Featured Artist: Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

Age:43

Hometown/ Current town: NYC (Hell’s Kitchen) / NYC (Brooklyn)

Bio:  I was born in Hell’s Kitchen New York, when that was a thing that could mold you…these days I feel like me, my
husband, our friends, we’re going extinct and I shrug and just keep making something out of whatever will make a mark or a sound. When I was young it was because it was there. now it’s kind of equally because it’s there and so am I.

Upcoming projects:  Working on a piece for a show in Chicago in September. It will be at Sideshow Gallery and will benefit an animal rescue charity called One Tail at a time. Also some friends have told me this week about things gestating they want me or me and my husband involved in, be it film scoring, comic festivals, everything probably is too in a gestative stage to really get into much detail though.

Cannibal003webSelect links: A couple short clips I did to some music experiments.
The second one has a nearly all-rodent cast!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwDHkE8It8M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40a5lnac7ro

Describe your visual art work. I like to play around in a lot of
mediums, stuff I pick up discount from the art supply store, crayons
from a 99 cent store, fabrics, paper discarded objects I find on the
street. And I love to draw something very cute and cartoon-like,
place it next to something very grotesque with an urgent feel to it.
I’ve begun this thing with putting fabric scraps in our rats’ cage to
chew on and when they’ve been gnawed enough cleaning it and working it
into art pieces.

You’re also a musician. Tell us more about this. I do an experimental
noise / soundscape project with my husband called Astral Knife. I mostly
do violin and vocalization. He does percussive stuff and distorted
sound sculpture. I like putting these things together, I mean you can
go from these very martial war drums and shrieking glossalalia to
something quiet and sparse to being very dark ambient. We tend to have
a nail of an idea or a theme to hang a performance around.

Do you have any shows coming? Currently not, we’re focusing
more on doing a cassette or CD run. Probably more in the fall we’ll be
doing something again.

PangenderHarmonyWhat themes and concepts does your work generally revolve around?
Mental illness, mysticism, illusion and escapism, either as a release
or a way of being lied to. The city. Abrasive personalities.
Nightmares, sensuality, pangenders and plague doctors. And always
rats.

What are you currently working on? I found a wooden mannequin hand while I was out
walking the other day, and in a junk store I found this plaster cherub
playing a violin…so I’m going to incorporate them into some surreal
painted diorama or something.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have? I try
to divide my time into segments to work on creative things, like 45
minutes painting, 45 on violin, 45 mixing some raw tracks…working on
a comic strip…you know? You always get sucked in to the first one
you work on and want to only do that. Or get some whole other idea and
want to go do that instead. I’m kind of badly disciplined.
What’s your art/ music background? I went to art school, Parsons. I
couldn’t really afford to do that. The first two years seemed kind of
helpful; the second two seemed kind of repetitive. The first year I
still had my pizzeria job which was a pain to juggle with school, but
I needed money so I became an art model…it can definitely increase
your understanding of the human figure in ways that just drawing
doesn’t. It can also bring out the stupid in some people. I also
interned at MTV Animation and started to meet a lot of these
underground / alternative cartoonists whose work I liked in person. Most
of them are cool and encouraging.
RatlaceI don’t have a music background. I sang for some punk bands that never
really got beyond local level, and I’m teaching myself violin
left-handed.
What’s been happening in your life? Mostly I’m caring for my
grandmother, who’s 97. This gives me a lot of time to work on
stuff…also spent some time in the past week hanging out with the
guys from Black Leather Jesus, The Rita, and Serpentine (Girl and Guy)
when they came through New York on tour. We took em’ for authentic NY
pizza, at Monica Sanchez request 🙂
Also 60’s underground filmmaker Flame Schoen – she did a documentary
on artist Vali Meyers and the film “Dope” (not the teen comedy out
now) which has some of the earliest footage of Syd Barrett era Pink
Floyd, she’s done some short video clips with some of our soundtracks,
we’re talking about scoring some short films in the future.
https://vimeo.com/flameschon

What’s next for you? I couldn’t guess.

Describe your current state of mind. med-head

What’s inspiring you? My husband Eric. The space that moves around me,
and I think any movement in it represents how many possibilities?

