Monday, July 5, 2010

COSA18 Interviews Ryan Maloney from


     If there’s an artist I’m positive deserves my respect and admiration, only a single individual comes to mind. Surpassing all celebrity and expectations of a dear friend, “if this isn’t real, then this is as real as it gets.”

     Over the past year I’ve wanted great things for COSA18, one especially being to go out with a bang,
not with a whimper. If there’s one person who’s taught me how exactly to achieve that this crucial year of mine, it’s the most spectacular artist I’ve had the honor of unexpectedly befriending—Ryan Maloney. The pleasure was, has been, and will be all mine.
Whether you feel you fit the broad definition or not—why are you an artist? When do you believe you became what it means to you?
I am an artist because Charles Manson is locked up, because Jesus Christ is a lie, and because being born is far more of a bloody and painful spectacle then dying. The first time someone told me that what I was drawing was disgusting was when I truly felt like an artist. I believe it was in fourth grade, where I was sent to the school social worker for drawing monsters doing unspeakable things to people.  I am an artist because I have to be, because I feel compelled to put something into the world besides CO2.  My whole life I have been lied to, and promised and threatened and pressured by men under the banner of God. All those people only ever encouraged me to subtract things from my life, and separate myself from the world.  Being ‘worldly’ was to be evil growing up, but now I consider the alternative to just being invisible.  So I paint, write, and photograph unsheathed.


Are you influenced or inspired by other artists? Do you think there’s a difference between the two?
I am heavily influenced by other artists. But not generally inspired. For me, being inspired is typically difficult and out of my control.  If anything, looking at art is discouraging when I am uninspired. Thoughts such as ‘why didn’t I think of that’, or ‘Christ s/he is good, I’ll never have that much discipline’, or other such negative thoughts.  But when I look at nature, and photography, and get outside a bit I can get whims of momentum, and within a few days I’m usually gritting my teeth to get off work and throw some penciling down.  I usually have a list of 10 things I want to paint at a time.  Or destroy 10 previous ones. It’s either or.

Besides fellow artists, what influences and/or inspires you?
Biology, botany, fetish, sobriety, medieval art, surreal photography and music. Also not being able to paint inspires me. Like only drinking coffee for 3 days; if you down a cold glass of clean water after that you are probably going to orgasm. Or create something, in my case.  You said besides fellow artists, so I hope that answer is sufficient.

Your own blood is your popular medium. When did you begin using blood in your paintings (or in any other artistic creation)? What led you to the choice?
Somewhere in a lot of books that everyone has read people say that blood forms the strongest bond. And people wonder why I paint with it. I may not live for very long on this earth, but hopefully my paintings will.  Blood work never really took an artistic form for me until my 20’s, but it was a means of dealing with extreme emotional distress before that. Inner thighs when I was young, progressing to ribs and pectoral areas these days. People who cut their arms probably would be advised to not try and relate to me, as I have no patience for it. The old lady at Starbucks shouldn’t feel the need to pet you and tell you she loves you and everything’s going to be OK. That would mortify me. Why would you want that kind of attention? Getting scornful emails, and negative comments in front of your paintings is far healthier in my opinion.  I chose to do it because it releases adrenaline in my brain, and I’m addicted to it. I love to paint and draw, so eventually the two just spiraled together.

Have you always solely used your own blood, or have you used the blood of other people or animals in your work?
I’ve only used my blood but I have made a few commissioned pieces using other people’s blood to paint their live portraits. It always ended badly. Apparently taking the commission was akin to prostitution. And that’s not what I plan on when I pick up a paintbrush. Live painting is anxiety to me. I don’t know how a person can engage in sex acts after spending hours worrying that they are making the victims neck too fat or eyes too bland.  So now I strictly paint in my own. It’s my art, my craft and my madness.  The only blood I would want to mix with my own in a work of art would be another artist, not a bystander.

