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Interview : ZEFREY THROWELL

/ Photo by Jessica Smith /


Zefrey Throwell is a New York-based artist who uses several form of art to communicate his own vision of America. He agreed to answer some questions... 
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WAS : First, can you describe yourself?
Zefrey : I am a troublemaker with an obsessive passion for documenting.


WAS : How did you come to make art?
Zefrey : I started by playing punk rock and then discovered painting while drunk in my exgirlfriend's garage one night. It's been romance ever since.


WAS : You create projects to denounce something or to fight for a cause, isn’t it?
Zefrey : I usually have a reason I am making something, it's not always a good reason, but occasionally I get lucky and it's a valiant reason.




WAS : When did you start to do that?
Zefrey : I started caring when I realized that other people were making things that were empty and used as mental furniture for lazy people and that art that tackled real issues wasn't considered cool, that's when I knew that it was the only direction worth a damn.


WAS : Did you have sometimes problems with the police?
Zefrey : The police are large fans of my projects, they show up every time and are quite excited about every new piece.


WAS : What feelings do you want people to have when they are seeing your projects?
Zefrey : I'd like for people to have the feeling that their life is open, that they are invested in a new weird world and that chaos is to be trusted.


WAS : Which project was for you the most:


-          Disgusting?
Zefrey : I had an incidental painting session called "Storm the Beachhead" which involved throwing different kinds of food. The smell of mustard, sour cream, jello and spaghetti together with sweating bodies..... Delicious!
Photos by Adam Reign, David Siqueiros


-          Funny?
Zefrey : One of the funniest projects I have done was called "I'll Raise You One..." It was a 7 day strip poker game in the window of an art space in downtown Manhattan called Art in General. We tried playing strip poker using 5 different economic models as the basis for how to distribute wealth. Being naked and interacting with a massive crowd of strangers has got to be one of the most hilarious things I have ever been part of.



-          Useful?
Zefrey : "Ocularpation: Wall Street" was probably the most useful project I have done. It was a precursor to the Occupy movement and helped many people express their frustration with the current economic situation in the world.


Photos by Hal Horowitz 



-          Beautiful?
Zefrey : I just finished some portraits of my dead father in his own ashes and methamphetamine. The project is called "At last... rest" and will premiere at the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Germany June 3rd. They are the best piece of art I have ever made.


WAS : What inspires you?
Zefrey : I am inspired by looking at the things which others pass over. I made a rule for myself when walking the streets of NYC. Most people are focusing on the beautiful people with the fancy clothes and nice asses that walk by, I try and notice the people that no one else is looking at and see what they have to offer.


WAS : Do you listen to music? Electronic music? Could you write me your top 5 best tracks of the month?
Zefrey : I think electronic music is the backbone of the modern age. I love it, I hate it, I dance like a maniac to it, then I can't stand it, but there is no denying that it is what today sounds like.


Top 5 tracks for Zefrey today:
Fela Kuti - Colonial Mentality
Wendy Rene- After Laughter (Comes Tears)
Yelle - La Musique
Bombay- El Guincho
I Feel You (live) - Depeche Mode



i'll tumblr 4 ya


WAS : Any plans for the future you would like to tell us about?
Zefrey : I have a solo museum show at Leopold Hoesch Museum in Germany that opens June 3rd. It is called "Sucked Up in the Devil's Bed" and will be a show centered around methamphetamine and the destructive powers it has over the human race. I will also be doing a collaborative project at the museum with the super talented artist Dirk Skreber. We are making a movie together about time travel and love! As far as France - I am going to be doing a "Midtown Games: Table Tennis Tournament" on May 18th in NYC. Canal + is going to film it and broadcast it on TV in France. Also I am part of a group show at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris in November.


WAS : Anything to add?
Zefrey : One of my favorite quotes-
"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." -John Cage. 






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