What cud possibly go wrong with Z-Kreaturez?
11 October 2016 by Sancho Murphy
Interview by Bianca Annamie.
Forming an inspirational fusion of psychedelia and sci-fi, Terhor and Zeke’s Lunchbox launch their latest joint show at Lobrow, where the two journey down separate but contrasting paths – Zeke’s Lunchbox with "Z-Kreaturez", a collection of works drawing inspiration from fictional sidekicks, and “WHAT CUD POSSIBLY GO WRONG” from Terhor, exploring the errors and mishaps of life.
It’s not hard to understand why Terhor and Zeke’s Lunchbox began collaborating – while they were offered different questions during the interview, it coincidently cemented their interesting creative alliance – both their inspiration and outlook, while still uniquely independent, complement each other to a tee (i.e. they both refer to Star Wars at one point in their responses).
Covering a colourful spectrum of topics, we chat with them about Nickelodeon and action films to video games and Disney, and how they collaborate through their joint effort, ‘TeeZee’.
Q's w/ ZEKE
How would you describe your art for someone who isn’t familiar with it?
It’s hard to categorise my work because it’s influenced by so many different movements and subcultures but essentially it’s psychedelic pop sci-fi. Lots of colour, humour and weirdness!
You cite Goosebumps and The Garbage Pail Kids as some of your inspiration – describe your childhood growing up and how such designs impact your creative aesthetic.
Growing up as an only child allowed me to consume of a lot of culture and be an observer. When I look back a lot of the time I watched a lot of movies. I was planted in front of a TV for a lot of the time so classic Looney Tunes, Roger Rabbit and Nickelodeon have been evident in my work. My family saw I was really interested in art so I would often be given art books for special occasions, so those images are definitely floating somewhere in my psyche as well.
You delve in so many different creative realms – product design, digital illustration and aerosol to name a few. What mediums do you like working with most?
I really love to paint, whether it’s in a digital form or IRL. It’s been the one medium where I feel like I’m making the most honest work. No barriers, no briefs, just pure Zeke.
What mediums or creative formats would you like to try out that you haven’t already conquered?
Probably film or animation. I did a bit of animation at uni and the more I learnt about it the more off putting it was. It’s just another added layer of work which was really daunting. I’m trying to document my process more and make collab videos with other creatives. It’s been really fresh but to be honest, I just want to focus on the mediums I’ve chosen at the moment. I’d like to work on perfecting my craft as much as possible.
Where did your pseudonym “Zeke’s Lunchbox” come from?
I found the name Zeke on a toy packet of dinosaurs and thought it was sweet. The “Zeke” part represents the aesthetic of my work and the “Lunchbox” element is a sort of ‘mix-bag’ of mediums. It’s a name that I played with in high school and it kind of just stuck.
Your exhibition Z-Kreaturez focuses on sidekicks; the accomplices of protagonists. What inspired this theme?
I’ve always been drawn to sidekicks, they’ve often been what carries a film especially in Disney movies! They light up a film and I just have really fond memories of them. I wanted to discover what Zeke sidekicks would be like. What would a sci-fi version of Timon & Pumbaa look like? It makes me really excited to get to know them and see who they are.
Q's w/ TERHOR
How would you describe your art for someone who isn’t familiar with it?
I'd try keep it simple and say they're paintings of scenes you might see in the fevered dream of a video game. If video games could dream (they can't.)
Your artistic focus has shifted into the chaotic depths of 21st century technology and everything encompassed within it, an obvious theme that radiates through a lot of your illustrations. Where do you look for inspiration beyond the internet (i.e. particular video games, movies, books or themes)?
Action films are a big one, films like Hard Boiled and Blade - anything that has really gratuitous action scenes - some offbeat dialogue that's easy to take out of context helps too. Since a recurring theme in the work is conflict (whether it's before, during or after) I have to mention my inspiration from the internet - not in regards to sourcing other media for inspiration, but for things like the comments section and flame wars.
To give an example, I might see an online argument about between 'sex_masta69xX' and '0nly_g0d_f04gives' on immigration policy or which Star Wars character is the strongest - and I'll want to turn that into a painting of two giant boulders with big stupid faces painted on them colliding into each other.*
*I am definitely making this painting.
Your exhibition “WHAT CUD POSSIBLY GO WRONG” is situated around the errors and mishaps that can (and do occur) and the discourse surrounding that – what inspired this theme?
Karma, human error and computer error - one of the main characteristics we share with technology is our ability to screw up. Whether in the day to day or on a grander scale - not in any spiritual sense but I feel like everybody at some point makes a mistake or is the victim of misfortune. What we do in those moments leading up, during and after is a story worth telling.
Whether it's trashing somebody's kitchen and leaving some flowers and a little note with a cute cartoon cat that says "I'm sowwy" or carpet bombing another nation for a few years and then dropping in some diplomats to install some military infrastructure to serve as 'supervisors' to say "I'm sowwy".
What’s the most chaotic thing that’s happened to you, and did you overcome it?
One time my Dad got attacked by this racist dude at an ATM while I was waiting for him on a razor scooter (I was like 11). I don't know if that's really 'chaotic' but it was definitely unexpected.
How does your creative process differ when preparing for an exhibition to personal projects?
Personal projects are much more self indulgent and are usually research/study and practicing technique. Preparing for an exhibition still has to be personal for it to be good but there's less bullshit and farting around.
Our generation is the last to experience the beginning of the Internet, like using modems, advances in gaming and social media. Do you think it affects our overall perception of life?
We're the last generation to have technophobes based off tradition and the 'good old days'. Kids now and in the future that reject technology will be yearning to escape the world that they were born into - so they'll probably be more radical.
I'm imagining something like The Matrix, but maybe more pastel clothing.
If we looked at your Internet history, what are the last five pages you’ve visited?
Haaaaa! Luck is on my side:
- Google image search for 'anime rose crystal'
- https://www.twitch.tv/proleaguecsgo - Counter-Strike tournament
- www.meathaus.com - Some gr8 illustration and artwork here
- www.newgrounds.com - My friend and I were going through flash animations from 10+ years ago
Q's w/ TEEZEE
Run us through the inception of your joint effort TeeZee and what it’s like working with each other.
We were already working together in some capacity, whether that was being an assistant to the other or bouncing ideas off one another. So TeeZee was always a “thing” we just decided to formalise it and give it a name.
Both your creations strike an interesting dichotomy between positive, bold colours and twisted, dark illustrations; how do you think both of your styles interact with or complement each other?
Zeke is the nice painter and Terhor is the grungy scum muffin. It’s as if Zeke’s work is this infinite font of creativity and imagination and Terhor’s work is the brutalist points punctuating in-between each piece.
You could say Zeke is more focused on world building and exploration whereas Terhor is more about deconstruction and subversion.
When working together you like to introduce a new catalyst. What have you tried in the past? What do you want to introduce in the future? What has failed or flourished?
To us it is still very new, we’re constantly exploring our own individual practices so when we collaborate - we’re both very headstrong and uncertain of a lot of elements. What we’re saying is everything has had it’s failures and flourishes within that project - but we’re trying to figure out that harmony.
When it comes to introducing a new catalyst it’s usually taking over a bigger space or new medium again, even the fact we collaborate is new territory so that fuels us to go further.
LOBROW GALLERY & BAR
Level 2, 181 City Walk, Canberra
Z-KREATUREZ vs WHAT CUD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
Terhor & Zeke Exhibition Launch
Thursday 13th October - 6.00pm to midnight
Facebook Event for more details.