November 21, 2012

Art Vs. Craft: Plates! Bags! Gold Teeth! Sweatshirts! Books! (I didn't know what to call this...)

Its here! This Saturday November, 24th at the Harley Davidson Museum is Art Vs. Craft. The last two months I have been holed up painting on to plates, and making sweatshirts t-shirts and bags. My new book Please Let me Have all the Things I Desire will also be available. Straight up sweatshop at the pink farmhouse. Here is a little preview of what I have been up to. I look forward to seeing you there!

Ok. Thanks. Hope to see you there.

October 26, 2012

BOOK RELEASE! Please Let Me Have All The Things I Desire

I called Fed Ex 4 times asking them when they were going to be here today.
The driver seemed annoyed when she finally arrived and I scared her by being next to
her door when she got out of the van.

Please Let Me Have All The Things I Desire is here.
It is a 78 page, full color, perfect bound book of drawings, poems, short stories, and plays I wrote while in Ireland.

You can see its insides  HERE

The books are 40USD. Its worth it. Probably.

These books are available next month at Art Vs Craft Where I will be selling all sorts of products I haven't talked about yet. Stay tuned for that, if you care.

If you would like to order a book (WOW! Great idea.) you can email me directly at
Thank you.

October 23, 2012


Midwest Anonymous

Reefer & Ecstasy

The first in the new series of podcasts.

Two anonymous men from a small town in Wisconsin.  In the first episode they discuss fame, lamps, other failed craft ideas, fanny packs, French films, education, skinny girls, fine motor skills and drugs.

October 13, 2012


Painter. Detektive. 

Anyone who knows me, knows too well that Kati Heck is my favorite painter, and no one knows that more than Kati herself, who I repeatedly and drunkenly tell every chance I get.

I met Kati in Antwerp, Belgium where she lives with her husband Gregory Brems. (Kati is from Germany.)  My partner Colin Matthes had become good friends with them a few years before and while we were traveling in Europe we stayed with them. Seeing Kati’s paintings for the first time, for me, was a revelation about what art could be. It was the moment every artist has when they see a work for the first time that paralyzes how they think of themselves or what they do.  To me Kati’s paintings are like looking through a keyhole into Gods bathroom and seeing him squish his belly fat or pop a pimple. They are honest and brutal and hilarious and unfathomably beautiful. I know I am gushing. Imagine what I say to her.

Kati and I have become good friends over the years. Last year she came to Milwaukee and along with Colin Matthes they collaborated on the third exhibition of The parachute project in abandoned stores at the Grand Avenue Mall. Last week Kati was again in the United States traveling to California to see her brother. She stopped for a long weekend to visit me in Milwaukee. I am recently living above Sky High in a small corner of the building where I have a small bedroom and the only source of heat is an electric blanket. We dubbed the tiny space The Idea Room, and spent most of our time together in it, her dressed as Santa Clause and me in a white bathrobe, drinking wine and whiskey through pairs of plastic drinking glasses we found at Science & Surplus.

Makeal Flammini: Will you move in with me?

Kati Heck: Of course. Great idea, in fact. Maybe we can look for a new venue.

MF:  I’ve brought you here, now you’ve seen it, we could do this EVERY DAY.

KH: What are you doing? Are you just pretending you’re writing?

MF: I’m drawing a swastika.

KH: Typical. Yah, look. I would move in with you under one condition that we could take this warm blanket.

MF: We can take this blanket anywhere.

KH: True. Whoa. What a wonderful thought. Yah. We could take it anywhere. Maybe we should make this road trip. We can even stay in your car and have it be all warm with this blanket, put it into the cigarette lighter.

MF: Hold on. I gotta catch up.

KH: …But Makeal if you take these notes it’s going to take forever…the flow of this interview is kind of gone now already.


KH:  Allay. What a bad pen too!

MF: Ok. Hold on.

KH: I better not say anything anymore or you will never catch up. This is... Ok. I should shut up. I shut up.

MF: How long will you be in the U.S.?

KH: Two weeks.

MF: What will you do?

KH: Well, I come to the idea room and then I go to visit my brother in L.A. and investigate baby detective cases.  I will just get drunk in the pauses.

MF: Are you a baby detective?

KH: Don’t you see that?

MF: Can you tell me what the Baby Detektive Club is?

