Artist Mark Whalen (a.k.a. Kill Pixie) recently moved to Los Angeles from Australia. His studio’s not too far from the Anthem offices, so we stopped by one day after work to see how his new show is coming along.
You moved to L.A. from Oz earlier this year. What was the impetus for the move? Did [Anthony] Lister [see Anthem #34] try to get you to move to New York?
I've been going back and forth to America for a while now. I started working with Merry Karnowsky in L.A. and she vouched for me to get an American visa. White Walls Gallery and Fecal Face also helped. Lister is all about N.Y.C.―maybe he can call Batman to come pick me up.
Have you been in L.A. long enough to get a feel for it? How do you like it compared to Oz?
I've been in L.A. for four months now. It’s pretty much a bigger version of Sydney, with more places and things to go to and check out. It's definitely a big change and a bit of a cultural shock. Having to be so dependent on a car is something that’s hard to deal with. You can't roll out of your spot and skate down the street, that’s for sure; you won't get very far.
Much of your work is inhabited by characters who could be Indian (American not Eurasian). What is the meaning behind them and how did this influence come about?
There's no real meaning behind them. I get influence from all sorts of different cultures. I’m very interested in the patterns they use. For the most part though, I like to keep the dialogue of my work open so people can make their own decisions on what is happening.
Your work has a high level of detail and precision. Is this something that is meditative for you, or painstaking?
It's meditative for sure. Sometimes it gets a little frustrating when you just want to finish something and you know there are still days ahead involved. I usually work on a bunch of stuff at the same time, so there're definitely some painstaking moments along the way.
Where there any specific influences for the subject matter and scope of work you created for this new exhibition?
This exhibition is called “Super Systems.” I titled it that because I’m really influenced by structures, machinery, futuristic and geometric objects. That's the initial influence for me. It’s also titled this as all my paintings are made up from tiny objects that make whole structures and scenes.
“Kill Pixie: Super Systems”
10115 Berlin-Mitte, Germany
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 22