I've been a big fan of your work for a while now. When and how did you get into making art?
That's great I’m always glad to hear I’ve managed to reach people through my work! I’ve been working with creative visions since as long as my memory dates back. As a child my father would set me up a work station next to his or often times same as his, I have paintings that he would let me work on. Earliest collaboration I have is from 1982, I was 4 years old. His work is something I can’t necessarily put words to...powerful I suppose is the best way I can put it. Having his energy guide me through this madness of a world, I got into working these feelings into visual art around 2011 more passionately and more refined than previously years.
You go by “Indiangiver”. How did you come up with name?
Indiangiver was something that came to mind very quickly. It was more of a knee jerk reaction to seeing other peoples handles and thought to myself, “Shit someone’s gonna grab that and what will it stand for but something catchy perhaps racist". At the time I was working with a non profit group of Indigenous artists called Honor the Treaties so Indiangiver doubled as a tongue in cheek thing with me giving back to the community and all but also something that I would hope start a conversation about phrases used like that to this day. If you go to the hashtag Indiangiver it’s incredible how many vocabularies still house phrases like indiangiver.
You were born in Minnesota and now based out of Seattle. Has this influenced your work?
I would say in a sense that both have strong histories of churning out great musicians like Prince and Nirvana obviously more but growing up in Minneapolis as a child my first album and cassette tape both were Purple Rain then moving to Seattle at age 9 I went through my teenage years going to Pearl Jam and Nirvana shows. I learned to play guitar because of these guys, which is an integral part of my process when it comes to creating art work.
Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elvis, and James Dean and more modern icons like Amy Winehouse, Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon …. How do you choose your subjects?
All muses to me at different times in my life or admiration or sometimes zero personal attachments as I’ve found that attachment to be a strange dynamic in our culture. That strange latching on to a person and speaking on behalf of a person that never knew you existed. That strange room someone has in there house with nothing but wall to wall memorabilia mounted and dangling. I’ve often selected people based off the chisel of the chin or the swoop of a nose. Sometimes I don’t really see an iconic person but someone with imperfect skin or different sized nostrils. Often times after staring at an iconic face for hours as I’m finishing a piece I just see a person like you or myself. Someone who had a life of their own full of good times and bad.
You have a very unique aesthetic fusing classic pop icons with a modern photo manipulation process in your 'Shopped Tattoo' series. How did you come up with the concept?
I’d say that I owe a lot of my aesthetic to Mike Giant and Dr. Lakra both incredible artists known for applying tattoos in the literal sense but also within their own illustrations and mixed medias. I also saw myself tattooing in my early twenties so I would draw and paint American traditional flash and apply them to magazines for years. What kicked it over to Photoshop was a knee injury and nothing but time. I didn’t understand Photoshop at all but I wanted to create these images with a more realistic look also something that had been done via on-line Photoshop contests as well other artist around this time figuring out the process. I just happened to have a LOT of time on my hands so within the first month I created over a 100 with reckless abandon. I say so because I was taking imagery from contemporary photographers and tattoo artists some of which contacted me and asked me to stop. I was schooled in how to select my imagery with respect which was necessary.
What inspires you?
As dark as this may sound I’m very much inspired by seeing the world navigate its way through what appears to be a spiritual war. This is a very critical time in history when man and woman will decide the fate of our journey on this planet as physical beings. I see so much fear & pain and suffering some of which is necessary on a philosophical level but I also see so much hope and love and courage. I stand behind love and have battled so much with my own demons to find a place of peace. The idea of embedding this into my work and spreading the energy of love has become paramount in my endeavors as an artist. Over money or recognition any day.
Do you have a piece you are most proud of?
Boris Karloff on the set of Frankenstein in the 1930s.
Is there someone in particular you would like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to opportunity to collaborate with Allan Tannenbaum more which to me is such a huge, huge honor. Mentioning anyone more feels greedy in my opinion. I’ve been blessed thus far I’d prefer to keep this world of collaborations organic as can be.
Top 3 albums you can’t live without?
Fences - Failure Sculptures
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd
Modest Mouse - Lonesome Crowded West
Thank you Cheyenne Randall A.K.A. Indiangiver for chatting with us!
We truly appreciate your work and integrity.