KH: It started with wanting to bring all the people I admire or worship together. So I wrote to all these people and they would return membership cards. Right now there are 60 – 70 members, not all of them are artists. I want to bring them together to make change or to do actions. The people I have invited can invite others and it will grow away from me. Of course, you don’t just admire the living but also the dead.. My first letter is to Herman Hesse. So I send this letter to him.

MF: Why Herman Hesse? I know the book Steppenwolf has a big influence on you, did the Baby Detective Club come from that?

KH: No. It came later. Everything was figured out by the time I read that. The book somehow just told me I was on the right path. The idea for the Baby Detektive Club came while I was traveling in an RV around the U.S. making a film with Bissy Bunder. I went to the toilet and when I came back I said-There has to be a Baby Detektive and he has to say, “Is it going downhill or am I wrong?” In German it sounds nicer.

MF: Can you give me an example of a case?

Baby Detektive Office, Kati Heck and Tina Schott

KH: You can’t go into that all. The work someone makes is the investigation. You look at people, you look at a painting, you make a painting-everyone is standing here with a magnifying glass. I just want people to share what they are working on.

Gretchenfrage, oil on canvas, Kati Heck

MF: I’ve heard you say that you don’t care for being put in all women artist shows. Can you tell me what you mean?

KH: Well, most of these “all women art exhibitions” are bad. Why do you make a big point that we are all women? I somehow think that these shows are more against feminism. Woman, Man, I don’t care. I’d rather be a something. If it’s just an exhibition of men they don’t make this point.

MF: ( I am fumbling to catch up) We will just let this do its job. (I put my phone recorder on.)

KH: What do you think?

MF: I hope it works.

KH: Can we check it out?

MF: Nah. It will disrupt the flow.

KH: It’s true, but then we will have to do it again or can you memorize?

MF: I don’t remember how to use these glasses. What’s happening!
(my beer glasses are coming apart and beer is dripping down me everywhere.)

KH: Cheers!

MF: What do you think about Milwaukee? Well what do you think of this room since I haven’t shown you Milwaukee?

KH: It’s the idea room so I need it. I was looking so forward to this trip and now I am here and we are in this room for 3 days.
In the idea room

MF: It’s sort of like a retreat. You’re getting successful now, sometimes you have to go away to the idea room.

KH: Exactly, I mean these Russians they pay to be beggars.

MF: Can you pay me?

KH: Mmmm.

MF: They pay to be beggars?

KH: Yeah, they want for excitement they try out to be a beggar for one week or something.

MF: No.

KH: Yeah. It’s like going hunting for tropical animals or something. Just like, adventure.
Bored of life. They choose to be a beggar for a week, and probably pay 2,000 bucks for or it or something.

MF: Oh my god. I’m not sure if this recorder is working. I’ve heard of these people that do the same thing but spend a night in a prison for fun. Not sure if that is true.

KH: Ah, yah. I think we even talked about this already.

MF: We have nothing left in the idea room.

KH: Why did I come to this idea room!! Yah, my life, yah. If you’re earning money you don’t know the real life anymore. That’s why I come.

MF: Yeah. That’s what I’m showing you, real life. Yeah, because now I’m thinking when you leave I’m just going to be in this room making crafts.

KH: This is a nice apartment.

MF: It is, I love it here.

KH: At the end you will be able to skate. New friends.

MF: I don’t go outside.

KH: New outfit.

MF: I have a new shirt in this case ( I point to my suitcase sitting on the end of my bed)
That I am waiting to unveil.

KH: Maybe you can do the virgin wear out tonight.

MF: Are we going somewhere?

KH: I hope so.

MF: I thought staying in this room was the plan.  

Kati Heck is represented by the Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium and you can see more of her works HERE

October 11, 2012


Skateboarding Legend. Owner of SKY HIGH Skateboard Shop.

I met Aaron a few years ago at an art opening when Colin Matthes & I were still running the Astrix Gallery in Walkers Point. I was introduced to him by his longtime partner the artist & organizer Faythe Levine. who runs the Sky High Gallery tucked in the back of Sky High. I was only just getting to know Faythe at that time as well and I remember thinking to myself, "Holy shit Faythe dates a wild animal man.” 
That’s all pretty irrelevant.

