Rene Capone profile
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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in z.com. [00:00:05] I'm Renee, we're in San Francisco, in my little hobbit hole. And there are 20 paintings around me somewhere from the future. from the past, I started making artwork pretty seriously, after I left college, and I ran away from New York City, screaming bad place. I just got really lucky and sold a lot artwork, and kind of got comfortable in San Francisco and, and just kept doing that and doing that for years and years. So it's and it's like, so last year, I had a motorcycle accident. I shattered my collarbone. And I because I'm an extreme human being. And I saw I was doubling up on Percocet. Not a good thing to do. So I was laying in bed on drugs and prescription Thank you. And I came up with this story about boy has a giant hedgehog on top of his head. And I think somehow just laying there injured, you know, just trying to get better, I was able to kind of drift off into this parallel universe that somehow had to do with me. But it took me a long time to figure out why and how and actually ended up having because psychotherapy because of it. It's true. [00:01:21] And then out of that came [00:01:24] short story I wrote with a friend of mine, he just he kind of took the way I talked and put it into words, which was so nice of him. So then I started illustrating it. And that took about a year. And then I just decided they had to be a comic book because of the elements in the book, mom a visual person, so they can only be explained visually. So I have to drive everything. So because no one will understand what's inside my head if I don't draw it. So I was initially afraid of all the work. Then when I started to do what I realized it was so much fun. And it's kinda like making a movie is angles and shots. And there's a narrative and you have to make it flow, right. So um, so the beginning, I've only three pages done. But I'm pretty serious will be done soon. [00:02:08] So who's of I'm dead. [00:02:11] It's kind of like a huge love letter to any little gay boy who had to run away from home. And I'll probably say that right in the beginning, if you read the story, you'll you'll you'll understand why it's all about. So that boys who had to leave awful circumstances to find out who they were. And they come to San Francisco and live in Golden Gate Park and interact with each other. And in the end, hopefully it have some sort of meaning for that little kid who needs to figure out what he's doing. So I kind of want I'm, in a way, I think I'm kind of making it for myself when I was younger. And then by doing that, I'll be able to somehow affect somebody's life, maybe make them realize that they don't have to live where they're living? Or have to what up with what people are doing to them, that they can be something else. [00:03:04] Can you talk a wee bit more about it. [00:03:07] One of the ways that I remember escaping was to go buy comic books for a lot cheaper back then, and draw from the pages, which is kind of how I learned to draw people. So it's very hard for me to talk about what happened when I was a kid, because it's terribly unfortunate. So that's why I think I'm making it for myself, when I was that age, the beginning of the story is my story, the first, probably four pages of it, and then it becomes crazy land after that. It's about a boy who unfortunately has to live in a basement and wakes up one day and releases and have to put up with it anymore. And he crawls out the window and doesn't go home. That's the story. [00:03:50] What age [00:03:52] 14. [00:03:55] So it could kind of you know, comes from a very personal place. So it's very important to me. So, so important to me, because I know there are so many gay boys that go through that. And if there was something that could help them make just feel a little bit better. And if I somehow could do that for somebody else, I would feel better. [00:04:16] So is it important to you to have a massive audience? Or are you just happy with, you know, like one? [00:04:23] Well, I could say, [00:04:25] I'm very spoiled, and a lot of people have always been curious about what I do. And I've been generous enough to purchase them and keep them and all that sort of thing. So if I were to, you know, if I never sold anything, I again, I probably would be a little offended. But it's more important that I follow my instincts creatively, I have a pretty good feeling I have kind of a grasp on what a gay boy might want to read if he was coming of age and trying to figure out who he was. So think it'll be okay. [00:05:03] Can you talk a wee bit about just the development from from these quite large paintings here to the comic? [00:05:11] Well, I started that large, cuz that's how I draw. So I can use my hand to the scalability. And then I can shrink it down later. But so so how I kind of figured out the elements and what it all meant kind of created them like they were fine art paintings, even though they were comic book based. So I thought the imagery I had to kind of work it out, and fine art painting, you can kind of like process images and work them and rework them and figure out what they are so few that I came up with the swords and the clocks. And so our main character is obsessed with telling time, but he doesn't know how to steal his clocks from everybody around the park and puts them in his