‘Altered States’ is the most recent exhibition to open at kind of — gallery, running until this Sunday the 31st of March.
It’s a group show co-curated by kind of —, Hyper XX and Qwux. kind of — Facebook chatted with Jono (Hyper XX) and Qwuxdiggity (Qwux) to speak about the exhibition, the past, the present, and the blah blah.
In today’s instalment, we meet Qwux, aka Qwuxdiggity. Read the (largely unedited) Facebook chat transcript below.
Qwux — Yo, Yo! Let’s sneak an interview. Obviously I’m at work, so if customers come in I need to sneak off, but I can do it.
kind of — Cool bro, let’s do this.
I’m not going to lie, you do resemble a Viking, I dig it. Is that what you’re going for?
Good opening question??
Qwux — Haha you know what? It’s not how I started out. I just grew a beard because I could, then I got too lazy to trim it. Recently I looked into my ancestory and it turns out that way back I actually have Viking in my blood, so it worked out kinda nice.
(Great question by the way, you gonna use a photo of me? Haha Jess just did new portraits!)
kind of — Hell yeah let’s put a portrait up to support the Viking-ness. Vikings are tight. So Mr Rah Collective, what’s that about? I think that’s what you are probably most famous for?
Qwux — Haha I need to get me one of those Viking horn helmets…
kind of — Like.
Qwux — Well, Rah Collective is a little art collective-come publishing company I established in 2009. Our initial interest was in hosting group shows for ourselves, then we wanted to get others involved and it kind of snowballed. When lots of artists were interested, we decided to start a yearly publication, focusing on emerging and student artists, giving them a platform to get their art out there that is professional and accessible. We are about to start the call out for our 3rd book, to be released later this year.
kind of — Cool man, I just had a flick through book 2 when I was on the loo at He Made x She Made. It’s super cool, I really like it. We are doing this interview because you’re one of the co-curators on this Altered States exhibition that we are involved with as well. How did you get involved with it?
Qwux — I snuck into the show, like a Viking Ninja haha. I have worked with the guys from Kind Of before, and have been trying to co-curate with Jonathon Verzosa for a long time, we have a bunch of things in the works, but this one evolved organically, and due to time constraints and the want/need to have a large group show we all merged some ideas together over a beer to create a supershow, with a rad theme and a sneaky publication.
kind of — Haha, I felt a bit stupid asking that question because I already knew the answer. Tell me a little bit about this ‘6 eyes’ tip that you’re on?
Qwux — The whole multi-eye craze that I single handidly started… *cough* came about through a few old paste ups I did. I found some rad old portraits of Victorian dudes, and they were so wrinkly around their eyes that i wanted enhance that. It started as photo collage, but that seemed too easy and obvious, so I transitioned to illustrating the figures, which allowed for more freedom in the forms. It also allowed me to develop the muted fluro™ colour treatment that I am so fond of now.
kind of — Ah hah. Hey, did you add the “TM” to the word fluro?
Qwux — Haha yeah I did. It’s not actually trademarked, but I like saying it
kind of — Haha, I thought Google might have put it there or something.
So, in my interviews I try to cover the topic of the interview (which we might have to come back to), a bit of information about your past and some info on your future. I think we’re up to future although I think we should come back to the topic….. now. How do you know Jono (Hyper XX)?
Qwux — I met Jono after his huge show at ambush gallery a year or so back, the one called Hyper XX, I knew a bunch of guys in the show, and the flyer killed it, so I popped over and met the dude. Since then we have talked a lot, been involved in a few shows and caught up at almost every show opening I have attended recently. I love his ideas and ethos, and his drive is admirable, so how could you not wanna hang around him?
kind of — Yeah for sure, he’s like this little quiet achiever I reckon. I can respect anybody in this game at this level because we’re all doing it for the love and it’s super hard work.
Qwux — Agreed
kind of — You’re actually in the Altered States show as well right? Can we expect some 6 eyed freak action? Actually, I’ve already seen it so I know the answer to this question. I’ll answer it for you.
Qwux — Why yes, you can expect more 6 eyed freaky action, it’s actually a self portrait.
kind of — Oh really? That’s rad I can’t wait to see it!
Was that weird?
Qwux — Hahaha answering it yourself. Can I add?
kind of — Please do!
Qwux — There will be more six eyed action in this show, all my current work revolves around that as an ongoing series. This time round it’s actually a self portrait, and I have added another dimension to the drawing, both to illustrate my the creative frustration I had in creating work with such a tight deadline, and also to push my abilities as an illustrator.
kind of — Woah, your answer is waaaaaay better than mine! Ha ha ha. Ask me a question, then you answer it!
Qwux — Haha my go-to question is the Viking one hahaha. Ok, Mr Faz, I heard you used to work as a tradesperson before making the transition into the creative world. Why did you make the change, and why was it the best thing that ever happened to you?
kind of — Now you answer it!
Qwux — Haha I had to say “hi” to a customer, gimme a break.
kind of — This is so stupid, but kind of — funny.
Qwux — Well, working as a tradey sucked a fat one, I had to get up way, super early and I was like ‘Oh my glob this is too much!’ So I went to creative school and got my juices flowing, then, I bailed on the early mornings, exchanging them for laaaaate nights of curating, hanging and all out being rad. This lead to the creation of kind of — which is 100% my hard work and no one else helped at all.
kind of — Ha ha ha ha, that was awesome; I couldn’t have answered better myself. OK, enough about me. What do you like more: being an artist or a curator?
Qwux — I couldn’t imagine trying to be anything else. Being an artist allows me freedom to create, often without having to justify it beyond calling it art. It might sound cliché but that’s really what I like. I also love being in shows, there is something so satisfying about seeing your work hung on walls, eiher in a solo or group show. Curating allows me to help other artists get their work into shows, as my main focus as a curator is on emerging and student artists who may have little or no exposure. I was there not too long ago, and to be honest I only started exhibiting in 2009, but I have pursued it fervently, and I think Altered States is my 51st show. (Holy shit that is weird to write that down!!!)
kind of — Woah, that’s a shit load of shows! Have you had any solo shows?
Qwux — I think I have only had 2 solo shows, in 2010 and 2011. I am working on having one later this year, but I have been so busy working on group shows and getting other people’s out there that mine has taken a back seat, and my plan is to change that this year.
kind of — Yeah rad man, sounds good. I think we’re good now, unless you want to add anything else?
Qwux — Nothing I can think to add. Can you link to my site though? www.qwux.net
kind of — Done deal! I’ll catch you soon bro! Thanks for this.
Qwux — Hoorah! No worries man, have a good night!