At any rate, Aaron and Faythe invited me to live upstairs above Aarons skateboard shop Sky High where I have been holed up in a bathrobe making products for Art Vs. Craft. Also irrelevant.

We are seated on two stools at the Blackbird Bar in Bayview. There is a birthday party going on around us. The lights are low. Everything is red and yellow and blurry. 

Makeal Flammini: Would you say you are a Milwaukee skate legend?

Aaron Polansky: Don’t legends have to be dead?

MF: No.

AP: Well, I’ve done plenty of shit. I have lots of friend’s country wide because of skating.

MF: Do you have as many cool moves as friends?

AP: No.

MF: How many moves do you have?

AP: Each year that I get older it divides by four.

MF: When did you start skating?

AP: When I was little I had a banana board and then I bought my 1st board from Target when I was 13.  I didn’t know what it was or meant. I just liked it.

MF: So you found skateboarding on your own- no one really introduced you to it?

AP: Not really, no.

MF: Who bought you the banana board?

AP:  My mom’s friend Joanne Grimm gave it to me.

MF: So what did you do once you had it?

AP: I skated on the driveway and sidewalk of my grandmother’s house, learned to go in a straight line. My dad poured cement in our garage then I bought a bigger board and could go in circles on that. That’s when I realized something bigger existed. I would see dudes carrying boards but never riding them. I never actually saw it happening. When I finally did I was like, whoa. First time I saw tricks I was like Oh Shit! I was into BMX and riding bikes.     

MF: So everything changed after that?

AP: The first skate video I saw was Curb Dogs. (Side note: I wrote this in my notebook as Curd Bocks)  I rented Cheech & Chong Up in Smoke and Curb Dogs from the local video store. It was for a date with the first girl I brought to my house. It was funny because my parents were divorced and my mom came over just because she wanted to see me on my first official date with a girl.

MF: So what did you do? You watched Curb Dogs on your date?

AP: Twice. I was totally blown away.

MF: Was the girl?

AP: She couldn’t give a shit. I think she broke up with me a week later. It made me realize there was this place all different kinds of kids could come together. Punks, mods, skaters, metal heads, whatever.

MF: So what was your first trick?

AP: Well, I took the wheels off my board and copied what they did. I would jump off my porch onto my board. First I spray painted it.

MF: What color?

AP: White with a giant knife and I wrote ‘Suicidal Tendencies” on it. That girl I dated her brother was into Punk and I was a Metal kid.

MF: So you turned Punk?

AP: No, it just showed me new shit.

Aaron showing me the signs of a skate spot.

MF: Do you think I would be a good skateboarder?

AP: Yeah.

MF: Really?

AP: You have Passion.
MF: I knew it.  So did skating give you an identity?

AP: No, well… Before skating I wanted to fashion an identity after skating it dissolved that thinking. I definitely found something in it. It took a year or two for me to say, “I’m a skater” It let me step out of that Junior High identity where I was always deciding, “this is cool” “this is not cool.” Skating blew it all up for me. It was all different kinds of kids doing it. Skating brings People together.

MF: So after the porch jumps without wheels? What was the first trick?

AP: Tall shit. Stand on a bumper and jump onto a board. Back then it was called an “Acid Drop.”

MF: Is it still called that?

AP: Once its nicknamed it sticks.

MF: Did you have a nickname?

AP: Later in High School.

MF: What?

AP: It went from – I had this friend from Tennessee and when he said my name it sounded like Ern. So Ern turned into Ernie. That spread.

MF: Do people still call you Ernie?

AP: No.

MF: Do you want to bring it back?

AP: Not worried about it.

MF: Do you have others?

AP: Uh. Lopan from Polansky. Lopan turned into Lopes and others strains of all sorts of shit. Lo-pants, Lo-panties, Pole-Candy, Pole Shanty, and then Po-Po and Popes. Uncle Aaron, Uncle. That’s the standard one.

MF: Who taught you all the cool lingo?

AP: Ha, Okay, well, you just listen. Sometimes you make up your own shit. I don’t know. Most of it was Racine slang and it changed monthly.

MF: What’s an old slang?

AP: What? Skate Speak or in general?

MF: Either.

AP: Let me think.

MF: My favorite thing you say is “Crewed up just chilling” I could never say that and be taken seriously. It sounds so good when you say it.

AP: Friends were a crew, break-dance crew...

