I am of the opinion that there is a rebellious spirit in the heart of every artist. That stubborn unmoving drive to go against the grain & create. The spirit of non conformity after all allows a person to nurture ones creativity, and not be slowed down by ones self doubt. The societal pressures that dictate our day to day maneuvers should be left out of a true artists creative process, or at least in my opinion should be. Isn’t it the job of every artist no matter the medium to provoke thought, and conjure emotion & feelings?
When I first came across the work of MOTB I was taken aback by the brazen & ballsy approach of the work. It was unapologetically honest, and took something kind of familiar & flipped it. At a glance you’re see the play on these logos & brands, but once you read it you see its often more than just a joke. It’s to me more of a poignant social commentary that speaks on our shameless consumerism is this country. MOTB on the surface looks random and humorous, but if you delve into it you see its very intentionally satirical. In the vain of your favorite classic punk rock group MOTB speaks on societies ills via logos in a digital medium. From influences that range from 80’s spoof t-shirts & posters which were common in Cali market places like Venice beach. MOTB was able to soak up these spoofs & jokes on t-shirts, and give this type of dissent a try. This was a definitely a labor of love, and very labor intensive as all the earlier work was done by hand. As is the case when people gain more access to technology, we’re able to do more work at a higher rate.
And “down the rabbit hole” they go. The more logos MOTB came across the more spoofs needed to be done. Then the logo spoofs started to become more intertwined with hidden backstories. The vernacular of truth seekers and those concerned with topics of the environment, globalization, religion and politics intertwined in the message. Thus the content that lured me in. To put it another way MOTB is so very punk rock the way they operate and express, and that’s a big part of why I’m a fan. Sometimes what makes art powerful is the message more than the imagery or the originality per say. The idea of spoofing cooperate logos is not new, but the way MOTB goes about doing it is to me a shining example of civil disobedience. A great testament to the rebellious spirit that lies in all of us. A tribute to the tradition of rebellion, and speaking against societies ills. A necessary voice in our world. And with that we’ll get into this q&a….
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves…” – Henry David Thoreau
How many people are involved in the Mark of The Beast movement, and what parts does each individual play?
I am MARK OF THE BEAST and create all of this artwork by myself.
Your work is kind of a satirical pop art with an underlying message. What first got you into doing art this way?
Political art lives on risky ground, often alienating just as many as it attracts. By infusing humor into art, a tension is released that allows sensitive topics and further discussion.
How would you describe what you do?
One logo at a time, I’m deprogramming the establishment’s deep-rooted brainwashing that has infested our lives through the repetition and fetishization of corporate marks & advertising.
Who were your biggest influences?
Banksy & Winston Smith (creator of artwork for The Dead Kennedys)
What was the original drive or motivation to do this kind of work?
I was bored.
I honestly think there is, but do you think there is a place in the fine art community for your work?
Art is a mirror to society, and I believe modern artists have a responsibility to spread light where there is darkness. The fine art establishment is too concerned with fame, money and the status quo. I’m not preoccupied with attempting to be part of the fine art community… and if they had a logo, I’d spoof it too.
What do you think the biggest challenge for an artist in general? And what’s the biggest challenge for you in particular?
The hardest part of being an artist is finding your true voice and expressing that to the world. Mimicry isn’t flattery, its just being unoriginal. I don’t find it hard to do what I do, its my personal meditation, self-improvement exercises, graphic workouts, brain stretchers and just pure fun. I don’t make art for sale (nor derivatives for the most part), so there’s no pressure or expectations for the work to be anything more than it is.
Where did the idea to do what you do come from?
In my opinion art is art, but do you think that your subject matter limits your exposure? Is that even something that you are concerned with?
I stand by my work 1000% and don’t care much about mass exposure or other ego-driven aspects of self-promotion. Sometimes its more fun to ruffle the feathers of a close-minded individual, than to hear praise. I use an alias to detach any personality, sex, age, race or nationality to the work, which would taint the message. Some people may chance a guess to what type of person I am, but the absence of it all works to my advantage. I’m not trying to be mysterious, we just don’t need to clutter the conversation.
You definitely use technology as a tool. Aside from instagram what other avenues do you use to market your work?
I have a website that gives a visual history of MOTB art installations, the book from 2005 (made 10,000 copies and gave all away for FREE), street art and more from the past 14 years. The Instagram page was started around two years ago and was originally just a secondary forum to individually exhibit the vast logo spoof collection, but then turned into another wave where I post & create new spoofs everyday.
Any advice for other artist.
Listen to the voices in your head.