Adel Souto is an artist, writer and musician from Miami, currently living in Brooklyn:
Hometown: Miami, FL
Current town: Brooklyn, NY
Job description: manager at Infernum Tattoos
Bio: Artist, musician, writer, troublemaker.
Upcoming projects: A Joyous Swastika; a series of wood plates (12×12 and 7×7) with a swastika pattern, using vibrant colors not normally associated with the symbol.
Select links: adelsouto.com / feastofhateandfear.com
What are you working on?
Currently, I am working on a project picking up, I believe, where ManWoman left off, attempting to re-establish the swastika as a symbol of peace. I am also working a collaborative venture with several artists including Anthony Mangicapra and tattoo artist Liorcifer, where I take several photographs on disposable cameras, and the artists then work on the cameras (disposablecameraseries.blogspot.com).
In the field of writing, the Abraxas Journal is releasing an article I wrote for a work of art on using Tristan Tzara’s Dada poetry technique, titled Do Me Dada Style. I am also currently writing a book on my experiences during a month-long vow of silence in 2010, titled The Least Silent of Men.
Musically, I am still working on my solo project 156, as well as teaming up with Erik Proft of Kama Rupa for, not only new KR material, but new styles of music altogether.
What’s your background / have you always been an artist/ how did you first get into the art scene?
I had a bit of schooling, but mostly created on my own. I guess, yes, I’ve always been an artist seeing as I recall drawing with my father as early in my childhood as I can remember.
My first showing was a group show in Miami in 1989. I sat in jail, as my piece sold, and I later refused the money. Following, I became homeless for a few years, never selling a single work until I was back on my feet. Art to me was not a way to make money. It’s nice if you can, but that’s not what I care to do with what I create.
What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?
I was asked to do a piece for John Waters’ performance of This Filthy World in south Florida, and had a great time travelling to show the work, so I’ve established a few more connections back down south, so I can travel and visit frequently, as I do get homesick now and again.
Artistically, just more of what I do.
Describe your current state of mind / what are you currently interested in/ what’s inspiring you?
Confused, and unsure where the future leads me. I forge a path, but it seems life steers me where it wants. This inspires me. The future is uncertain, and I’m fine with that.
Any exhibits coming up/ any past exhibits you’d like to mention?
I will be part of a group show in April at the Superchief Gallery in the Lower East Side. Mostly transgressive artists, and folks pushing the envelope. I’m not certain, but some of my swastika series may show.
How do you choose your subject matter?
In all honesty, it sometimes chooses me. I get these ideas, and I run with them.
Salvador Dalí. One of the few that got to be where he was due to unbelievable talent, not art-house politics.
Is any of your work political?
Not at all.
Tell us about your music.
156 is an industrial act in the sense of true industrial, circa ’77 through ’83, similar in sound to E. Neubauten, Z’ev or early Test Dept.
Where do you record?
All recordings are done with a field recorder, as we play in abandoned buildings, subway tunnels and underground passageways.
What was the last show you attended?
Friends play in Believer/Law, and I went to catch their set, as well as film it.
Amusing anecdotes regarding your shows/ performances/ fans?
156 shows are always a little insane. We throw metal and glass around, use power tools. Many times someone gets hurt (mainly band members).
What are you listening to these days?
Lots of New Order.
Regarding your writing, what themes and concepts does your work generally revolve around?
Much of my current writing is based on my experiences with rituals and experiments I do. I used to write pieces on left field subjects (sex, politics, occult), which became much of the Feast of Hate and Fear fanzine (1990 – 1998). Later I began writing personal stories about my youth, and recently it’s been a mix of both old (tales of my youth) and new (ritualistic) autobiographical material.
What are you currently working on?
I am writing a small book on a month-long vow of silence I did in 2010, titled The Least Silent of Men.
Tell us about some of your finished pieces/ work.
I released a “best of” my old fanzine, Feast of Hate and Fear, in 2009. It sold out in under two years.
In 2011 I released a chapbook of three writing experiments, and later a small hardcover of 200 of my throwaway poems (limited to eight copies).
What are you reading?
Gabriel Marcel’s work on the ontological mysteries. Before that was a book on poor English, and next will be a book a friend gave me on Artaud.
Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels?
Can’t say I have any. I do like the Hellraiser series, and Edgar Allen Poe’s serialized graphic novels.
Robert Anton Wilson. Great at teaching while entertaining.
Are you involved with any organizations/ is there a group you feel affinity with/ do you collaborate with other artists?
I collaborate with other artists, but not philosophically. I work with a few people because I like their work, not agree with their religion, politics or world view.
What are a few of your favorite spots in Brooklyn/ Miami:
Brooklyn: Heaven Street Records, abandoned row houses and friend’s apartments.
Miami: South Beach and Churchill’s Pub.
What websites do you visit regularly?
What was the first piece of artwork you bought/ do you buy a lot of artwork?
Strangely, I have never bought art. I’ve been lucky to either be friends with or trade with all the living artists I’ve ever admired.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
A truck driver. Been one, and may be one again.
What are some misconceptions people often have about you?
So many to list. Mostly: an unapproachable criminal.
What’s your idea of happiness?
Days in solitude, quiet nights with friends, smoking myself silly.
What were you like as a kid?