MF: Wait. You can break-dance?

AP: Well I wasn’t a B-Boy. We had performances in my grandma’s basement with my cousin’s boom box. We would choreograph them.

MF: Do you remember any?

AP: Just the worm and the helicopter.

MF: Could you still do it?

AP: In High School I tried it drunk as fuck and got a rug burn on my forehead. I thought I could pull it out after 5 years.

MF: So you own Sky High?

AP: Yes.

MF: Since when?

AP: 1999

MF: Are you happy?

AP: Yes. I love it. Not always happy but I love it.

MF: Where is your store?

AP: Bayview. 2501 S. Howell Avenue.

MF: What do you sell?

AP: I carry boards, shoes, clothing. Everything that a normal shop would carry except I take very personally what I bring in because it’s the shop I sit in all day. So I carry brands that other shops don’t and I do well with that.

MF: You do have good shoes. If you saw me doing helicopters on the carpet what would you say to me?

AP: I’d say, All right be easy.

September 20, 2012

The Peanut Gallery Interviews: Sean McElroy & John Blalock

The Peanut Gallery Presents: Sean McElroy & John Blalock
Painter. Photographer. SeanJohn.

Sean & John stayed the night with Colin Matthes and I on their way from Seattle to New York. We ate cheeseburgers with burnt bacon and spent the evening sitting on the roof drinking and discussing Jeff Koons, New York, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the loud sounds of the country. After I scared them into thinking red ants were going to attack us all we moved into my studio. Midway through a faded yet in depth conversation about the similarities and attributes of Matthew McConaughey and Owen Wilson I decided to conduct the third interview of the peanut gallery. 

John Blalock is on the couch. Sean is on the incredible blowup mattress. See photo:

MF: Who would win in a fight between Matthew McConaughey and Owen Wilson?

JB: What is so sad about it is I feel like Owen would give up.

SM: But he doesn’t need to give up.

JB: No, he is probably stronger.

SM: That’s the difference between both of them. They are both from Texas and they are both blond 
dudes with big noses but Matt has no fear. He is fear.

JB: No he is a bro. Bros have fear.

SM: What’s his fear?

JB: He probably has some father issues.

SM: He’s a mama’s boy.

JB: I remember Matthew’s Wiki entry being very illuminating. I think he did have something with his dad. Lots of kids. Sort of like the dad isn’t around. Maybe I’m projecting.

MF: Who do you relate more to? Matthew or Owen?

SM: Personally I feel like I’m more of an Owen, but you want to be a Matthew. He’s more of an ideal.
JB: Ditto.

MF: Did you see Lincoln Lawyer?

SM: Is that where he is a scumbag?

MF:Yea, with Marisa Tomei.

JM: I served her an omelet once. She was with a younger 27-year-old dude from Europe or something.

MF: What kind of omelet?

SM: Tomato. She’s hot too.

MF: She looks better at 40 than I did at 20.

SM: I gave them bad service.

MF: Why?

SM: Because I am a bad waiter.

MF: Have you both been waiters?

JB:   I was a busboy, but never a waiter. I delivered trays at a VA hospital.

ColinMatthes: We can't all make it to the top.

MF: Who do you think would be the better waiter? Matt or Owen?

JB:  Owen would be a good waiter. Matthew better.

SM: Owen would be like; SO UM yeah there was a problem with the shrimp. I told you there was 
shrimp but we don’t have any. Matt would say something similar.

JB: I don’t think he would be nice, being a waiter is about being aware and perceptive of feelings.

MF: You don't think Matt is like that?

JB: I don’t think either is like that.

SM: Matt is like Clinton.

JB: And Owen is like Obama.

SM: You’re so right.

Sean McElroy collage

Sean McElroy is an art-man currently living in New York City. If he had an "About Me" on his website I might paste it here, but he doesn't. See for yourself  Golden Splinter

I found a lot more about John Blalock. You can see his work at JOHN BLALOCK

Here is what it says:The Artist In Residence at Seattle Children's Hospital, creator of the "Not Now" program providing arts for the young adult cancer populationJohn has been working in hospital arts for 10 years getting his start as a pediatric oncology nurse in 2002 he began work on the "Cancer Life" project which was a collaborative photography project following patients during and after cancer treatment. This work was exhibited at the Newspace Center for Photography in 2007. In 2011 he received a grant from the LiveStrong foundation to work as the Artist In Residence at Seattle Children's Hospital and in 2012 he founded the Not Now program with a grant from the Teen Cancer Fund.

