Dave MacDowell is an artist, a visionary, and a creator. It’s not what he does, it’s what he is. To then attempt to slap a monetary value on your visions and something that you’ve created with the intention of sharing, seems counter-intuitive to a certain extent, in general, as does the idea of there being a necessity to remain inspired and creating, because it has now become your livelihood. It’s a fine line between surviving by doing what you love and allowing what you love be potentially tainted by the acknowledgment that you need it to survive. Likewise, the mass reproduction and distribution of prints afford more people the opportunity to own pieces of one’s work, in one respect, yet undermine the value and appreciation of original works, while reinforcing the perception that they are mere product–not dissimilar to a psychedelic blacklight or “haulin ass” poster that my brother might have sold during his 1980s clerk job at a Fresno head shop–in another. In the end, Dave is someone that still believes in the purity of the art and in the idea of putting in the work that it takes to master one’s craft. A web program would allow him to get back to those core ideals, while spotlighting, endorsing, and engaging with other artists and thinkers that he respects and who embody a similar spirit. It’s a project with no specific end goal; something new to build from scratch that provides perspective for those involved as much as those who make the effort to tune in.
A little under 2 weeks ago, a Facebook page popped up for something called “Masters of Lowbrow,” which featured some of Dave‘s art on it, along with the following description ““Masters Of Lowbrow” is a multifunctional Art Collective celebrating Our weekly Webcast, featuring a wide range of Artists, Curators and show biz! Welcome!” Something was happening. At some point Friday night, the first episode popped up on a Masters Of Lowbrow website. Here’s a more detailed description of the project from the about section on MastersOfLowbrow.com:
Masters Of Lowbrow is a multifaceted International Art Collective celebrating the brightest talents working in the industry. Covering all facets of global media implementation, our universal goal is to educate and entertain with a common vision of creative unity. Web Professional/Artists/Designers/Film and Television innovators together banded as one family. One voice. Unified as one body in Inspirational spirit. Welcome!
Whatever this thing is now or will become, it’s definitely starting off on the right foot. By simply drawing from his pool of talented friends, Dave‘s already managed to pull one particularly high caliber name for this inaugural installment: the inimitable, Chet Zar. A fellow Los Angeles area based artist, Chet made a name for himself partially through his sculptural, creature creation, and movie makeup work on films like Planet of the Apes and the Hellboy franchise, as well as through critically acclaimed video projects for the band TOOL. In more recent years, Zar has found a second life with his surrealistic oil paintings, quickly raising him to the status as one of the most recognizable figures in the underground contemporary, lowbrow, and dark art movements. Last October saw him embarking on the largest scale event of his career, with his kickstarter funded Ego Death project, which consisted of a full scale exhibit that closed out with anelaborately simulated funeral service, complete with eulogies, a hearse, pall bearers… the whole 9. Impressive stuff.
Watch MacDowell and Zar chat it up real casual-like in the debut episode below. Also make sure to check out our coverage of Chet‘s Ego Death project and my interview with Dave to gain a bit more insight and fill in some blanks.