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Friday, 11 November 2011

Pop Art - Little Gonzalez

At SCP we're all about the POP! All sorts of POP! We bring you the latest news, releases, videos and more. Today we bring you the 'more'!

Pop isn't just about the music or the videos - it's a way of life. Artists such as Daft Punk, Beth Ditto, Beyonce, Kanye West, Madonna & Bjork raise the bar when it comes to performance and showmanship. All of the artists mentioned above and more have been featured in a gallery exhibition 'POP' from Sydney based artist Dan Gray AKA Little Gonzalez and SCP went along to see some creations and meet Little Gonzalez himself.

Check out our interview with Little Gonzalez and some of pictures of his amazing artwork of some of the most recognisable Pop artists in the world!

Tell readers about yourself?

My name's Dan, I'm a self-taught illustrator who works under the name Little Gonzales. My work is very colourful, I like to think of it as pop illustration. I create work for posters, albums, t-shirts, magazines, books and the occasional exhibition. I'm also a triplet.

What's the name all about? 

When I was little my Dad used to call me Speedy Gonzales. When I started focussing on my illustration, I liked the idea of drawing under a moniker - this was the first thing that popped into my head and it's stuck. It feels like it suits my personality and my illustration style.

You’re a self trained artist - when did you first start developing your artistic talents?

 I did art all through high school, but never pursued it further when I left school. I guess I've been drawing since I was young, I've always loved art and being creative but never really considered that I could make a career from it until a few years ago
What methods do you use to create your work? Or is it just "the voices" in your head guiding you? 

I work with a combination of traditional and digital techniques, though mostly digital - I'm finding it a lot quicker, easier and cleaner! The 'voices' tend to guide me, though every now and then they're really quiet and on those days it can feel like getting blood from a stone. Other times I get a really vivid image in my head and all I have to do is draw it out - the best drawings (in my opinion) are the ones that seem to come easiest.

There is a lot of intricacy in your artwork - especially your portrait of Bjork - how long does it take you to create one of your works?

For the works in the show, anything from a couple of hours to a few days. I generally don't spend more than a week on an illustration, I think I have a short attention span when it comes to my work, I like variety.

How do you decide who you are going to draw for your next artwork? 

I wrote up a list of about 20 of my favourite iconic pop music people - some I got very strong visuals or ideas straight away, so I just started with those and kept crossing names off the list until I had enough for the show. Some were 'must-haves', it wouldn't be a pop-music art show without them. Others are just my faves.
Who are your favourite musicians? 

Arcade Fire, Bjork, Radiohead, The Smiths, Kate Bush, Robyn, there's a lot. Currently, Architecture in Helsinki have the most played track in my iTunes with That Beep.

One of your prints is all about Madonna are you a fan and looking forward to her touring next year? or do you think she should just retire?

I'm definitely a fan of Madonna, nobody else can reinvent like she does though I fear her best is behind her. I grew up with classic Madonna and still remember the first time I learnt how to Vogue. I'd go just to see her at least once this lifetime.
Who are you listening to right now on your iPhone/iPod?

The Gossip, Adele (bit late on that bandwagon), The XX and Lost in Translation soundtrack.

 Have you had any feedback from anyone you’ve drawn? And have they brought any of your work? 

Not yet! I'd really love to send Beth Ditto one of my prints. Actually I'd love it if any of them wanted one!

Can you explain why you ate a plate of nachos bigger than you head? Was it a bet? 

It was more a self-imposed challenge, with the prize being that I got to say I'd eaten a really, really big plate of nachos. I was out to lunch with friends, and the 'small nachos' just didn't sound like it would cut it. The only other option was a large nachos and it certainly was. Nobody else would help me eat it!
We see from your site you are working on a new project called "What Song Is That?" Tell us about it. 

What Song Is That? is a book I was commissioned to illustrate by Michael Wilton, who came up with the idea and has become a really good friend. It contains 99 pop music pictogram puzzles - basically you guess the song from each illustration and you score points for knowing the song and the artist. It's been a lot of fun to draw and we're hoping to have it released early next year.

Finally the SnapCacklePop Big Five questions this week are:

- Which Minogue is better Kylie or Dannii? 

I have a soft spot for Dannii, but she really can't compete with Kylie.

- What came first the chicken or the egg? 


- What was the first record you ever brought/downloaded? 

It was Billy Joel - River of Dreams. AND it was on cassette.

- If you had a super power what would it be and why? 

To manipulate time - I constantly wish there were more hours in the day, if I could freeze time for 12 hours every now and then, I could totally get everything done and get a good night's sleep!

- Which pop star have you got a secret crush on? 

I don't know if you'd call him a pop star but Mark Ronson is A.OK in my book! I also have a not-so-secret crush on a young Morrissey - but really, who doesn't?

We thank Little Gonzalez for his time and for introducing us to his amazing Pop artwork! 

For more information, more pictures or to purchase any of Little Gonzalez's works visit his website

And this track is for you Little Gonzalez

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