September 11, 2012

Emerging Artist Gallery at Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts

        I left the pink farmhouse yesterday to paint the sign for the Emerging Artist Gallery at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I was invited to participate along with 10 other Wisconsin artists. The show opens Friday and runs all weekend.

I will be showing my most recent body of work last seen at SkyHigh Gallery in Milwaukee, "The Bricks are Dipped in Marble Dust"

You can view more of the series HERE

September 06, 2012

The Peanut Gallery Interviews: Jenna McDonald (Formerly Flammini AKA MY SISTER.)

Sister. Super Mom. Organized. 

We are sitting in our mom's kitchen & I just read her the following article:

ABC News, Kevin Dolak
The nuptials promise of "till death us do part" got an intriguing twist in the Russian city of Omsk when a woman received an elaborate marriage proposal from her boyfriend, who she thought had just died.
Irena Kolokov was caught off guard when she turned up to meet her boyfriend, Alexey Bykov, 30, but found what appeared to be a horrific car accident when she arrived.
"We'd arranged to meet at a certain place, but when I arrived there were mangled cars everywhere, ambulances, smoke, and carnage," Kolokov told Orange News.
In a video posted on Russia's Life News, Bykov is seen walking away from the ambulance at the scene.
"When I saw Alexey covered in blood lying in the road, a paramedic told me he was dead, and I just broke down in tears," she said.
Horrified, she walked away, sobbing. Meanwhile, Bykov emerged from the ambulance behind her, giggling and holding flowers and a single golden mylar balloon.
His face covered in fake blood and his head wrapped in gauze, Bykov ran up to his love, who was so distraught that when her boyfriend approached her she shoved him off while crying uncontrollably.
Even when the sparklers went off in the background, Kolokov still had no clue that she'd been had.
It took some close consoling before she was calm enough for Bykov to get down on bended knee and ask her to be his wife. Luckily for Bykov, once her nerves had settled, Kolokov saw the humor in the prank, and decided to say yes.
To stage the entire event, Bykov hired a film director, a script writer, stuntmen, and make-up artists to make his proposal one of the most truly memorable moments of Kolokov's life.
"I wanted her to realize how empty her life would be without me and how life would have no meaning without me. I think it worked," he said. "But I promise it's the last time."

MF: What do you think of that?
JM: F**king Creepy.
MF: How did your husband propose to you?
JM: It’s a long story.
MF: Did it involve fake blood?
JM: No. Nothing as exciting as that. The more I think about that the more it makes me mad. You would be in such a state of messed up confusion. Two days later she’s gonna be like, “Jesus Christ did I say yes?” What’s he gonna stage if he wants a divorce, her death? I’m annoyed now. What else do you want to ask me?
MF: “A stitch in time saves nine” What does that mean?
JM: What?
MF: A stitch in time saves nine.
JM: I don’t know. That’s a dumb saying.
MF: What does it mean?
JM: I don’t know. Fix it. Why does it say 9? Whats 9? Why not 2 or 4? Whats 9? It should be catchier. Like "A stitch in time stops a crime.” What’s another saying? Here I have one, “You have to sit by the side of a river a long time before a roast duck flies into your mouth.” (laughs) I’m thinking it means just what it says.
MF: So what do you think about the internet?
JM: Um. I like it. Stop asking me stupid questions.
MF: You’re on your computer! You have to engage with me.

JM: Oh-yea-ok. 6 and 9 stitches. Dumb.
MF: What are you?
JM: Stay at home mom.
MF: How many kids do you have? 2?
JM: Why are you asking me things you already know?

