Dave MacDowell Interviews Chet Zar on his new Masters of Lowbrow Webcast

dave and chet

Dave Macdowell [left] delivers a portrait to artist, Chet Zar. (Image via http://instagram/Chetzar)

I’m a big fan of painter, Dave MacDowell, not only as an artist, but as a thinker and a person, in general.  After interviewing the surrealist low brow mastermind in January of last year, we’ve stayed in contact–primarily through Facebook instant messaging conversations and threads that inevitably always seem to end with hardcore street, or even just straight up ratchet, female rap videos (shout out the blunt smoking “Tac Town Mistress,” Juicy K).  On a handful of occasions, Dave had mentioned the idea of starting a “webcast” to me, but I never really had too much of a grasp about what exactly something like that would entail.  The issue was that I was focusing too much on the medium, rather than the purpose and intention behind it.  Of course, that’s often the same issue when considering art and where it intersects with the business of selling it, in the first place.

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.

Visit and subscribe to MastersOfLowbrow.com by clicking HERE.
Like/follow the Masters Of Lowbrow Facebook through HERE.

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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