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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Anthony Petrie Charts Interview

Anthony Petrie with his critics
Anthony Petrie's first solo show at Gallery 1988 will be taking place next Friday, Jan 9th, kicking in the new year with fantastic maps and charts based on film and pop culture.
Anthony Petrie's Charts  
Opening Reception Jan 9, 7-10pm
runs until Jan 24  
G1988(West) 7308 Melrose Ave
He's been a regular artist of the pop culture icon Gallery 1988 for a number of years. His work has been used by big name companies from posters to shoes with Marvel superheroes on them. He's a poster artist and product designer by trade with a affinity for zombies.

I sat down with Anthony Petrie in the sense we both sat down at computers and wrote back to each other over a series of questions about his upcoming show at Gallery 1988. It was a wonderful conversation...if we had actually talked.
Cocoa Conduit (Regular Version)
24" x 36” Screen-Print
Inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

TTDILA:We've all done things were not proud of...unlicensed prostate exams, watching The Interview, talking to loved ones around the holidays. Is there something that you're not proud of in the show, but damn it, it felt so good to joke about. A pun, a visual gag about a film in map form that will make someone spit out the booze in their mouth and they'll go, "I get it!”
Anthony Petrie: For most of the creative process I was pretty drunk so I can’t remember anything specific. Well, maybe that’s the part I’m not proud of. I try to lace each poster with as much profanity as I can. I also put boobs in one of them. I’m proud of these things though, so that doesn’t really answer the question. Sorry.

Is this in anyway to get back at Tim Leong for his Super Graphics book?  Be honest, is this a rivalry or over a girl?
Trap Map (Regular Version)
24" x 36” Screen-Print
Inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark
I don’t know who Tim is but he sounds like an asshole. Just kidding, I’ve never heard of the Super Graphics book until now but I wish I had because I would have just copied everything and it would have made this show a lot easier. I think Tim’s book skews more toward infographics seen through the filter of pop culture. The goal of my show was to have equal parts graphic design and illustrative elements to make an object that seems like it was immersed in the world of the movie. Like each piece could have been a background object in the film that a character would have used. And to make something that would look good hanging on a wall.
You've done some amazing work in the past similar in the vein of your upcoming solo show; Nakatomi Footprint, Metroplasm, Xenomorphobia. All of them amazing pieces, all of them based on great films. Were you really a fan of those films or did you make them with no fan love? 
Dino Directory (Regular Version)
24" x 36” Screen-Print
Inspired by Jurassic Park
Ah thanks, you’re very perceptive. Whilst in general my heart is colder than the Fortress of Solitude, I do harbor love for the films I choose to pay homage to. The amount of times that goes into each poster kind of requires you to be a fan, and I actually end up really enamored with each film at the end of the process. There is one movie I chose for my show that I HATE, but I had a good idea for it and I couldn’t let it go. Watching it over and over and researching it was torture. Never again.

What is your favorite type of film?

Mostly porno. Also, I grew up on a heavy diet of 80’s action flicks. Basically anything with explosions, catch phrases, muscles, and no discernible plot lines. I love campy horror, monster movies, slasher flicks and basically all zombie movies. I like movies that most normal people hate.

Comics and cartoons drench the pages of your sites online. Are you reading anything current? Watching any new shows? What inspires your art?

Comic art is definitely the baseline of inspiration for my work. Even the less illustrated posters. I like the challenge of having to tell a story without giving everything away in one page, and that’s something that comics do really well. Right now my top three are Invincible, Walking Dead, and Saga. I like TV shows a lot as well for the same reason; having a limited amount of time and space to tell a story. Right now I just caught up on Black Mirror which I’m obsessed with. I watch basically everything they put on TV while I’m working. I prefer to watch films and shows while I’m working as opposed to listening to music.

The new show has been a year in the making, in that year, the past year, how many times did you abandon a piece and start a new one or did everything click with so much time to do the pieces you wanted? I've heard from other solo show artists at G1988, the extra time made it worse.
Chum Chart
36" x 24” Screen-Print
Inspired by Jaws
Great question. I’m not a procrastinator, so as soon as Gallery 1988 invited me to have a show I immediately went to work…and 4 months into it I started over twice with two completely different concepts. I completed about 5 posters with 5 more sketched out. I hated everything and threw it all away. The panic this induced allowed me to think more creatively and the now-shortened timeline allowed me to shift into high gear. I have a few concepts left over from this show, but I decided to leave them out and revisit them another time.
You can see a lot of research going into a piece, are there a lot of screen captures and pauses on your screen when making something? Did you have to ask friends, notorious for nerd knowledge, about certain shows and movies.
Absolutely. The real work behind these posters is the research. The execution is by far the easy part. I watch each movie depicted 3 times, taking notes and screen-caps. Then I start rummaging through internet fan forums, reading books about the 'behind-the-scenes' and ‘making of’. I make a brainstorm map of all the information I’ve collected like some sleep-deprived detective or CIA agent, then I begin connecting the dots and trying to figure out the best way to filter it visually. Once I have a concept, I’ll seek someone out who is a super-fan or expert and have them look it over. The most important thing to me is that someone can spend time with a poster, discovering something new every time they look at it. The best response I could get would be “oh man I can’t believe he put that on there!” from a fan of the movie.
Will be there some work inspired by video games, specially Super Mario, because we love that here. We just got a piece based on LA's Metro line in Super Mario form.
Man I would love to tackle video games more. I think it’s a niche that isn’t explored enough. I can tell you there are definitely two things coming up next year that are video game related, so stay tuned. I know the Super Mario Metro map you speak of and I’m jealous I didn’t think of it first. 
Tell us about the zombies.
They’re coming, so you better be prepared. Make a ‘go-bag’ and fill it with enough stuff for 2 weeks after evacuation. Stay fit. Aim for the head. I’ve been preparing for this my entire life. Not kidding.
Be sure to check out Anthony Petrie's work in person or when Super Punch or /Film posts on it.