"I ﬁrst started painting on poster board to illustrate songs for use as visual aids on stage. But when lots of people asked if they could have them, I was encouraged to branch out. I feel like I paint like a little kid. And for the same reasons—because it’s fun. My skill level is like that of a kid, I think. Mostly I paint symbolic ﬁgures in action to convey some sort of humor and poetry.
The sensation of painting is different from playing music, but it’s hard to describe. The visual feedback is magical, spreading colors where there was blankness is thrilling to me. Also, I ﬁnd painting is a kind of muse re-setter. If I’m uninspired, I can sketch out a ﬁgure with a sword or ﬁshing rod in its hand and suddenly, my creative spark is clicking again. And where sometimes the pressure to write heavy, moving songs can be stiﬂing, painting is free and exhilarating."
In an interview for New Stateman, Vic was asked about art and his take on it.
Does art make a difference? At the very least it makes a huge difference to the artist. But rock'n'roll changed the world - so did hip-hop.
Should politics and art mix? Politics and art are mixed. Art developed and exists as it does today because of political patronage. From cave paintings and Stone Age Venus figurines to classical architecture, Byzantine church mosaics, Renaissance masterpieces and the entire National Portrait Gallery . . . it's all political propaganda. Then there is art as populism: Guernica, Goya, Mark Twain, Bob Dylan's "Masters of War", M*A*S*H. In the beginning, rock'n'roll was by its very nature political, populist propaganda.
Does money corrupt an artist? Not if they are rich already. And frankly, sometimes when money and artists mix, great things happen. Of course, a hungry artist is very different from a sated one.
Is your work for the many or for the few? Um, have you ever heard my music? I would say 20 years of doing my thing has proven it's for the few, no matter what be my wishes or pretensions, ha!
Which artist do you most admire? To write it down seems strange and I tried hard for a long time, especially in the beginning, to resist his charms, but dammit, I think Basquiat is my favourite painter.
|Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Self Portrait", 1982|
| Detail from a 1998 German documentary on Vic's artwork entitled |
"Songs, Stories and Pictures."
Vic's art is playful, yet very engaging. He may not have taken himself seriously as an artist, but his work stands up surprisingly well, and his creativity is quite advanced. His paintings are far more involved than his drawings, understandably, yet both still feel like they come from the same hand. I really with that there were more representations of Vic's creative outlets, because I am fascinated by his view of life.
|"Dance", Oil on Canvas|
|'Happy Hippy Chick in the Morning'- Marker on poster board.|
And here are examples of some of Vic's commercial work.
|'Watching the Sleeping Man' 7" single A-Side|
|Watching the Sleeping Man' 7" single B-Side|
|Cover for the 'Howl- A Farewell Compilation of Unreleased Song' vinyl which included a song by Vic, and also a song by his Grandfather 'Sleepy' Carter.|
|Alternate Cover for 'What Another Man Spills' by Lambchop|
|'The Salesman and Bernadette', 1998|
|"Skitter on Take-Off" cover, 2009|
"This song is called Philip Guston. I love this painter. All the lyrics...you see I think Pitchfork accused this song of being...stupid. All the lyrics come from Phillip Guston. Either words on his paintings or titles of songs. It's a heavy song - they're fucking idiots."
"...the lyrics of "Philip Guston" are quite minimal, serving as a bit of seasoning for a broken-down violin and guitar jam."
|"Untitled (Cherries)", 1980|
|"Bad Habit", 1970|