Halloween Special: Kuato Ubiq
In the week leading up to October 31st, we will be sharing the bone-chilling work of one of our favourite freaky artists, alongside a hair-raisingly festive little interview! Stay-tuned!
Welcome to the beautiful Xerox hellscape that is Kuato Ubiq’s work. It’s an aesthetic born from years of entanglement with the NYC punk scene (who could imagine a more sinister existence?), his visual work expertly shifting from show fliers to nihilistic futuristic paintings, to freaky animations. Combining collage and a mastery of colour, the artist reconstructs faces in agony. His work feels lobotomized. Having installed a “liberated” newspaper box on the street, Ubiq dispenses his creepy zines and fliers for free to innocent pedestrians. There is a healthy pessimism perceived in Ubiq’s work, a future world dripping in toxic waste and mind control, not too far from the purgatory we’re living. – Claire Milbrath
Is your work intended to induce fear?
Any take-away someone gets from the images I make is valid in some regard. I usually have specific ideas that drive them, but don’t want to restrict the reading of them. That being said some have stronger intentions than others. Images are inherently loaded and weaponized – there is something scary about that.
What are you most afraid of?
Losing loved ones.
What was your most memorable Halloween experience/costume?
My friend Curtis is really good at halloween and got me into making latex masks.
What is your favourite horror movie and why?
I think theres plenty of horror happening to people today outside of movies. That said I don’t know if I have a single favourite. I recently saw ‘Far From Vietnam’ a documentary with segments from 7 different french film makers on the Vietnam war at that point (’67). Seeing long takes of Wall Street bankers laughing and screaming ‘Bomb Hanoi’; seeing children dismantling cluster bombs – all scary stuff.
As a kid I was frightened by the spa scene in the ’78 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers
. I’ve been thinking about that movie recently. The scene towards the end where the dog with the human head runs out into the crowd is pretty good.
What possesses you to create?
I think it’s a way to process the world we are stuck in. A way to ‘feel’ some sense of autonomy in an increasingly restrictive environment.
Do you believe in ghosts?
No, although I did grow up in a town that mined a sacred Native American ritual site, and then the dumped radioactive waste on their burial grounds.
If you were a monster what kind of monster would you be?
Are we not already?