 “Myself as a Bird”

I won’t inquire the specifics of your blood drawing methods, but I will ask this: do you ever dread having to draw the blood for use in a piece?
If anything it’s the opposite. Though there are days where I look at a finished penciling and as I cotton scrub it down (fading) I get a pang of annoyance at the labor that is impending. Once I start and that rush hits my veins however, the bar is down and the ride has begun.  Recently I’ve been using vials and painting from stored/refrigerated blood for ease of effect and its just nice when you are out of Bactine and don’t feel like being shirtless.  You can’t do this kind of thing and not get a little bit excited about it. If you don’t lick your lips a little bit you should probably hit the hobby store and pick up some paints.

Clearly, you are not the only “blood painter” out there. Do you hold any sensitivity or lackluster involving the field of blood painting?
Clearly. I started this before I knew others existed. I had no doubts that there would be others, because no one invents anything these days. I’ve been gravely disappointed at other people’s ability to give me any credit, since I have a lesser fan base or whatever. But in the previous 12 months time I’ve sold a few thousand bucks worth of original art, prints, and commissioned live pieces, and have had several photo shoots with more on the way, and more orders pending.  So, that pretty much comforts any sensitivities I have about being accused of copying or wanting to crawl up another artists ass.  There are certain individuals that I hold sensitivity to. It’s not in my nature to be forgiving, or overlook things unfortunately.  I’m a grudge keeper, and its horrible immature but immovable. Art isn’t about choosing sides so people can think whatever they want.  For some people art is like changing songs on an iPod, which is a shame.  I don’t paint for other people. I paint for me. If you don’t like it then just hit next.

What types of environments do you create when painting?
I try as hard as I can to not create any environment. Painting the things that I like would just be ruined if I tried to put them in a setting. That’s what photography is for in my opinion. But many a great painting has one form of environment or another that makes it wonderful. I just am incapable of achieving that at this point.

What piece are you most proud of, and why?
Infetish is the one I am most happy with… but I am definitely not proud of my works. I’m proud of people having the courage to tell me that I’m degenerate or fucked up, because I believe that takes more courage than what I do.  Correction. I am very proud of everyone who works with me on photo shoots, and my kitten when he superman slide tackles my painting and forces me to start over and create something better.


I’m sure you’ve heard about Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar video being leaked from the depths of his website by a hacker of sorts. With unopened to the public, how would you feel and react if someone infiltrated your art in a similar way?
I did hear about it, and was sent the video before I was even aware of an issue or leak or anything. I was expecting something totally different. It showed up in my inbox first thing in the morning before work, I hit play, rubbed my eyes and started my morning with one of my favorite songs, paired with a strange video.  It wasn’t till two days later that I found out people were piss whipped about it. Now it feels like a drunk hook-up. It just kind of happened, it was over before you know it, and now everyone is standing around yelling and pointing fingers and someone might lose their job. will be a blip amongst a billion blips. People won’t visit it often, it will just be partnered with my Facebook page to be updated with new pieces and shoots. And the occasional photo-travelogue or absinthe review.

The video was magic. It’s a shame it caused such a stir.

In Plato’s Republic Socrates says, “as [far as the] arts are concerned, then, no art ever studies or enjoins the interest of the superior or strong party, but always that of the weaker over which it has authority.” What do you think about this statement?
Horse shit. Art can absolutely be the authority on the superior party.  AKA critics, or swarms of fans whose wallets can skyrocket a piece to infamy.  Weak and strong can’t be distinguished in the face of art save for the few that can destroy it, or engulf it in recognition.  Art has silence and stirred millions of people for ages. Looks like Socrates didn’t have his little boy the day he wrote that.  Paintings, statues, palaces, jewelry, monuments have been erected for ‘superior’ people and often those are the pieces of art that endure the test of time.  I could just be misinterpreting the quote though. It’s 3:00am.

 “The Light Shines”

Over the next ten years, where do you hope your art carries you? Or, where do you hope to carry your art to?
I want someone to have a cardiac arrest standing in front of one of my paintings in a gallery, and have the person’s family spend inordinate amounts of money on the piece so they can ritually destroy it in the name of God.  Then I would like to attend the funeral and be thrown out. That is success. 

Interview by Alexis Voltaire


Sejanoz said...

Fantastic interview!

Anonymous said...

I am curious just what Alexis will say about this!!!

Anonymous said...

Very similar.