ArtSlant writer, Nancy Lupo, met with David Ostrowski & Erica Eyres on the eve of their 2-person show at Fette's Gallery in Los Angeles, CA at the end of 2007.
David Ostrowski’s body of work, which he created specifically for this exhibition, was entitled How to Look at Homegrown Terror and consists of various sized oil paintings (all untitled) on either paper or cotton. His images, which are drawn from pop culture, show people that you might think you recognize from Us Weekly even though the artist has taken concerted steps to obscure the identity of people in the images. A second reading of his work might make you doubt such an assumption; perhaps you don’t recognize anyone after all. It might just be that the people look like they’re famous but what you are recognizing not a specific person but more a ‘type’ i.e., the older man and the younger woman, the casually strolling family or the undressed woman posing on a bed.
Equally related and unrelated to Eyres’s and Ostrowski’s new work is the American artist Paul Thek, who while teaching undergraduates at the Cooper Union in the 1980’s, developed a survey questionnaire that is sometimes referred to as his ‘Teaching Notes’. Both Erica Eyres and David Ostrowski submitted to his questions.
Questions Presented to DAVID OSTROWSKI by PAUL THEK
Name: David Ostrowski aka Painter Pan
Place of birth: Cologne
Education: Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf; Masters of Fine Arts Candidate 2008
Where do you now live? Cologne
For how long? 62 years
What are your requirements in a friend? He must be like Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull or Sylvester Stallone in Judge Dredd
Lover? She must look like Jack Nicholson
What kind of art do you like? Picasso
Music? Chicago and Slayer
What do you read? Eva Herman “Das Eva-Prinzip“
Do you buy books? A friend of mine is a kleptomaniac.
Records? He has an I-pod
What is your favorite color? Nazi Braun (brown)
What are your politics? I am pro- American
What do you do on a date? Knit
What is the purpose of dating? To have a nice conversation
Do you believe in premarital sex? I am a big fan of R. Kelly
What happens after death? There will be a Waterworld without Kevin Costner
Tell us about other members of your family. My aunt is the Blair Witch
Tell us about a close friend. He is a kleptomaniac.
Tell us about someone who inspires you. Wolfgang Joop and Boch from Villeroy and Boch
Tell us about the most exciting thing you ever did. I made a child be bored.
How many rooms are there in your home? 127
Do you have your own room? No
Do you share it? No, never
What does your room look like? Like the rooms in Schloss Neuschwanstein
On what do you sleep? On straw
In what? Newsapapers and boxes
In what position? Fetus position
Do you take baths or showers? I wash myself in a lake
Do you use perfumes or deodorants? Echt Koelnisch Wasser 4711
What style or look do you prefer? I like the look of Hansel from Zoolander.
Are you interested in sports? Fishing
How often? Always when there is a shark in the Rhine River
Do you believe in abortion? No
Do your parents? Yes
What is your worst physical feature? I wear a toupee.
Your best? I am circumcised.
What annoys you most in others? Existence
What is eternity? A Perfume by Calvin Klein
What is love? Something Celine Dion is singing about.
What is art? I am not drunk enough to answer this question.
What is a symbol? The artist formerly known as Prince.
Who are your role models? Krystal Steal
Who is the person closest to you at the moment? Jenna Haze
What in life is your greatest source of pleasure? Wiener Schnitzel
How do you know you like someone? When I have an erection
How do you know that someone is interested in you? Before or after I slept with them?
How do you know that you are happy, sad, nervous, bored? Before or after I slept with them?
What is an abstraction? Angela Merkel
What would it be like if you behaved with absolute power? Ask Angela Merkel
Who is your favorite character in the bible? Mel Brooks
What is your favorite character in Gone With the Wind? Arnold Schwarzenegger
What is the most beautiful thing in the world? Mickey Rourke
What is the purpose of art? I have no idea
What is the most difficult thing in life for you? To survive in the ghetto of Cologne.
Can art be useful in dealing with this difficulty? Yes
What is the surest way to happiness? One night in Paris
What do you do to make yourself more attractive? I watch Nip/Tuck
How much time to spend making a piece of art? It depends on how drunk I am.
How much time do you spend thinking about it? 26 hours
What do you think of money? Once you get the money, then you get the power, then you get women.
What is waste? Terminator 3
ArtSlant would like to thank David Ostrowski for his assistance in making this interview possible.