An interview with Thomas Chapman


Thomas Chapman:

This work is a classical collage piece. There is material from a couch i found on the way to the hospital, when my son was born. I was riding out to the Charité-hospital in Wedding and I found this couch on the way and I stripped it off. Also there is a piece of a couch from Brooklyn, I got probably in 2004 or 2003 and some stuff from the Teufelsberg, this spying tower that was in the west of Berlin.

The things i use have to register my brain. So what I do is... when I see stuff that catches my eye I take it off usually with a razor blade or rip it off or something and then I just have these piles of shit over here, where I just kind of filter through. When I'm working on a new piece, this stuff will make it on to the finished image....

It goes back to all the dada or cubism stuff, in the way of twisting time and space around and mutating space. You're twisting these different spaces around and you're providing an image that kind of represents our world in a way, 'cause things are changing faster and faster and the world is becoming more connected and these space differences are closing down in such a quick way, because of the way information moves...

Yeah, in this world the Collage is a good tool to comment on alienation and acceleration.

Thomas Chapman:

It's kind like the earth, geologically speaking, you know, the world is always recycling, elements that never came in contact with each other ... over time they ... like plates move and things get mashed up against each other and thats kind of what the art is also about. It's like this mashing up of cultures and in some ways the work reminds me of a topographical map, when you look down at an environment. If you take a picture of the world you have different elements like you have water mixing up with trees and desert. In some ways the different textures of the fabrics kind of mimic this geological survey.

Do you have a political agenda?

Thomas Chapman:

Yeah, i will run for the US presidency in 2026. The NeoCons are trying to push this extremism to ... they want there to be more conflict and chaos in the world, so that people don't unite. They keep everyone seperated and hating each other and then the people of the world won't actually demand things they are useful for themselves and society. They have you hating on the other side and you're gonna vote against your own best interest, because you just hate the other side... and you're not lovin' yourself and the other people. They're really promoting this hate towards other people...

What is most important for you? The process, the concept or the art object?

Thomas Chapman:

You mean the look? The static object? I think it's really important to me. I feel that art can have a political idea, but it also can be visually engaging, the colors, the structure, the technique ... I'm always looking for a cohesive idea, but also i want it to be visually engaging. I want people to be like: "That looks cool!" or "I like the way that looks", without having any idea of what the message is... When you look at something and then you get absorbed by that piece for that moment, then you're away from yourself maybe for a brief instant and you're in this world that I or another artist created. I guess what we are looking for, you know? It kind of takes you out of normal everyday experience and makes you think about things in a different way for however long that piece can engage you for...

Now we will let you draw again. Let your imagination flow...

Thomas Chapman aka Homeboy:

'We don't want any earthquake causing the whole regions of the world to be contaminated by nuclear waste... in a thousand, twothousand, threethousand years from now... Shit! The whole world is fucked up, because we had to use nuclear energy! Fuck! I don't want to die!

We don't want that shit around our neighborhood' or 'Man thousand years from now, oh boy, what happens when there is an earthquake or a vulcano goes off and one of these mountains where they store all this like ...waste. What are we going to do then? Move?'Dadadada... Da! Inflation and Deregulation.

Thomas Chapman aka Popgirl:

...And governments let them do it ... and we don't say no ... none of us at least... we want to have shit that doesn't pollute our world, so i can swim in every river and see ... and my grand children, too...'

How will you contribute to Collage culturel?

Thomas Chapman:

This sketch is my contribution to Collage culturel and you're welcome to use it at your disposal for promoting the Free Clean Energy Movement. And this is about that people have to unite as a world community, the earth people saying to all the governments: 'We want Free Clean Enery.'So, Fuck those energy companys!