Saturday, 4 December 2010
neal fox talks to iD online about LE GUN for beginners
heres an interview
with neal fox
for iD online
about new le gun for beginners
Le Gun for beginners
London based art collective Le Gun pulled the trigger on graphic art and illustration in 2004 when they created a platform to showcase exciting new talent in their same name publication Le Gun magazine. If you haven’t seen it, open your eyes.
United by the same niche taste in art, the founding members of Le Gun, Neal Fox, Matthew Appleton, Bill Bragg, Chris Bianchi, Alex Wright and Robert Greene met while studying at Royal College of Art. Democratising the process of publication, Le Gun considers all submissions, edits down and scours the pen marks for raw talent, printing those special few who “draw pictures like nobody else”, Neal Fox. Having produced four issues of Le Gun, garnering a cult following of art and graphic fans, the collective are tonight launching a pocket sized manual titled Le Gun for beginners, a group sketchbook of sorts. The book coincides with an exhibition of works by Le Gunners at Material Gallery, London. i-D Online caught up with founding member and total underground graphic celeb Neal Fox to learn the origins, influences and ambitions of, the explosive, Le Gun.
What was your intention when you first started Le Gun? Did you expect it would become as established as it has? We all met at the RCA in 2004. It was an unusual group of people who really clicked and were excited by similar things. I had always loved Raw magazine since I was a kid, which was a cult graphic art magazine published in the 80s in New York by Art Spiegelman. I hadn't met many other people who were into the same things as me before and all of sudden there was a whole gang of us. We raised money to print the first issue by having parties in the college bar, where we'd do collaborative drawings. Gradually more and more people have got involved and it seems to have taken off. It’s still very chaotic trying to get each one made because as well as the magazine we do a lot of other exhibitions and commissions, and we all have our own stuff going on aside from Le Gun.
What people, places or things inspire your work? At the moment, I’m really into the writer J.G. Ballard – I’m doing drawings based around his ideas. I like the iconoclasts too; right now I’m making loads of big stained glass windows of modern saints - Ballard, Francis Bacon, William Burroughs, Albert Hofmann, Johnny Cash, Jean Genet etc, for an exhibition at Galerie Daniel Blau in Munich.
What makes a submission stand out? We like people with their own take on things. We get sent a lot of generic stuff but now and again you come across someone who draw pictures like nobody else, like James Unsworth and Emma Rendel. We also chase after people we like and in the next issue we’ve got work from Charles Avery, Hernan Bas, Stanley Donwood and Laurie Lipton.
What is the creative process involved in the curation of each issue, and how has that differed with Le Gun for beginners? Each one takes a long time to make, editing down submissions and chasing after people. We stick everything on the wall in the studio and work hard at trying to make images flow together and make interesting connections between things. Someone described it as being like a long visual poem. Le Gun for beginners is a much more spontaneous thing, more like a group sketchbook. It’s published in Sweden and it’s a bit of a smorgasbord!
Le Gun for beginners opens today and runs until 18 December 2010.
Text Sarah Raphael
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