Brian AKA ‘Jerkface’ AKA ‘JerkfaceNYC’ comes from the same continuum of down and dirty NYC street art as pioneers such as Keith Harring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the IRAK NY crew. Importantly, Brian brings a love of Cubism to his art; creating a melting pot of graffitti, cubism and the hyper-colour of the streets.
Brian has also collaborated with other artists such as ‘Phetus‘, and has been killing the live art scene in NYC as of late.
(Picture below of Brian AKA Jerkface hard at work)
Get to know Brian AKA Jerkface in the interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
NYC. State and Country gets no Reppin.
(Picture below of ‘Super Jerkio’ by Jerkface)
Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Jerkface’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, Halloween highlights, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pube:
I used to draw everyday when I got home from school. I was a hyper ass kid, no idea how I could sit for hours after school at my kitchen table and just draw. I think about all my years of artistic development it’s crazy.
* age 15 – pube rage:
Spray paint, vandalism, and not knowing or giving much thought to what I was going to do after highschool. I got pushed into an advanced art class even though I wasnt drawing in my early teens, just bombing. With minimal effort it got me into School of Visual Arts in Manhattan (even though I flunked out)
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
The shady years. I got in some real serious trouble and I wasn’t around for a while. I started drawing A LOT. This is where I developed the JERK into what it is today. Now I spend 90% of my day doing something art related
May you make the times you live in, interesting.
Blue Sky Black Death.
Favorite TV show(s)?
I don’t have time for TV.
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
Bleh. Yankees out of loyalty.
Donnie Darko and The Big Lebowski.
(Picture below of a painting by Jerkface)
Favorite books and comics?
Anything by David Icke or Zacariah Sitchin.
General Art Questions
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
All of the above. All good art has elements that can be considered a variety or things.
I rehash my own style colors shapes all the time. I know adobe programs better then I know myself. Keith Haring can be seen a lot in my stuff. Even though I didn’t know who he was as the ignorant artist I am. I look back at sketches pre-awareness, its eerie how similar some of the stuff is.
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, graf, anything)?
I never really took a break since I was child.
(Picture below of a Kid Robot toy painted by Jerekface )
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
I left my screenprinting business, all I wanted to do was paint.
SO I DID. And made my own shows, my own scene, didn’t bother trying to figure out how to get into the existing scene
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
A teacher in college thought I’d like cubism, I did. That’s half the style.
The other half was being into low brow stuff. Somewhere in there BOOM!!
The style developed
Your problem is. You think you have time.
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Same is it ever was. Ego’s and Cliques.
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Talent can’t be replaced wholly by connections.
(Picture below of ‘The Lofty One” by Jerkface)
Jerkface Art Specifics
Describe the method of making a typical Jerkface piece? (dot point all o.k.)
HA Secrets. I live paint all the time, I have so many different processes I do.
Gotta catch me out in the wild.
Are all your works by made by yourself? If you use collaborators; whom and in what capacity?
I do collaborations. A lot with Phetus. Starting to do some with others. Other then that. All me.
Do you use digital technology in your work at all? If so how, and what has it added to your practice?
Sometimes, If I’m comping something up beforehand. But it still gets hand painted. I don’t use Stencils, wheat pastes, screens. All by hand.
How did you come to your definitive geometric-goop style?
It was a style developed over a few years. Little sketch’s, they varied a lot more in shapes, I really fell in love with the more bubbly shapes. The color play I always had going on, I just kept drawing and painting what I wanted to. And this is what came out of it.
Does your self-directed work all exist in its own ‘universe’? (Yes; I am basically asking if you see your characters all interacting in your head.) IF so, what do they get up to?
The classic jerkfaces, or Incarcerated Jerkfaces, I see as conscious beings trapped in the system, mental prisons, whatever you want to call it, they want to escape the clutches of the oppressive powers to be. They are full of color, full of life, but no matter what they are still trapped in the Matrix.
Hence the Illuminati based logo (Eye) with all the Jerkfaces trapped in the bars of the upside down diamond. They are trying to escape and express there full potential.
(Picture below of a Jerkface NYC limited edition cap)
Are you currently represented by a gallery or dealer?
How can people buy your work – prints, t-shirts and original art?
For the little merchandise I sell, there is a store on my website JerkfaceNYC.com
To buy original art, they have to email me Jerkface@JerkfaceNYC.com
You often collaborate with other artists – such as Phetus.
(Picture below of a Jerkface x Phetus collaboration)
– How do collaborations affect your artistic practice?
I have so many formulas to create. I am a master at creating under pressure. I forced it until I became comfortable. The live painting has helped me immensely. Colloborating, I get to see someone else’s process.
– Do you have a favorite artist to collaborate with?
Phetus. His process is so natural and effortless.
It’s amazing to watch and we’ve doing it for long enough, we are starting to develope our own language.
Jerkface General Questions
What is it like curating art shows in NYC/the rotten apple?
It depends on the venue. Sometimes it’s a lot of Riff Raff, sometimes not. You never know what the hell is going to happen at a show.
You have mentioned, in your ‘Fkn-famous’ interview from February, about your “love” of live painting…
– how does painting live, in front of an audience, affect your art?
Pressure. I painted in downtown Manhattan at a big club a few weeks ago.
I brought a talented up and comer. He never live painted. He choked.
It’s a skill in itself. Speed chess. The learning process under pressure is priceless.
(Picture below of an old keyboard painted by Jerkface)
You have mentioned taking a 4 year hiatus from art. Care to tell the world what you got up to during your ‘lost’ years?
Haha. No. Just that I had the time and patience to develope everything I’m doing now.
Also no wasted time. I don’t waste a day. Cause me, you, everybody. We’re all running out of time.
You have mentioned, that in as far as promoting art, “Instagram is number one”. Care to expand more upon this?
You can reach your audience in a way never before possible. It’s so easy to have people see your work all over the world. There is no comparison.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Yes. Deps One show coming up mid August. Besides that, I have so many projects going on. Everyday it’s something new.
Any major projects you want to hype man?
Redbull Cooler show NYC. September. 20 NYC artists. The crazy thing is we have 8 hours to paint these things on site. I def have a leg up.
Dr Doom group show in September.
Comic Con live painting session later this year.
Lot’s more. I wasn’t lying when I dropped the Mickey piece in February “The Year of the Jerk”
This is year one of my painting career. I’m just getting started.
(Picture below of ‘Year of the Jerk’ by JerkfaceNYC)