little treehouse. And he can't read these books. So through the paintings, I was able to come up with the clocks and the books and draw them and redraw them and come up with the swords to I think I wanted them to be fine art paintings. And I realized that to reach the people I really want to reach it has to be in a format that is cheap and available. Not everybody can afford to buy a big painting. And I think the people that I think most care about people that can't buy a large painting, that doesn't mean people who can buy large painting should stop. But I'm most concerned with the emotions of those boys that you know, they don't have a lot of money. So to get them to read it. And to touch them, I have asked to be something they can go by for you know, like four bucks, five bucks, whatever it is. [00:06:46] Have you had any feedback from that audience? [00:06:49] Yeah, they mostly love it. And oddly enough, for some reason I, Asian women love it a whole lot. There's this whole subculture called the way stems from Japan. And when I was first making the comic book, well, first making the paintings about the comic book, I looked at a lot of the comic books, and they're all really high drama, emotional stories about gay boys on love, that are made by women, for women in Japan. So somehow, [00:07:20] I get emails from Asia girls love it. [00:07:24] I was thinking more about that kind of target audience that you were thinking of young men, too. [00:07:31] But I haven't gotten to the ones that I'm really trying to get to yet. And mostly just reaching all the boys that I always have before. actually want to go more back in time to that emotional place when you're kind of growing up? [00:07:44] Is it hard for you to kind of draw this stuff when it has got such a deep impact? Personally, [00:07:51] I think if I didn't care about it, it wouldn't look so good. [00:07:55] resonates that I've been there and then I made it, then that's mostly what I care about. [00:08:02] So can we talk a wee bit about your earlier work? [00:08:05] Well, I think I, I always drew graphically, I always tried, I strive to draw people the best that I could for a long time to prove myself that I could do it. So I think it all was preparation for being able to scale everything down to a more con cookie style, I don't think I could be able to draw the people that I'm drawing this comic book if I hadn't drawn or going out of my way to try to draw the figure the way that is in real life. But then again, you know, I never quite did it. Right. So it's a very complicated, very graphic, I always drew with lots of shadows that were very dark, and then very light. I think it's because I learned to draw people from looking at Comic books when I was younger. If I look at all the old ones, they kind of look like all the boys before they get to the park. So all the boys before they quite, you know kind of teeter off the insane block all the same people. I think I've been drawing the same day story over and over and over and over for past eight years. [00:09:05] And will not ever be finished. I hope not. [00:09:10] I'd like to finish, I'd like to have a finished product. But I don't want to finish the idea and the story. Stop having the idea, then there's quite a few do. [00:09:22] Does that ever scheme. [00:09:25] Now. I mean, occasionally I don't have the energy to do something. But it always comes back, I always make something you probably know this, you know the feeling I'm sure you take photographs, you probably just thought inspired sometimes. But eventually it comes around, you have something else to say or to do? [00:09:44] Well, I find actually breaks I you know, like a minute, for instance, you know, I'm photographing a couple of models in a very short space of time, then I just don't, I don't see it. There has to be that kind of freshness and kind of [00:09:57] has to be unique the subject matter each time. Even if it is a human being [00:10:03] of these, these real, I mean, these real models, or [00:10:08] one of my absolute favorite thing to do. And you saw them, as you commented, when you walked from my apartment is to steal images from old 70s magazines or porn 70s magazines, [00:10:17] like frogs, and [00:10:19] chops and robbers. It's a classic and it was $15 and 1978. You're buying it for the ad? I am. They just changed their heads and have all these bodies to work with. And they're actually quite nice photos. They're a little bit nicer than the stuff that's made today. [00:10:37] So what's your favorite dementia? [00:10:39] That's impossible to say. So probably always the one that I just finished. And then if I look back, and then I find like a real favorites, but zebra boys my favorite at the moment, because I think he's really has intense eyes and is really beautiful. And he's escaping, so anybody escaping looks really intense. You know, it's like, try to put these little child elements even though it's kind of dark. And it's kind of strange. I try to throw something from childhood in it that can be kind of cute. It's like a release almost. [00:11:12] Or like with some black and white wall here [00:11:15] with some very peaceful. Yep, that system relaxing and taking a nap. He's watching over kitty kitty says boyfriend. Yeah, it's a little overwhelming when I'm sitting here and I'm looking at it and you're making me talk about it. It's better when it's contained in the drawers. [00:11:33] Talk about that