MF: Tell me about Grandpa Nick's petting zoo in Warrens, Wisconsin?
(My sister, nephews & I went to a “petting zoo” where the animals were clearly being neglected and abused. They were covered in flies and filth.)
JM: Concentration camp for animals.
MF: Yep. That sums it up.
JM: Weird music. God that music was weird. Wasn’t it? When we got there I thought, "Aww, that music is cute!" Until you saw the animals. I felt like there was going to be a kid in a barn stroking a bloody lamb and grandpa nick was going to come out wearing a sheep shawl and red lipstick. Christ. The sheep are bah-ing for their lives. Nobody cares.
MF: Yea. They never called us back.
JM: I know! That place is the stuff nightmares are made of. Ok. So Grandpa Nick is a freak. What else do you want to talk about? God. The saddest thing was the ram. He couldn’t even eat because his horns were so long.
MF: This is getting really dark.
JM: Should we turn it around?
MF: I don’t think we can. It’s a one way street to Grandpa Nicks.
JM: No. I’m pretty sure it’s a two way street. You get in and you get the fuck out.
MF: OK. I’m going to toss in a little art question. What do you think about it?
JM: What?
MF: Art?
JM: I thinks its great. I’m envious. Isn’t it kind of weird that you and mom got the artistic ability and it skipped me?
MF: That is weird. You like crafty things. You really like when something is clever. It makes you really happy to be amazed by how clever something is. I feel like you say, “Look at that! Isn’t that clever?” a lot.
JM: Its true! That’s why I love pinterest. I can never come up with clever things. I’m also obsessed with buttons you can push, organizational compartments, bins and totes. Love em.
MF: You like pinterest?
JM: Yea. Very clever. You know how many things you can do with a crate? Lots of things. Things I would never think of. Clever people on that website.
MF: SO which kid is your favorite?
JM: I’ll tell you what, I’ll fake a car accident in front of my 1-year-old and my 6-year-old and whichever one is the most torn up I like the best.

The Wolf Fight & Best Friends & Lovers


If you read the last (and first) interview of The Peanut Gallery with Colin Matthes you might recall a snippet about a fight I lost.
It began over a colored pencil drawing I did in High School of a lion cub with its two front paws lying on a tree stump.  I will admit that is not such a cool reason to get in a fight. BUT this girl ripped up my drawing that I had been working on all semester AFTER she already stole away the boy I liked. It was pretty simple according to my best friend at the time: I had to fight her.
We were sitting in her basement bedroom where I was trying to sound cool & pretending that I might actually fight her-which I totally would not have-when my friend got us a ride into town to the boys house where she was. On the way there I sat in the backseat in shock that I was actually supposed to fight someone in a little while & they plotted how they were going to "trick her" into coming downstairs to the parking lot where I would be "waiting." It was just getting dark out and I was hiding behind a car when they went in secretly hoping she wouldn't be there. But of course the "trick" worked & she along with the boy came outside. This part is vague.  I remember I called her some names & probably said something about my drawing. (I really cringe at the thought of myself yelling "You tore up my lion drawing!")
My memory comes back into the story when she is holding me backed up against the aluminum siding of the house exhausted & I can hear my friend somewhere in the distance yelling, "KNEE HER! KNEE HER!"
In my defense I had never kneed anyone before. It just never came up prior to that moment. So I tried it. Basically I  lifted my knee up & touched her leg with it. She was probably about a foot taller than me. I am 5'2. She stopped holding me against the wall, got a huge smile on her face, stepped back and said, "Yeah. That really hurt."
In retrospect this was my moment to walk away. Instead I mustered up every ounce of energy I had left & slapped that smile right off of her face. Up until now I think she was still holding off on fighting me. The slap sorted that all out. What happens in the next few moments is pretty foggy but when I come back to I am splayed out on top of a car in a lot of pain with many punches hitting me. My friend jumped on her back & the boy I liked along with the driver of our car are standing together on the porch looking embarrassed & bored.
I don't know how it ended. I think she decided though.

I haven't been in a fight since. Except the time a girl got out of a white van & punched me in the forehead. You can't really call that a fight though. I just started crying.
You know a wolf is very brave. A Wolf is one of the few animals that will take on a fight it knows it cannot win. Just saying.

This is a new series of drawings I'm working on. They are all 8x10, colored pencil.






August 30, 2012

The Peanut Gallery Interviews: Colin Matthes

Yes. Welcome to The  Peanut Gallery Interviews.
I love asking questions and I love good stories. My first interview is with Colin Matthes.
Since we live together it was a good way to start.

Artist. Inventor. Math-Wiz. Boyfriend.

We are seated in our room.

MF: I see you are wearing new glasses. Are you going for a Malcolm X look?

CM: Not really. I just got sick of the glasses I've had for the last 12 years. Plus they have
        been broken and taped together for the last 10 months.

