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Justin Aerni - A Combination of Satire and Iconoclasm


American painter, sculptor, author, photographer, and filmmaker Justin Aerni has garnered global attention for his thought-provoking artwork that combines satire and iconoclasm while examining the great enigmas of our time. As popular as he is prolific, he has sold over 4,000 paintings worldwide within the past decade, and written and illustrated eight books.

             Justin Aerni

Where do you find your inspiration?

First off, Thanks for the interview. At first I was going to say I'm inspired by nature, pop culture and sex but as I'm sitting here in my underwear listening to I Stay Away by Alice In Chains on YouTube I realize I'm actually inspired by the idea of freedom but not in that primitive redneck patriot kind of Alex Jones way. Freedom as in ascension and searching out sacred truths older than religion and then taking that truth and transcending my situation, my enemies, and art itself. Hope that wasn't too preachy because I hate preachy art and self righteous artists. . like a lot!

What has been the best moment in your career?

There are lots of great moments but I think the most fulfilling thus far was getting completely smashed at my first solo show in Detroit. I was just stumbling around in the super energized reality I had created like a happy idiot and the masonic checkered tiles that I had painted as a personal representation of Hell As A Room on the walls as an installation were spinning faster and faster round and people and media were coming up to me looking like demon's asking for pictures and telling me great job but all I heard was GREEEEADTTTET JOOOOOBBBbbbbdkdk Boooy?! What? Ultimately despite me the show was a success and I can't wait till my second.

What is your ideal day?

My ideal day is simple. No drama from any humans. I wake up & pet and feed my Cat, "Sarah Conner" - one word. Kiss Diane Irby the artist on the mouth with heavy saliva. Take my shower for another half an hour. Eat a bagel with too much cream cheese. Read my emails. Hit the studio - Hard and make a masterpiece. If I can have a day where at the end I'm like WOW! I didn't know I could paint that then that's all the ideal day I need.

              Justin Aerni

Who is your role model?

My role model has and will always be Leonard Cohen - May he live forever and ever for all eternally. Leonard's life is a beautiful life to be studied, admired and will talked about for a long time to come. Leonard If you're out there and you somehow see this interview or someone who knows you sees this and shares it with you I just want to let you know without you there would be no me so thank-you my teacher.

What is your dream project?

I have this character called; "ROBO BOY" that turns into MEGA ROBO BOY when he gets angry or scared and it would be amazing to build a huge like five story tall metal sculpture of him and have it displayed at MOMA. As a kid I would be constantly drawing pictures of this theme-park in my mind called Aerni Land. It would be a dream to bring it to life someday. Hey If Walt can do it then so can I.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

I already forgot .. sorry. .

but seriously what I usually tell other artist's just starting out is to ask themselves one question before they decide if they actually want to do this everyday for the rest of their miserable yes mostly miserable lives ; "Am I prepared to lose everything and everyone for this silly art dream?" Don't think too long the answer should just come to you. The reality is you like me probably will lose more than you think you will along the way but you will find your true self I guarantee you that and that's extremely rare compared to other humans stumbling around on this planet. Believe in yourself because I wont and the world wont until you do. Act out of love in what and how you create NOT fear. It took me years to figure that out.

For what in life do you feel most grateful?

The people that have chosen to walk next to me in this life even though it would be infinity easier to not. I'm grateful to all my fans for their encouragement and support throughout the years.

           Justin Aerni

If you could work with another artist, who would it be and what would you work on?

Francis Bacon but he's dead now. BACON'S MEAT 1992 ™ - I think we could have created truly beautiful dark things together. Andy of course comes to mind but everybody say's that. I would have loved to make video art and films with him. As far as living artist's it's always been a dream to collaborate will Daniel Johnston. I tried contacting him a couple years ago but was ignored. I'm not sure these people know how serious I really am.?. haha. Oh well. I'm into collaborating with other artists all the time so just hit me up so to speak. P.S. I listen to Enya when I'm feeling evil and mischievous so if you're down with the ENYA then I'm down with you.

What's the single most important skill you've learned to be successful at creating art?

Drive. Drive is everything. Most everything. Pulling fresh new ideas from the universal conscientiousness through meditation is important too. Sia - Little Man is playing now and that must mean that this interview is over forever. (PUKE)(GOODBYBE)

P.S. check out my new book of drawings called "Justin Aerni Sucks!" coming soon!

              Justin aerni

               Check out all of the amazing watches from Justin Aerni here!


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