By Alec Hall aka the backyard Jesus
I have heard people say that they have such a good memory that their mind is like a bank vault. I too have a good memory, but if you were to stroll around in my mind it would be less like a bank vault, and more like an overpriced second hand store. This store would be filled with dusty old books, music, trinkets, toys, posters, clothes, collectables, domestic appliances, and other material possessions that serve no real purpose.
I am a visual artist born and raised in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. In my practice I draw, sculpt, print, paint, decorate and photograph.
I consider myself somewhat as a “Domestic Street Artist” in the sense that the materials I most like to work with are found in the street: Broken old furniture, household appliances, old magazines, and posters. I find a beauty in these inanimate objects and they give me an overwhelming sense of comfort. At times I will use these objects to create something new, but often I find that they are perfect just the way they are.
The biggest influence in my work is Pop-Culture, my brain is so choc-full to the brim with movies, television shows, stand-up comedy, music and advertising jingles, that I have replaced my own memories with fake ones. So in this sense I am incredibly nostalgic, because when something funny happened to Lou Costello in ‘Abbot & Costello meet the Keystone Cops’ it really makes me smile because it also happened to me.
I like to experiment by combining modern conceptual art with old European High Art, but always with a slice of Americana on the side. Everything that I create is either a personal joke that I have with myself, or an ode to something I admire. And I am serious about not taking myself seriously.
Creating art to me is like owning your own chimpanzee… Not an orphan chimpanzee that has been rescued from the wild, but one of those Hollywood chimps that wears suits, smokes cigars and roller skates. Owning a chimp would be a lot of fun, also very time consuming and erratic. When we watch these chimps in Hollywood movies we can see that they appear to be having a great time smoking cigars, drinking whiskey and causing shenanigans, but they also have a look of being lost and forlorn on their faces. Mostly my Art/Chimp is childish, immature, clichéd, and completely riddled with Pop culture. And as long as my Chimp and I feel the need to cause mischief then I will always feel the need to create art.