Nil Ultra: Pop, politics, gore and a good laugh

– Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

I’m from Arizona but have lived in Los Angeles for about 15 years. I have a nice little house with my gal and our small dog where I spend most of my time if I’m not at my day job. We have a massive avocado tree in the back yard and a dart board where you can often find me with a glass of wine and a pack of smokes. I make a good martini. Belvedere, extra dry with a twist if I have a choice. I enjoy  the stock market. The greatest film ever made is Amadeus, although it just beats out The Blues Brothers. I listen to Howard Stern and watch a lot of news. I’ve been trying to learn French and have a collection of vacation shirts.

– Your work is both political and visually playful; has a classic feel, with a contemporary approach…
Which are the main influences?

Ray Johnson, John Stezaker, and Steven Parrino have been a great influence on me, but I’m equally motivated and excited by other artists and disciplines. Being relatively new to international travel, I’ve been easily inspired by other cities and cultures and some of the exhibitions I’ve visited so far. Most notable would be the Eduardo Paolozzi at White Chapel and Edward Krasinski at Stedelijk last year.
When it comes to the politics and humor in the work, most often it’s accidental. A joke or commentary on something social or political is often stumbled on, or thought of in the process of scouring and searching through old magazines and books.


– How would you describe your work process?

Sporadic. I’ll get a few ideas of subject matter and tone that I want to play with and dig around for what I can. But, for the most part I surf through my materials and cut out things that interest or surprise me and set them aside for future use. Some clippings are used quickly while others may ride around with me for months.

– Tell us something about your source material. What drew you to that specific type of images?

When I started to focus on collage, I gave myself a rule to not work with any materials made after 1978, the year I was born. The idea was, that assigning this rule to the work and applying this limitation to myself, that I may be forced to really dig for the story I want to tell- especially when commenting on anything current. I’m fond of vintage smut and old museum catalogs.

– How does living in L.A. influence your work? Is there a collage scene in the city?

It’s California, man. It’s easy to have a good time making things. As far as a collage scene, I’m sure there is one… there’s a scene for everything.

– What´s your definition of collage? 

Gratification and a good laugh.