Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Q & A with Lee Maelzer

(Above: "Bride Mannequin" 2010)

The Rebel: Your latest exhibition is called Trusth Is Heresy and it’s on at the Magnificent Basement, 128 Farringdon Road. Where does the title come from?
Lee Maelzer: “When I was twelve I dreamt the phrase ‘Truth is Heresy’. I woke up thinking it was really clever and meaningful. Realized long after that I must have heard the legal term ‘truth is hearsay’ on telly and morphed it. But I still think it’s a remarkably apt little catchphrase. It’s hard to avoid being a heretic.”

Are you happy with the venue/ has it been hard to hang the work?
“I am happy with the venue. It has been hard to secure the venue. Hanging will be a doddle.”

Did you have final say it what works were selected to be shown? Who hung the work?
“Yes, although I will take advice. I’m not clear on who will hang it yet.”

How did you end up being a painter? Or, Who inspired you to become a painter?
“I found out I could do something well that felt natural. You’d be a fool to question that. A friend of my mother and her elderly dad encouraged me and told me that it was a viable career choice. I did not know this. Childhood inspirations were Munch and Millet from books. I still seem to be wrangling with the beauty/distress conflict in my work. And I had a jigsaw puzzle of Bruegel's children's games that I did over and over again.”

Someone told me Dexter Dalwood said that when he had Paul Rego as a tutor she encouraged him to reveal more of himself in his work and zoom in the aspects of the work he felt uncomfortable with. Is this good advice/helpful?
I couldn’t reveal more or feel more uncomfortable about it! But for some who skirt around things, yes.

Of all the men you know what percentage would you say were either slightly mad or had emotional problems?
“Men are and have always been the backbone of my world. But okay, 99%.”

What are you bitter about?
“I have forgiven everyone. Now it is only my height.”

What would be a perfect day for you?
“Sex, coffee, food, painting, food, painting, friends, booze, food, sex, start again”

Do you have a motto or life philosophy?
“The above.”

What would be your desert island discs?
“System of a Down: Chop Suey, Sonic Youth: The Sprawl, Korn: Wicked, The Fall: R.O.D., Faith No More: King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime, Queens of the Stone Age: The Blood is Love, New York Dolls: Frankenstein, Rage Against the Machine: Sleep Now in the Fire, Sunn O))) & Boris: The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep), Bill Callaghan: Eid Ma Clack Shaw”

What is art?
“The ineffable. I never know why so much waffle surrounds it.”

What questions would you like to have been asked?
“No no, these have been very charming.”

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