OgdoadDo you have any exhibits coming up/ past exhibits you’d like to
mention? Currently I’m part of a group show that’s at Rivington
Rehearsal Studio in NYC:
http://www.prlog.org/12465468-artpunk-show-erupts-on-new-yorks-les.html

And there’s the show at Sideshow Gallery in September, that’s in Chicago.

Is any of your work political? Yes, some of the comics I’ve done in
World War 3 Illustrated, though more in a candid “the personal is
political” way. I’ve also done sign-painting for affordable housing
law marches, and an illustration for the BDS site. Also the piece I
have in the Occupy Comics book is a recreation of a drawing I did on a
pizza box in Zuccotti Park and left there one night. I was drawing it
after the style of Jose Guadalupe Posada’s political illustrations,
which I love.

What are you trying to communicate with your art? Different
things…trying to make sense of what’s happening around us all. If I
fully trust it.

What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist? Poverty.
It’s supposed to give an artist “cred” but it’ll put you ten paces
behind people who afford publicists and stuff and they’ll gloat to you
about it and then tell you you’re struggling cuz you have a “bad
attitude,” lol.

AstralKnifesocialplagueHow has the meaning of your work changed over time? I think I’ve
broadened the mediums and approaches I use more than the meaning…

What do you dislike about your work? There’s a period in the early to
mid 2000’s where doctors were playing sort of fast and loose with my
meds, which was going on more then, in city hospitals, and with the
Medicaid set, liberties could be taken. Anyway some of them,
particularly geodon, I dislike every line I made in that period of
time. Everything looked flat and lifeless. Everything felt so
uninspired. Generally I’m content with what I do, but I want to do the
next thing better. I go through moments of hating my work. I know a
lot of other artists who say they have moments like that.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet? Metal
sculpture? I’d need more space.

What is your dream project? I don’t know if I have one…I’d like
to get back into animation. I actually found a light table for $10 at
Housing Works, so I’ll take that as a sign to think of something.

What are a few of your favorite spots in your area? Honestly I liked
the ruins around here where we are but now they’re being boxed off or
knocked down. We like Tina’s, a diner that’s only open between 4 AM
and 4 PM,  the occult store Catland, the record store Heaven Street,
and I like the botanicas where Knickerbocker meets Myrtle Ave.
Beltane2015
Favorite artists and why? People in your field whom you most admire?
There’re so many! I don’t want to leave anyone out, but a few are
people who have worked extremely with the physical form, Gina Pane,
the Vienna Aktionists, Ana Mendieta —I read this quote by her,
here’s another alienated Cuban girl going “My only two choices are be
an artist or a criminal.” Right? I tend to be drawn to anything
dada/ surrealist/ symbolist…anything that looks at things from the
perspective of the subconscious, even Situationism in a way was taking
what the world bombards us with and playing with it through the lens
of subconscious.

What are you reading? Currently going between a book of plays by Oscar
Wilde and Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. And a mountain of “to read”
stuff.

Favorite authors, fiction: Darius James, William Borroughs, Comte de Lautremonte

Favorite authors, nonfiction: Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Carroll

Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels? I like the work of
Suehiro Maruo and Hideshi Hino, I’ve been a longtime fan of Phoebe
Gloeckner’s work and glad to see her getting so much attention with
the movie out…I hope it prompts people to look into her graphic
novels. Minimum Wage by Bob Fingerman…I’m glad he’s doing it again.
SmileWhat are you listening to these days? How I Quit Crack, Cut Hands,
Brighter Death Now, Sutekh Hexen, Trepaneringsritualen, Black Leather
Jesus, Breathing Problem, The Rita, Serpentine, Tissa Mawartyassari,
Pharoahe Monch, Rat King, Rebel Diaz

What was the last show (music) you attended? At Silent Barn, when
Richard Ramirez came through with The Rita, Serpentine, A Week Of
Kindness, and Bob Bellerue.

What was the last exhibit you attended? The next day we went with
Richard Ramirez and Sean Matzus (of A Week of Kindness; they also make
up Black Leather Jesus and are newlyweds ❤ 🙂 ) to see a Tom of
Finland retrospective down in Soho.

Your website(s):
http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/348938-jenny-gonzalez-blitz

https://soundcloud.com/astralknife

http://tapastic.com/series/platformedge

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