Art +Culture | Julian Lucas
I met Joe Ded around 2010, when I had visited Pomona. Joe Ded’s carefree attitude was what was interestingly funny to me. During an exhibition in downtown Pomona, I was able to view some of Joe’s artwork and I was blown away by his enigmatic characters. At the time I had just started publishing a physical art magazine and actually featured some of Joe”s work. The print edition was a limited amount and it sold like flap jacks! Forward to today Joe’s work ceases to amaze me with his consistency and fluidity of his work. -Julian Lucas
You applied to be part of the public art grant in Pomona. What was the outcome? How many applicants were there?
Yeah, I applied for the Pomona Public Arts call for local artists, jumped through all the hoops. I wasn't sure how many others there were. I was informed in a rejection email that there where 50 artists who applied supposedly.
What did the public art criteria involve? Why do you feel you weren’t accepted?
It was to show that you can handle a mural project from start to finish and also how to budget materials and other things that come with doing a large scale mural project. It was said I wasn't accepted due to a lack of experience, working with a large budget and gathering insurance for the project. To be honest, I was surprised to not be accepted, I thought I had enough experience with local work to be able to participate in doing something larger for the city or at least a medium project to help get a foot in the door for larger murals.
Will you apply again?
Sure, I guess I would apply again, it could be a whole new round of judges the next go, or if they even have anybody apply again because it took this long just to get the funds for it now.
Does your work transpire as you’re painting or do you have a vision before you begin painting? I think many people want to know what goes through you head when you are working on a piece?
When I start a piece it goes both ways sometimes, I have a general idea of the composition in the form of rectangles and other shapes then let my imagination build upon those blueprints. the images manifest into a story all on its own. when working on a piece numerous things go thru my head, all emotions at times. thoughts on shit that happened ten yrs ago, old sitcoms, the jerky boys.
Who or what influences you?
I have many influences from Robert crumb, a lot of old pulpy, erotic dirty comics that I won’t mention, pop culture. cults, and all sorts of weird shit. You name it!
You have been part of the Pomona Art Colony for quite some time now. What are your feelings about the art colony and the changes? Has it helped you boost your career as an artist or do you feel it has hindered you?
Yeah, I have been showing in the arts colony now since bout 2008, mostly in the Ferguson gallery. I feel the arts colony currently is barely even an arts colony. There is barely any surviving galleries any more. There aren’t any shops that open during the day, its like walking inside the shell of a hollowed crab. I've yet to notice any of the changes, the only change I see is the change I give the homeless guys. I feel yes the arts colony helped boost my career and gave me the confidence to pursue other artistic endeavors as well as met a group of life long friends, but you can still catch me down there painting daily.
When was the last piece you sold? Would you say you have collectors?
I just sold a piece just last week, yeah I have collector that enjoy my works but I would like that grow and expand more collectors!
What are your dreams and aspirations? What do you plan on bringing to the table in regards to the arts colony that would benefit you and other artists?
If I had been selected to be on the short list for the mural projects, I would have liked to paint some projects to help make the city look more colorful and alive! murals works that would at least speak to the youth of the times. Themes they can relate too. Also to help pave the way for others with similar backgrounds to try and get a piece of themselves in their city and be proud.
Have you mentored to the younger emerging artists?
I have help volunteered and done demonstrations for lots of students and kids but yet to have mentored a kid for long time, I wouldn't know what to say to um "hey kid, see that look of agony in the mirror? get used to it" haha
What does the future hold for Joe Ded?
What the future holds for Joe Ded is to eventually get the new Elon Musk brain implants, then connect into the inter web and become the lawnmower man. Naw really I think it would have to transfer art into the more techno world. Kids these days don't give a damn about art, unless its on the phone. I’d also like to maybe make a cartoon and further my Dedtime stories children’s books.