Poster artist Jermaine Rogers branched out immensely for his June 2013 show, Comfort for the Desperate Children, at the Scion AV Installation space in Hollywood. Rogers presented resin sculptures, candles, notebooks, lighters, and clothing done up with the same twisted, darkly beautiful aesthetic that has made his poster work in-demand by bands like Radiohead, Weezer, and The Melvins. We caught up with Jermaine in San Diego, California—where he has been preparing for an appearance at ComicCon–to ask him a bit more about the show and his inspirations. View more photos from the opening party here.
How did you come up with the title Comfort for the Desperate Children?
You know, there’s so much tension in the air today. Sometimes it’s so thick the sunlight can’t shine through. I’m typically on the offensive, pen and brushes locked and loaded. But, I’ll say that it’s gotten so thick as of late, so much bulls**t in the air from people who want to control your body, your time, your mind… all shoving their traditions and morality down your throat. I’m just tired. I need a respite, some time at port. I need a little comfort, and I’d like to think there are others like me. That’s what this show is. A brief, insignificant respite from the storm.
What music were you listening to while putting together this show?
All types of music creates my daily soundtrack. Too many bands too name: Subhumans, Sabbath, Public Enemy, that new Yeezy, Aphex Twin, Arlo Guthrie, The Smiths, etcetera. My iTunes shuffle rolled through them all.
What is your favorite piece created for the show and why?
I really dig the candles we made. They are meditation candles, each adorned with artwork promoting a certain emotion or spirit. These little charms and “helpers” we use to make us feel whole and complete have always fascinated me. The real energy resides inside of us, true enough, but we’re so trapped in this physical mind space of ours. We seem to need some sort of verification that we are what we really are, though a lot of us have been taught to attribute that wonderful power to someone/something else. The candles are a gift to my desperate brothers and sisters.
What was the most difficult piece to make and why?
The limited edition book we made for the show was probably the most difficult thing to compile, as I’ve got an artography that spans 18 years or so. To pick just a limited amount of images to show in the book was harder than you’d think. I’ve done close to 900 pieces at this point, for a variety of bands, events, etcetera. Picking 60 or so challenged my “quality” filter.
What was the initial inspiration for you to start making resin sculptures?
It’s another outlet, another way to cause these ideas in my head to assume physical form. I’ve been involved in the designer vinyl market since the early 2000s, and resin was the next logical step. It’s instant gratification, compared to vinyl. Idea, sketches, sculpts, molds, and bam! You’ve got figures. Modern sculpture. Like little idols. Typically, I’ll dream up an idea and do tons of detailed drawings and sketches of it in all different positions. I’ll then work with a sculptor to bring it to 3-D life. Once the sculpt is refined and finalized, a mold is made and we begin castings.
I’m sure some people find your work shocking, but what do you find shocking?
It’s shocking to me that people believe that a “holy book” written 2,000 to 3,000 years ago by desert farmers is a viable “life guide” for 2013 humankind. It’s even more shocking that I believed it once.
What was your favorite toy as a child?
It’s always been a tie between my Shogun Warriors Godzilla figure and my little Star Wars Bespin Han Solo figure from Kenner.
Who is an artist you have always wanted to collaborate with (living or dead) and why?
Egon Schiele. I could teach him how to keep his ego in check and he could teach me how to paint.
How long did it take you to install the show?
Not too long. A few days.
What’s the most memorable moment you had out in Los Angeles on this trip?
The beautiful girl at the bar on 3rd who made me these amazing turkey club sandwiches late each night while I was there, even after the kitchen had closed and she wasn’t supposed to. It was very kind.
What’s the best thing you ate on this trip?
See the last question…