Chicago multimedia artist Danny Sobor (who currently resides in Detroit) has his debut solo gallery in six hours. It's an impending experience he describes to me as "exciting and terrifying" with the launch being held at Galerie F from 6p-10p. Located in Chicago's Logan Square, the exhibit will be complete with a limited run zine/pamphlet that will compliment the conceptual work titled Joined//Fading. While Sobor describes the exhibit in the Q+A below (better than I can), it's worth addressing the signature style; a mixture of old and new, of surrealism and realism molding into one. Sobor mentions folk art and nostalgia as influences while I also see plenty of autobiographical modernism. Bright colors from dreamland dancing atop vintage black and white. Be sure to enjoy the interview below, with plenty of Sobor art scattered throughout, and check out his sites for more work from the 24-year-old talent.
How has the year been treating you so far?
Since January 1st? Wavy. Winter gets me low. I went into a studio hole and drew. Next thing I knew it was April and I had a room full of new work. Now it’s sunny and the days are longer and I’m seeing someone I really like and I have a show opening Friday, so I’m optimistic about the summer.
I first found out about your art through music covers (Walkingshoe, ShowYouSuck). Have you done many music collaborations?
Shout-outs to both those guys. Also to Professor Fox who produced the ShowYouSuck song and got me on the cover. I like working with musicians. The visuals of an album cover influence the way I hear the music. I hear songs off Californication as red or Long.Live.A$AP as purple. I think it’s because of their accompanying artwork. Or maybe the music was already that color and the artist reinforced the synesthesia? Either way I’m honored to be part of the collaboration.
I’ve done some work for my buddy Clyde’s band Lawrence, here’s an animated video that I guess Hugh Grant shouted out because all the comments say “Hugh Grant led me here.” Also my friend Zach gives me creative control to be a weirdo for his side projects, I made his zonked out site. My favorite is the speedboat cruising on a stained glass green lake gif. There are other covers out there, another is for my dude Dolapo’s mixtape. I hope he has a big 2017.
How long have you been taking your craft seriously?
I’ve been drawing pretty consistently for three years. I didn’t go to art school, I’m picking up a lot as I go along. I have a lot of room to grow, I’m biding my time and making the best stuff I can until I’m legitimately good.
I saw your IG post with your art at a bus stop. How did this come about?
A friend gave me a key and the dimensions of bus shelter ads. I think that’s all I should say about it.
What can you tell me about the show this weekend?
It’s an attempt at being aesthetically genuine. My grandma was a Chicago Public Librarian, she has a big collection of old books. She’s starting to lose her memory, talking to her got me thinking about the way memories and emotional timelines blur, fade and mix. Like her memories will live on with me and so on. I started drawing my friends and feelings onto her pages, fused with some of her experiences. The goal is to record and celebrate our memories, they’re joined and fading.
Building off that, the show is about preservation on two levels. Not only memories, but the actual objects too. A lot of these books might’ve ended up in the trash. Now they’re in frames on white walls.
One more thing, I worry about being too much of a sponge and biting other people, I like that a lot of this source imagery is unique. Even with the patterns, almost everything is lifted from scans of folk art. Like there aren’t that many glitched out Polish folk illustrations in bus shelters, I don’t think.
Do you typically try to sell your pieces once they are complete, or do you keep them for your personal collection?
I enjoy the process more than having the object. Drawing is my meditation and release. Once the piece is done, I don’t care much about it. If someone wants to buy it and give it a home so I can keep making more pieces that’s terrific. I don’t want a bunch of my art on my walls, I want other people’s art on my walls.
Is this your first solo show of the year?
This is my first professional solo show ever! I did some shows in school and a two-person show last year but this is entirely under my name which is exciting and terrifying.
What's the rest of the year looking like for you?
Not thinking that far ahead. I’ve got some group shows and commissions coming up but that’s business stuff. I’m trying to spend a lot of time painting and being outside having fun with friends.
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
Try to find a rhythm and a sanctuary. It’s all about getting into flow states. They can be elusive. Also practice.
Any final words of wisdom / closing thoughts?
Hmmmm, I don't know, it’ll probably be ok? I’m 24 man I don’t know shit.