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Coveted Interviews

Inspiration: Zefrey Throwell

Zefrey Throwell is my friend. It’s a delight to know his quirky demeanor… and wicked sense of humor! Also, it’s so inpiring to see him at work, which is all the time, you can almost see the wheels turning, gathering information, filing away compositions in ZefreyVision (I made that up, but that’s what I see). He just keeps doing what he does, he owns it, and in return he lives a life he’s always wanted. By seeing that happen, it makes it possible for me to think to myself, ‘I can do that too… in my own way’. And that’s a cool thing. Zefrey has a new series of paintings that he’s exhibiting called The Pelican of Baffin Island. And that’s what we’re going to talk about!
The Coveted: Can you explain to us, the inspiration behind the Pelican of Baffin Island?
Zefrey Throwell: Let me first give a brief summary of what The Pelican of Baffin Island is and then I’ll give a little insight into the beginnings of it.
The Pelican of Baffin Island is an illustrated mythical narrative.
It is a story of the clash between a large ominous Pelican and the Rabbit Youth, who are the inhabitants of a remote northeastern Canadian island…. (there is more here….)
Now as to the origin of this twisted thriller…
I can honestly tell you that it came to me piece meal as I went about my daily life, a detail here, a detail there. The main inspiration was a deep respect and love for the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and consequently a feeling that modern America had lost it’s sense of the dark and macabre. Fairy tales today seem to have lost their punch, with Disney endings having come to be accepted as the standard. I feel that the U.S. has drifted away from a natural sense of mortality and hence beauty.

TC: At what point in your life did you realize you were an artist?
ZT: Hmmmmm…. I would say that I was about 19 years old.
I was hanging out with my exgirlfriend and she was an oil painter (which I thought was bullshit up until then). She was working on a portrait in her garage and she said that I ought to try out painting. I was sceptical at best because I didn’t consider painting to be very punk rock, but I picked up an old toilet seat cover and gave it a whirl. I fucking loved it! I was instantaneously hooked. I suppose that’s where I noticed the first true spark.

TC: What do you consider your most creative piece? How long did it take to complete? How did you feel about it?
ZT: My most creative piece (in my opinion) is a actually a movie I made called
“Maidenhead Voyage Into Dark Waters”.
You can watch the trailer here:

This is a movie of 30 people recounting how they lost their virginity. It’s completely mesmerizing. I love it.
It took me about 2 months to complete and I smile every time I think about it. This secret moment (for most) is something so tender and sacred that it’s impossible to take your eyes off it.

TC: What inspires you?
-John Singer Sargent (artist)
-Xiu Xiu (band)
-Berin Golonu (girlfriend)
-Sam Gould (Red76)
-LeE Montgomery (Neighborhood Public Radio)
-Matt Greene (artist)
-Kathe Kollwitz (artist)
-Turkey sandwiches (food)
-Screaming children on a playground or on the street (for real)
-Charles Mingus (musician)
-Larry Rinder (curator)
-Europe (continent)
-Africa (continent)
-Burnt orange (color)
-Sex (in all it’s beautiful and varied plumage)

TC: Who is your hero?
ZT:My hero is god. Not the nancy-nancy god of christianity or buddhism or any other religion, but rather the motherfucker who built all of this stunningly original and insanely crafty stuff you see/hear/taste/smell/feel all around you. Every single detail is perfect and for that, god is my hero.
TC: Where can we find you?
ZT:You can usually find me South of Market [San Francisco], but I will be traveling through Europe for shows this coming June and July, so I shan’t be around SF for awhile (hooray!).
On the World Wide Web I can be located in a few places:

-My website is:

-I have a radio show called Frank Prattle:

I am part of 3 fucking amazing collectives:

-Neighborhood Public Radio (Community radio project)

-Thin Ice Collective (8 artists mostly making flat work)

-Red76 (Social practice gurus)

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One comment for “Inspiration: Zefrey Throwell”

  1. Great interview, and effing incredible art. I am so in love with the first painting you showed.

    Posted by High Fashion Girl | April 27, 2007, 5:17 pm

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