In this viral world, something that starts off as your idea is pretty much someone elses as soon as you mention it out loud. Forget that you even thought about it if you post it online. Josh Mintz, the lead singer of indie rock band Friend Slash Lover, artist, and advertising genius knows this. He also knows that it was your idea, but it was his idea to steal your idea. And that’s what counts.
Saturday June 29th, Mintz’s art show “It Was My Idea To Steal That Idea” will be taking place at Nomad Art Compound in Los Angeles’ Glassell Park. Since the compound is an active art space, Mintz will be live screen printing t-shirts the night of the event. The event will also serve as a release for Friend Slash Lover’s new single “Hellthy”. Supporting musical talent includes DJ Diabetic (Shepard Fairey) and SSI.
In support of his show, Mintz shared a few thoughts with Magnetic on art, music, Star Trek, and Instagram.
So tell us a little but about your career as an artist, how did it all start?
Wait, it started? Alert the media!
I'd say it was in college, since I challenged myself to create an installation every year, on top of my studies. I started to notice that I enjoyed coming up with the name of the show and designing the flyers and promoting it, almost as much as making the work. Hence my double life as a graphic designer and fine artist. Or is it a triple life, if you count the music? Music was always like my bastard child, but with this show, I've finally managed to stitch it all together. It only took me my whole life to figure out how to do that...
Do you work across different mediums or is it more graphic design?
My theory is that concept is king. The ideas that pop into my mind (from somewhere in the universe or wherever ideas come from) dictate the medium. I had an idea for a series of large stencils made out of dots, so I researched and practiced that technique and made two pieces. I wouldn't call myself a "stencil artist" though. I had an idea to etch weird phrases onto mirrors (so you're looking at your own reflection while deciphering the phrase) and I've made dozens of these. I wouldn't call myself "mirror artist" though. I'm a "conceptual artist" technically, but that sounds pretentious, so I dunno… you tell me. If I was only slightly nerdier, I'd publish a book of poems I've been sitting on since college. But, who the fuck reads poetry?
Who are some of your inspirations?
Whistleblowers. True investigative journalists. Some street artists. It is ironic that I design billboards for a living but I get way more excited when I see one being "liberated" by some punk with no product for sale, motivated only by the primal urge to reclaim their own visual landscape?
What can we expect to see at your upcoming show?
Yourself, reflected in mirrors. Words and phrases. The fine art of copywriting. Phrases etched onto mirrors, posters, t-shirts, stickers, postcards. A series of music videos made entirely on my iPhone. Tacos.
I have an old friend who became a bestselling author and I asked her how I could go from making single phrases to writing whole paragraphs, pages, books…? "String short thoughts together" she wrote in my copy of her book. I just realized, 10 years later, that I took her advice without even knowing it. Every phrase in the art show, when taken as a whole, could be considered to be a page of a very strange book.
Who is your favorite DJ at the moment?
I don't remember. I was distracted by the go-go dancers.
Does music play any part in your creative process? What exactly is your creative process…?
In most cases, when I'm embarking on any creative project, I start writing in my sketchbook. I'm a big proponent of Natalie Goldberg's method of "writing down the bones." Write through the first few minutes when your conscious "editor" mind is telling you all the things you cannot do and then break through to the really good ideas under the surface. And, yes, I do this while listening to music.
Warhol or Banksy?
You bastard! It's like choosing between your right or left arm. I suppose I would choose my right… It's hard to predict what history will have to say about this, but my money's on Banksy in the long run.
Vinyl, CDs or MP3s?
I grew up going to record stores every week to buy the newest shit on vinyl, but I have to say, I love technology and the freedom that digital files afford you, from a creative standpoint. All these things are really only delivery formats. It's the music that matters and however you can connect with music is a good thing. Most "audio quality" arguments are moot, since people these days listen to music on those fucking earbud headphones. Convenience and portability have trumped quality.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Is there a difference anymore? (I do have an original Star Wars 3-sheet from 1977 I'm trying to sell. Spread the word!)
Thoughts on the current art scene?
Instagram is one of the best art galleries today.
Its Saturday June 29th from 7 til 12 at Nomad Art Compound, 1993 Blake Ave. Los Angeles 90039.