Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Interview as Art - Thomasin Durgin - aka MetalRiot - aka Tomi

1. What was your first work of art and how old were you?

I imagine it was something made out of play-doh but I can't remember. I started sketching a lot in second grade and in third grade I made this wood burning of my grandmother's siamese in shop class. My mom treasures it and I think it looks like a hot pepper.

2. What did you do for fun when you were a teenager?
Mainly inappropriate things, and I was very involved in art.

3. What and when was your first job?

My first job was babysitting when I was 13, I got my work permit at 15 and got a job at a local Dry Cleaner.

4. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?

I sketched all the time as a kid, I lived on a college campus with my mom and when I was in in 5th grade she showed one of the art professors my sketchbook. He thought I had talent and gave me a few instructional books. I was so proud of my sketchbook after that, I carried it everwhere - I wish I knew what happened to it.

Ring a Week 6/52
Ring A Week #6
5. Who was the first artist to influence you?


6. Who were your favorite movie stars growing up?

The "brat pack" - Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy. Yes, really. I loved Matt Dillon, too.

7. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?

Super Friends, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mighty Mouse, Tom and Jerry, the Cosby Show, anything on MTV (we didn't have cable so I watched with friends), Saturday Night Live

8. Has your work gone up in price compared to when you first started?

Yes, if for no other reason that the cost of living has gone up in the last 20 years.

9. Where do you get your ideas?

I keep sketchbooks all over the house and jot things down, I have far more ideas that I can execute in one lifetime.

RAW 16-19
Rings A Week
10. Who do you think is the best business artist in the world?

Thomas Kinkade. He's America's most collected living artist and that scares the hell out of me.

11. Do you think that there are any art movements now?

Absolutely. Guerilla art is still quite strong, extreme performance art is alive and well, and what folks are doing with CAD design and 3d printing these days is just amazing and incredibly innovative.

12. Do you think kids should get grants to decorate subways?

Yes, I'm a big proponent of public art.

13. Have you or anyone you know been involved in street art?

Yes, several of my friends work that way, as did some of my instructors in graduate school. I'm very drawn to Dadaism and the concept of "happenings". Lat month I met a recent MFA graduate student who walked up and down the steps of the Memphis College of Art to the distance of the top of Mt. Everest in a 24 hour period. Wow.

Ring a Day 209/365
Ring A Day #209
14. Do you ever think about politics?

Yes, much of my work is political in nature.

15. What is your favorite color?

That depends entirely on my mood, I love them all.

16. Do you do all your own work, or do you have people working for you?

I make my work myself.

17. Do you have an interest in films or video?

I like to watch films, and I make fun little videos from time to time. I made a few vids as rigs for Ring a Day last year and I've been working with some teens doing stop-motion video this summer.

18. What kind of toys do you have?

silly putty, yo-yo's, and this great block set from the Guggenheim:

19. Do you have any habits you’d like to kick?

Carbs and cussing.

20. What do you do when you’re not working?

Juggle, play guitar, avoid cleaning the house, internet, reading, and a little tv.
juggling vid on YouTube

21. Do you play any games?

I like playing cards and dominoes and I hope to get back to playing tennis this year.

22. How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it?

I was 19. I took driver's ed in high school and my mom said if I got my license I'd have to pay for the increase in her car insurance myself. She went on to say that if I ever used her car I would have to have it home by 11pm, and my curfew at the time was 1am. Needless to say I didn't go for that deal. Basically I was a hellion and she figured I'd be a worse hellion behind the wheel. She may have been right but I still hold a small grudge over all of it.

Ring a Day 31/365
"Crown of Thorns Celice Ring"
23. What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.)

I have a very inconsistent sleep schedule, I often get into what I call "vampire mode" and find myself falling asleep around 4-5am and getting up at between 11am and noon.

24. How much time do you spend on the computer?

Far, far too much.

25. Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?)

Only late at night and I don't have cable so it's generally Two and a Half Men (sorry), Family Guy (sorry), King of the Hill, and The Office.

26. What do you eat?

I'm a vegetarian who loves carbs and cheese.

27. Do you believe in flying saucers?

In an Ed Wood sort of way.

28. Do you believe in magic?


Ring a Week 7/52
Pearl Ring plus Carnelian Pendant
29. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?

No, I'm not sure he acted at all.

30. Do you look in the mirror when you get up?

Good grief, no.

31. Do you think the world can be saved?

Saved from what? War? No. Poverty? No. Violent Crime? No. This is depressing.

32. Do you think there should be censorship?

Hell to the Mother Fucking no.


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