INTERVIEW BY MITCH BROWN PORTRAIT BY EMILY KIYOMI SHINADA
Mitch Brown: Your efforts to maintain anonymity in your work are admirable, especially as exhibitions, the internet and public exposure will only broaden your appeal as an Artist (ie. the world keeps getting smaller)… Does this exposure scare you, or are you just keeping life simple?
Christopher Forgues: It’s not that I’ve striven for “anonymity” per se, I’ve just put no effort into promoting myself. I don’t know why that is, I think it just didn’t interest me, and I do really value my privacy. If someone really wants to get in touch it’s not so hard, as you’ve found out. I walk, I talk, I use a computer, it’s not so shadowy as people like to make believe. I will be making a website this year, because I would like a way to keep track of the things I’ve done, at least for myself. It’s ironic though, because I’m too busy working most of the time to manage to get the website finished!
MB: The physical experience of POWR MASTRS seems to hold equal value to the story within; the paper stocks, foiled covers and binding are all impeccable. Is this level of production important in supporting your greater ambition for POWR MASTRS, or simply an influence from your publisher? Could you tell the same story with staples and a Xerox?
CF: I did all of the design for the books. Some short parts of POWR MASTRS have been published in other places, including a zine I made, so no, I don’t need a foil cover to tell a story, but if we’re going to make a book, let’s make a book.
MB: This brings us to SEDIMENT, another hi-calibre production (available at the turn of November). How will this title differ from previous stories of yours? Title references aside, does SEDIMENT shine a light on your process through the recent years of POWR MASTRS development, or is it another exploration altogether?
CF: SEDIMENT is a cluster of work independent of POWR MASTRS. A lot of the work I do gets scattered to the wind, I would almost say the majority. So I simply made this work available for people to see, why not?
MB: Beyond your characters’ range of mundane commonalities and dark perversions — be it heading out to buy liquorice, or offering young Lady Minirex’s womb for impregnation by the Jellyfish Emperor — they’re always looking for something higher… CHRISTOPHER, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
CF: To win spiritual civil war or be excused from the game.
MB: Your music (performing as MARK LORD, DAILY LIFE and KITES), drawing, and writing must consume similar volumes of your time; where one might satisfy artistic desires and another will pay the bills, where do you determine priority, and what suffers?
CF: It’s the struggle of my life to balance the massive quantity of things I’m usually responsible for. Money always comes last. Today is the first actually chilly day of fall in Rhode Island, and my heat is still turned off. My license is suspended from unpaid speeding tickets and I owe the city money for my property tax. I am under constant stress about money. Right now I have 2 projects (among 9, currently) that normally I would get paid well for, but am doing for free for various personal reasons. I like to be invited to participate in things, and I’m grateful that people like what I do. However it’s quite hard because people assume their project is the only one I’m working on. A lot of the musicworld people don’t understand how serious the art stuff is, and a lot of the art/comicsworld people don’t know how serious the music stuff is, or how much time and effort these things entail. More and more it’s hard to find time to even actually work, half the time I wind up just doing email and Fedex and uploading and scanning and mastering and travelling etc etc etc. I need an intern I think. So it’s hard! I feel like I never have time to work on the house. But it’s still better than suicide. ;o)
MB: What are you doing tomorrow?
CF: Whatever’s on the table!