kind of overpowering feeling. [00:11:36] It can be very frustrating. Because [00:11:40] the idea in your head is so strong and so big and so powerful. And you can't physically Make it fast enough kind of can be very overwhelming. You know, your hands can only do so much and your body can only do so much. I'm not very good at talking about myself. Why is that an effort for you because he's shut up at my door. Because I'm forced to think about the overwhelming things in my head. And sometimes I'd rather just peacefully make stuff and think it's like the same thing about like reading an artist statement, it's really difficult to do, it's like you just don't really want to. Sometimes it's better just to be fun to think about what it is that you're being, I'd rather just be it. [00:12:26] So do you do who paint without your glasses. [00:12:29] I'm sure I've done them before. But now and it's not like something I go out of my way to do or anything like that. Usually, I'm really, really up close and really intense about looking at every little inch. Making sure everything's perfect. Little obsessive when it comes to it, I will like to stay there until it's right. [00:12:48] So ultimately, things can be wrong. But I know some people just are never satisfied with with the final output. [00:12:57] Well, I remember, my perfect, there's an article talking about that there were artists that would go even to museums and like touch up your own paintings and stuff like that. I totally appreciate that. But if it's done when I know a piece, like kind of in cases, all the emotions that it's supposed to, and it keeps them there than I know it's done. So once I reach that point, I don't want anything to do with it anymore. Because it's like breaking China or something you just don't want to touch it. So you can you know, you can fuck up an entire painting just with like, one stroke, and the whole thing's ruined. So if you reach the point where it feels right to stop. [00:13:39] Do you ever discard paintings? [00:13:41] Yes, but you won't ever see them? [00:13:44] Did you still hold on to them? Maybe for a time. And then I or I turn it over and do something else. Yeah, I've destroyed a few of them. In fact, my, my neighbor next to me was telling me he used to go through my garbage can I have no idea why cuz I mean, I would shred them pretty much, and even pull them out and like, look at them and take them to his apartment, which ultimately, I think that makes him creepy. But yeah, I throw it away if I think it's bad. But I I don't think I destroyed that anything's though, I try to be pretty, I want to say calculated. But I really do think about it before I started. I think some artists probably approach it from a very free standpoint, like, I'm just going to create something. But I have to know what I'm going to do before I do it, I have to have a very concrete idea. [00:14:34] And how those ideas come. [00:14:36] I always like stories and narratives and things that have a point or a message. So as long as as long as I have somebody that going through my head, I can usually come up with images to go along with it. I think I'm probably more of an illustrator. Yeah, I couldn't I understand the whole, like, just make something. But I think for me to make something has to be somehow grounded in reality. Like it has to come from an emotional point that is real. In the time that we live. I really love the imagery in the comic book. I love how romantic it is. I love the stories between all the boys. I like this. It's just unashamed to be gay from right at the starting gate. It's not even about being gay at all. But all the boys are going to be gay. [00:15:29] I can you briefly touch on? What's the organization as a visual aid? And how does that? How does it relate to [00:15:38] it's a really fantastic organization that started out in the 80s. I'm the one goal to help artists produce artwork that have life threatening illness to I think promote their health and their awareness of their existence. And just to give them something to feel good about. So I guess how many years later now, they're still doing that. And they're just a bigger organization. And they just they're very, very supportive of have a section of the community that is very large, the gay community. And they support people with HIV. And I think they do now people who have are cancer survivors. So if you're an artist, and you kind of have to get over that, that block that stumbling block, they give you money, money to buy art supplies, and then they keep a slide registry and they [00:16:34] they're just kind of look out for us a little bit. [00:16:37] So how long have you been involved with it? [00:16:39] For years? [00:16:42] They weren't as big as when I joined and now I know that there are there are organizations a lot bigger, almost more serious. Like Like they they can pull strings now. Like they have they have some muscle behind them. But I think it always was and always has been organizations sole purpose was to make people feel better about creating something and having it be seen. It's pretty rare. [00:17:07] Do you think it works? [00:17:10] Yeah, there were times when [00:17:13] I didn't particularly feel like doing much of anything because I thought I was gonna die or something. So being able to make our work, you know, kind of helped me get over it and get on with my life.
This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.