Warning: The following images may not be quite NSFW, but they sure get weird.
When you hear of a drawing series named "Hot Chicks," you probably envision an onslaught of scantily clad females with accentuated proportions and hyperrealistic beauty. The Moldy Peaches' Adam Green, however, has something very different in mind.
Green's drawings look like what might occur after a kid experienced his first erotic dream, scribbling frantically to recall the details of the sensual affair, yet jumbling them up with his daily dose of video game imagery. The electric crayon images, which make Willem De Kooning's "Woman" look like a realist work, resemble a game of exquisite corpse gone terribly, and somewhat gloriously, awry.
Part woman, part beast, part submarine, part octopus, part glob monster, Green's "chicks" bear little resemblance to their human counterparts. (They do all have boobs, though the boob count ranges from one to nine.) The works' giddy perversion feels like a pre-pubescent fantasy with a flurry of screens in the background, their imagery seeping into your imagination's frame.
For his exhibition "Hot Chicks," Green invited a series of artist friends including Dustin Yellin, Devendra Banhart, Alia Shawkat and Macaulay Culkin to contribute their own riffs on the sexy lady. We reached out to Green to learn more about the series.
How did the "Hot Chicks" series get its start?
I was on tour and we had a layover in an airport, me and my band. I started to draw stuff and I was kind of joking about whether or not I could draw something that my guitar player would jerk off to. Not that he would jerk off to [it] but, like, would that be possible. I drew like 10 women, nothing too hot. [Laughs]
And these were the women in the show?
At first I drew Tijuana Bible type stuff, cartoon girls with big boobs. Then on the plane ride I started drawing really abstract girls and the airline stewardess saw me drawing on the plane and she stopped me and said, "I got to tell you, those are beautiful." I was like "I found it!" I wanted to do these weird chicks. I was thinking about the digital transmission of erotic information and I think I've always been into this idea, ever since I got a cell phone, that we're pretty much living in a video game. I certainly felt like that when I got an iPhone, that I was immersing myself in a video game about life. I was thinking about downloading pornography as these little pixels and squares, these little bundles of information. I was trying to find a way to visually represent that. These women are visualizations of erotic information with all the errors and glitches and mis-loading. That was the feeling I was trying to share, as someone who grew up playing Mario.
When I was looking at these I was thinking that you so often see digital artworks looking like they're manmade but you rarely see the opposite -- handmade works looking digital. It really trips you up.
I'm inspired by different things, one being Paul Thek's digital flesh cubes. They're blocks of flesh. There is something about making analogue forms imitate digital forms that's really beautiful. Making a tactile version of pixels. You know those things where you push your hand into the pins and it makes your hands appear in the pins? [A pinpression!] For some reason that's such an impressive thing to look at. Something about the simulation. I think my interest in 3D printing comes from that as well, the idea of the internet becoming flesh.
There's a childish playfulness to the drawings and they're sort of perverted. Do you think kids have a sense of perversion that's washed out of you as an adult?
I think I identify with being a perverted child to some degree. I feel sort of like a naughty boy, I think. I haven't really grown out of that. There's a devious part of my personality that leads me to make erotic prank art. But I think there's also a punk aspect to a lot of my things. But as for my style, I admire the style of drawing where pens are applied with a lot of pressure. It makes me feel like there's a lot of feelings in the lines. When I look at lines I'm really looking for expression. Expressionism is in my heart, you know?
When you asked your friends to also draw female figures did you notice any difference between how the females and males portrayed women? Or was it more wrapped up in their individual styles?
I would say most people, when they drew women, they'd draw something kind of gross, I don't know why. It seemed like most drawings in the show were pretty grotesque or hyper violent or super zoomed in on genitals. Very few people drew a pretty lady. The biggest difference between the men and the women, I'd say, is some of the women focused more on fertility. That was something the men didn't really touch on.
Blackout Turtle Chick
Chick with Ruff
Turtle Desk Chick
All images courtesy of The Hole and Adam Green.