So I found that film happened to be an amalgam of all the things I was interested in. And so I explored that for the last, sort of 6, 7 years. And I think I’ve done quite well out of it. And it’s culminated now with this movie “Boy”, which is going to become the most successful local film in New Zealand ever. But success, I think, for me, is a very strange thing, and I probably have different ideas of what success is to most other people.
Art? What is it? Is it important? I have no idea. Move on. I mean, can it do these things, can it save the impoverished ? No, it can’t, unless it’s made of food. Can it bring about world peace? Only if art is actual world peace. So it’s all about perspective for me. I’m here basically to share how I see things. If you can take one little piece of inspiration from that, and apply it to what you want to do. I don’t know how many people here are actually actively creative, then if you can take something, a sparkle or a certain idea from anything I showed you today, then, me coming here and staying at the Four Seasons is worth it.
So, I am attracted to the outsider, okay? A lot of the theme in my work is exploring this idea of people who don’t belong and I’m always inspired by the outsider artist. These are paintings by my father, who’s an outsider artist, even though he wouldn’t know what that meant, if you’re to say “you’re an outsider artist.”
And I love the naive. I love people who can see things through the, like I said, the lens of — with an innocent viewpoint, I think. So this is my dad, his perspective. He just paints things around the landscape that surrounds him. He lives on a hill, and he just paints the same thing all the time. And I love it. It’s really inspiring to me. Rousseau is one of my favorite artists. They said he couldn’t paint. If you can put paint on a brush and apply it to something, you can paint. What he couldn’t do was paint in the style of everyone of the day. This guy is incredible and I find that his stuff is actually really fun. I have no idea what he was really trying to say, but for me, this here is an incredible painting. I have no idea what’s going on with these guys.
And you know, when you take the ball away, really, it just becomes kind of weird. I mean, this guy here, I don’t know what he’s up to, back there. I mean, this is kind of weird. But I love looking at the stuff, it just kind of generates inspiration and stuff for me. This is a picture of, in my mind, a horse eating a giant hotdog bun. Guess what I see. This is actually a dialogue. This is a lion having a talk to his friend, saying “Hey Jeffrey, uh, can I borrow your guitar?” This here is called The Writer and The Muse, and, I’m assuming that the lady is the muse. Again, it’s whatever inspires you, and she inspires him.
So it’s about perspective. And on that note, this here is my interpretation of what clouds see when they daydream. So, it’s just the point of view. I’ve been obsessed with things over the years. I’ve collected lots of things from sewing machines to cameras to stamps and those things. So my early obsessions were people like Freddie Mercury and this guy, Michael Jackson. And I took this obsession probably deep into my adult years and I’m not sure if it was a healthy thing to do, but for me, it was just a natural thing. So I love the guy.
When I was about 11 or 12, I got obsessed with the Sistine Chapel, with the creation of Adam, and I started drawing it obsessively, and I just couldn’t stop. And so I just, like, kept going and kept going and just tried to draw — I wouldn’t have been my friend if I was a kid. So I just got obsessed with this sort of stuff. And again, this is the sort of thing that I look back on, and I’m not embarrassed about this stuff. Actually, I just really love the — I tend to see myself as a secret person nowadays, and I think, man, what a weird kid.
And, I changed then and it all kind of — this masterpiece called “Fawn trying to get his flute back off weird kid.” So, yeah. And then, there is an old lady gone for a walk on a sword with Robocop. So, Robocop is another thing I became obsessed with over the years, and I would just draw him again and again and again and again.
Another thing I got obsessed with when my mum survived breast cancer was cancer, and I started getting really paranoid that I was going to get it. I started thinking, if I keep thinking about that, that’s going to make it happen, and I had to stop thinking about it, and it just sort of — keep overwhelming my mind, and so, I decided if I just did this, that would get rid of it. And like, so far so good.
The thing I hate is a cancer cell, and interestingly enough, it’s very similar to this picture which is a picture of a nuclear bomb exploding milliseconds after detonation. So, things that I find that are cool: Trans Ams, Samurai swords, obviously. Girls and tassels on jackets. tassels on jackets.