John Porcellino on art

A few quotes from a 2018 interview in The Comics Journal with John Porcellino on art, zines, and the internet:

“I’ve always been attracted to art — whether it was painting, writing, music, film — that was spare, that emphasized the gaps in things, the empty spaces. Even like punk rock — it’s ‘three chords and the truth,’ right? You break things down to their essence, to see what’s really there below all the layers of thinking or artifice, or simply unnecessary stuff. It’s getting to the heart of the matter in an aesthetic way. So I think it’s natural that my own art began to take that route. It wasn’t anything I thought about consciously at the time, it was just that was felt ‘right’ to me was evolving.”


“You know, I thought about it the other day. Through all the ups and downs of life — zines have never let me down. I mean there are disappointments like anything, but those fundamental, core principles of the zine world (and its grandma, punk) are a source of strength I can turn to again and again, and which I do turn to again and again. You’re never going to tell me that creating an open, inclusive, thoughtful, curious, bold community is anything but a good thing. It’s a true source of positivity in a heartbreakingly negative world.”


“When you make art, you have certain intentions, certain aspirations, but everybody knows — once you put that artwork out into the world different people will have different reactions. Some people will like it, some people will hate it. Over time I’ve learned to go with my instincts. I put these things out into the world with the hope that in some small way they’ll have a positive impact on somebody, somewhere.”


“Part of me loves the internet. As an obsessively curious person, the amount of information available within seconds is exhilarating. And as an artist that has made his living communicating the small things in life, being able to post and share little ideas, stupid non-sequiturs, cute photos, rapidly, is right up my alley. But I think we’re all finding that there’s something unpleasant about the internet. It’s good for some things but not for others. Maybe it’s the form, maybe it’s the simple physical fact that we’re staring into glowing electronic screens all day. But for all its benefits, there’s something sick about it too. People are addicted to it. And that addiction is being exploited by people who sure don’t have our best interests in mind.”

— (via)