka Gallery to catch up with Judith Supine prior to his upcoming exhibition.
The name of the show is Golden Child. Is there any meaning behind it?
It’s nostalgia. When I was in 8th grade I had an earth science teacher named Ms. Bolden. She was amazing, she wore house slippers and long negligee shit every single day. She smoked cigarettes in class and we would just watch Golden Child everyday. We’d watch Golden Child with Eddie Murphy. It’s an inappropriate movie for 8th graders, or at least in class so I know the movie really well.
How did the idea come about for the show? Did you get presented with the space or you had an idea and you worked it in the room?
They just told me they had a big warehouse space, which is kind of an ideal situation for me since I can do whatever I feel like. For the main installation there’s going to be a weird optical illusion thing cause the back of it is going to form a girl getting choked. I still have to glue that on there.
And you’ve been working on this installation for about a month?
That piece? Yea, I usually make collages for about a month or two and then edit them down and pick one. I make tons of collages and then I pick one and then physically make it. I make fifty collages and then pick one. The ones that I don’t use are scattered all over my bedroom and my cat plays with them.
The Arcadio print that’s for sale is a single layer black silk screen with hand embellished color on top. Is that how you usually do your prints?
Yea, it’s all just hand painted. Each one takes me a few hours to paint, it’s a pain the ass. It looks way better then straight screen printing. It’s very repetitive.
In terms of all of the fluorescent colors, why are you fixated on the greens and the pinks?
I think I first started using them just for practical purposes because I was painting over photocopies, so similar to tinting a photograph I needed something that would look bright. The paint floats in between the ink so it’s like doing washes, like how they would wash tint photographs. But then this stuff, I painted the same thing twice and then cut it up and then put it back on top, because I used to make a lot of wood cuts. So I’m kind of mimicking that line patterning stuff. I’m obsessively cutting stuff.
Right now you also seem to be focused on lottery cards. Where did that idea come from?
I collect trash, specific trash. I collect scratch tickets, Newport boxes and calling cards, the international calling cards. I have them separated in my house. I have thousands of each. I started making the Newport boxes into little sculptures and then the lottery cards into little collages. I like making stuff that I can do in one or two sittings. I’ve bought a handful of cards and I think I’ve only ever won $7. I usually find them. I have accidentally picked up disgusting things. Dog shit.
For the pieces that you usually put up on the street, are those color copies or do you hand finish those as well?
They are all hand painted.
I’m sure you’ve seen the one piece in Williamsburg with the plexiglass in front of it. What do you think about that?
Yea, it’s weird. I guess it’s a nice compliment, it’s funny. Actually when I went to take a picture of it and the people were there, I was standing on their steps and they were giving me this real dirty look like they were pissed off. But it was nice of them.
You did a couple of recent collaborations with Jesse Hazelip. Have you collaborated with other people or do you have any planned for the future?
It’s weird, I’ve done some fashion collaborations. It’s hard collaborating with other visual artists since I like to control everything. Jesse and myself are friends.
What do you think about social media?
I love it. I’ve never had anything like that before, like Facebook and all that stuff. Now I kind of got all this technology at once. I never had all that stuff and then I got a phone and a computer and an iPod all at once and it’s overwhelming. It’s real distracting.
What’s in a name, is it pronounced Supine or Supeen? Do you get pissed off when mispronounce it? Do you think it’s funny that people think you might be female based on your name?
I don’t care but my mother is Supine. And yes, a lot of people like to think I’m female because of the name. I can tell from the tone of the emails that they may have sexual interests. I like it.
Do you have other shows planned for the future? Any last thoughts?
I’m going to do a show where I have children make all the art. Please come to my art show. My mom’s going to be there.
Text and Photos: Spencer Elzey