Hello Crail, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
I am working on an exhibition in the red light district Amsterdam. Meaningful to me, because my mother also was a prostitute. She fell in love with an American soldier after the second world war. In a way that heritage keeps following me around my whole life. Kicked off from the art academy, I became a manager in a strip club. And now this exhibition in Amsterdam, which brings me right back where i came from. And to honour my mother, i called it: “Anything but kissing on the mouth”.
Would you give a brief walk through your workflow?
To control the chaos in my head, it is important to give it a certain form. I use paint. These emotions in my head can be picked up and stored. My solution is putting the lot together, creating order. Lots of layers, posters, newspapers, a little wallpaint, images from the past, bringing characters to life. I paint women often women of the night, couples, relationships, marriages mortales, a little bit of chorus dancers risking their own lives… anyway. Canvas you need, of course canvas, and paint and brushes.The process of painting can only begin when you clean the brushes blindly, and recognize them like an old friend when you dry them on your jeans. Then put on the music, roll out the canvas. Prepare your silkscreen windows, smoke and drink coffee in the time you are waiting ( do not let a second go to waste ). Do the job and follow your instincts and end it with a sharp looking varnish.
How has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning?
It has became more layered, the content and the surface. At first when you start painting and a beautiful accident appears on the canvas you think it is your hand. Then you find it is not reproductional. After years learning and trying it is possible to make those beautiful mistakes your own and more. Now I’m working with different artist whom all made mistakes and find solutions. Now there is a limitless palette.
Who’s the first painter that comes to your mind in a second?
Andy Warhol, because all the big artists use grand gestures, but in the end the only thing what their work is really related to is their own little ‘I’. Warhol turned that around. He made a mirror to society and you see nothing of his little small life, we see our own world. Like with that work ‘The Last Supper’, he thought “let’s just do that again, but then in my way.”After seeing it you know, we are looking at something that is typical for our society, our modern society . Warhol’s work has no trace of personal suffering, like for example the work of Francis Bacon, where you see the sick alcoholicness shine trough.” Warhol’s work is the absolut idea of a speculative society.
What’s the place or what do you do when you feel you’re thinking in a bright way?
On the moments I am the least selfconcious, I notice sometimes the fact that I’m painting. On those moments I kind of let it all go, always when I least expect it, then my mind is bright. That state of mind should marry the concious one.It would sound just like guitar playing from Keith Richards with the Rolling Stones.
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
I’m working on it.
Something you want the world to know about you.
I’m a gorgeous 6.3 ft tall black guy. Kidding. I’m a crazy, old, chainsmoking, white hippy bastard, who somehow managed to make a living out of playing.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.
I’m not an annoyed and frustrated kind of guy. I have learned that frustrations about other people, are in fact your own. You can only reconize and feel fthem when you are frustrated yourself, and that is whitin your own level.
It is a lonely road but annoyment and frustation equals a lot of damage.
Your idea about social networks.
It is a great thing that there exists, also good for smoke and mirrors, such a parallel world and we can use it. But do not let it interfere with your personal life.”
What’s overrated/underrated today?
Yesterday is underrated and tomorrow is overrated.