Paintallica was formed in 2004 by a group of graduate students at the University of Iowa, who joined together to seek a more vigorous approach to art-making and criticism. Beginning with brutally honest critiques and all night drinking and art-making sessions, Paintallica has evolved into a large group of artist friends who strive to create provocative authentic art. Our installations reflect the energy and struggle of the collaborative process and express our interest in humor, politics and popular culture. Paintallica’s goal is to make ambitious art while remaining honest to our blue-collar flyover state roots and our healthy disdain for New York-centric corporate and academic influences.
Our process is a mixture of mud wrestling and military deployment. We begin by sitting around a large table making drawings and passing them back and forth to create a communal pool of ideas. These drawings inform how we approach each new project and ensure that our content arises organically rather than strategically. They keep us focused on the unexpected meaning created by uniting individual voices and allow us to quickly explore a wide swath of contemporary culture. Like the Dadaist, our realm is a mixture of taboo, mundane, clumsy, deft and absurd that we feel allows us to best capture the mood of our times.
Paintallica installations are improvised and largely site specific. They emerge from a few days and nights of intense work. This short time frame encourages high energy and raw intuition. The space becomes an arena were criticism is carried out with paint bushes and chainsaws and the work is built through a brutal processes of creation, destruction and rejuvenation. We often work in public and our interaction with the audience and at times audience participation are important elements that contribute to Paintallica’s rowdy carnival atmosphere. Our dream is to make serious art that critiques our current cultural malaise with irreverence and humor.