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Clutter Gallery. Beacon | NY

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Artist Q & A with Zimot

As Clutter Gallery prepares to host Zimot for his first sculptural solo show, “Liquid Phone Booths Melted Thumbtacks”, we took this opportunity to ask him a few questions to get to know what really makes him shine!

Who is Zimot?

I’m from Binghamton NY. I’ve been making toys since about 2017, if you count ceramics as they’ve always had the sensibility of toys, being heavily influenced by all kinds of toys, knickknacks, novelty items from the 30s on. From there I started doing 3D printing to replicate blow mold banks from the 60s and started working with resin soon after that. I now work mostly in resin but the way I work has always changed from one process to another, it’s more or less a fluid process to me.

I also own and operate a video game store and arcade. I try to have as little to do with running it as much possible now a days so I can work in the back on my art every day. Luckily we have some fine employees that let me get away with that most of the time and a wife that encourages it!

Who/What are your biggest influences?

All sorts of novelty items and toys from the 30s to the 80s. Mostly inspired by blow molds, carnival chalk, neon mod banks, monster toys, cheap injection molded throw away toys, mid century decor and knickknacks etc… It’s always exciting to find some kind of weird, handmade craft project someone made in the 60s that somehow survived.

Tell us something special about the upcoming exhibition with us.

Back in the early 1990’s I had a show of paintings and photographs but this show is my first sculptural solo show! I’ve always painted and such but now I mostly make toys and sculptures as far as art goes. This show is exciting too because I created over 50 new works of art, including Beautiful Insect, my first soft vinyl toy!

What are a few of your favorite tools/materials?

Resin, both casting and printing. I know there’s some contentious opinions on resin printing but if you use quality resin and always update your equipment, I don’t really see it as that different than casting. To me it’s just another process that I see in the same line as slip casting ceramics. Of course casting resin can get you a lot of effects you can’t do with printing but it also works the other way as well. I like to push really hard at what a resin printer can do as a tool. I never use supports and like seeing how far I can take that. I mostly do original sculpts, although sometimes I like to put ape heads on existing items, such as religious objects or other kinds of junk store type objects. I’m learning to sculpt in wax right now but mostly do my sculpts digitally. I also enjoy straight up bootlegging religious items if I think they are really interesting. I kind of just do whatever I’m in the mood for at the time. I don’t plan too far ahead, typically not more than a few weeks at a time, since I do weekly drops in my shop which are normally one offs of new sculpts. Most of the time I have 2-4 projects in process at a time.

How did you find out about designer toys?

I’ve been aware of them for a long time, but never saw a lot of them in one place until the first year we went to Five Points Fest . I’m not sure what year that was, 16 or 17?
(It was 2017, the year of our first Five Points Festival in NYC!)

What advice do you have for an aspiring artist?

I’m not sure I’m a very good person to give advice but maybe don’t think that you’re going to make any money off of this for a very long time. Constantly reinvest in better and new equipment. Constantly allow yourself to change and evolve. Maybe this isn’t the best advice? I think that I rarely know what I’m talking about. Maybe do the opposite of what I do? Hehe

For those not familiar with your work, how would you describe your style?

Oh gosh. I’m not sure, really. I think maybe I shoot myself in the foot sometimes by not using pop culture references and familiar, relatable and nostalgic themes but I get exposed to enough of that with the arcade… I was going to say my day job, but this is my day job now! I always like to leave things pretty open to interpretation. I let things flow how they want. It’s all a very fluid thing for me. I often have one project going into another. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing and sometimes it’s a bumpy ride that feels pretty violent. Usually it all works out most of the time. Hopefully that makes some kind of sense.

Come see all these amazing pieces and more during the opening of “Liquid Phone Booths Melted Thumbtacks” Saturday, February 10th at Clutter Gallery in Beacon, NY!

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