MF: Those black frames are pretty popular now too. Would you say you're a trend setter?

CM: No. Well, if people start ripping the sleeves off of dress shirts and all their
        buttons go missing I guess I could be.

MF: It is hard times out there. You never know.

CM: I'm a trend setter for a struggling economy.

MF: Am I your girlfriend?

CM: Yep.

MF: How's that?

CM: Pretty good.

MF: Just  pretty good?

CM: Yeah.

MF: Ok. So...What's up?

CM: You didn't  prepare a lot of questions for this interview huh?

MF: I'll ask the questions here. So you're going back to Ireland in a few weeks? Tell me about that?

CM: I'm doing an artist residency at the Cow House Studios in Wexford, Ireland for 2 months. I'll
        probably keep working on my invention drawings and imagining what the inside of
        Cheyenne     Mountain looks like.

MF: What is Cheyenne Mountain?

CM: I think it's the most secure place in the country. It is a mountain bunker that is hollowed out that has at least 14 buildings in it that can withstand nuclear blasts, natural disasters and other things.

MF: Who's is it?

CM: I don't know but the U.S. and the Canadian Military are involved. I just started researching it.

MF: Do you think I am pretty?

CM: Yes.

MF: Can you elaborate on that?

CM: You are a very pretty sexy interviewer.

MF: How come you don't get me a Cheyenne Mountain?

CM: You bet on the wrong horse I guess.

MF: Have you ever been in a fist fight?

CM: Just once.

MF: What happened?

CM: No comment.

MF: Was it over a girl?

CM: (shakes head yes)

MF: Come on!

CM: Is this an interview or an interrogation?

MF: What's the difference? Would you fight for me?

CM: Yes. I hope I would.

MF: Do you think I am a good fighter?

CM: I've heard you're not.

MF: From who?

CM: You.

MF: When did I tell you I was a bad fighter?

CM: You said you tried punching a girl in high school and she just laughed at you.

MF: NO. I said I was fighting her and when I tried to knee her because my friend was yelling at me to   do that she started laughing at me and then she beat me up. So what are you working on at the moment?

CM: Starting a drawing for an upcoming JustSeeds show at Munch Gallery in New York this December. And.. throwing a lot of darts at my wall.

MF: What are you into lately?

CM: Well. I was just thinking about Ian Davis's paintings. I've been thinking a lot about toys and games lately. I went to KMART the other day trying to figure out ways to use them. But they are all too fucking expensive.

MF: What have you done this summer?

CM: We came back from Ireland then I started the summer by doing electrical work with my dad for the Jefferson County Fair. I recently made a carnival game that went to an exhibition in Braddock,  pennsylvania. It is called "American Dreaming." It's a ring toss game about class mobility.

MF: What do you think about the upcoming election?

CM: Ugh. That's kind of my answer. American elections are gross.

MF: Do you vote?

CM: Yep. But thats about it as far as energy I like to spend on electoral politics.

MF: But you make a lot of political work?

CM: Yes but  politics doesn't mean electoral politics.

MF: So what are you?

CM: Human.

MF: Human in this country means Democrat or Republican.

CM: Neither.

MF: If you were not an artist what would you be?

CM: I think I would be either a carpenter or an electrician.

MF: You are a good builder. Is it true that in High School they called you Colin Math-Whiz?

CM: Dirty. Yeah that is true. It might have been in grade school. In High School you don't really get math nicknames. 

MF: So you were selected to be in New American paintings this year! Thats exciting. Does it make you feel good?

CM: It sounds like you're interviewing a 5-year-old.

MF: So... you were happy or...

CM: Yes. I was happy. I listened to Neil Young's "Le-Noise" album today. That was good.

MF: I didn't ask you that.

CM: Just telling you.

MF: Do you want to watch Game of Thrones?

CM: Later. Do I get editing rights to this?

MF: No.

To see Colin Matthes work go to

August 26, 2012

Heads & Hands: The Codeine Drawings

I was just strolling along the farmers market in Madison taking advantage of free cheese when the worst toothache in my life came on. An advantage to living in the country: getting antibiotics and codeine from a dentist you've never met and who is in California by having your boyfriends mom make a call.
Since then I've been laid out in my room watching The Wire and making drawings.



These are for sale.
Isn't everything?
8x10 25$