Sci-fi surrealism, musclebound cheeseburger monsters and aliens, aliens, aliens are just a few of the illustration subjects you'll find when you browse the library of Adam Roth. Please enjoy this session of 9.5 Questions.
1 - There is a prevalent sci-fi theme to much of your art, where does this type of inspiration come from?
I was born in 1982, that great year for sci-fi movies. I had a lot of crazy surgeries up until I was 7 and my parents - for better or worse - let me rent all the weirdo VHS I wanted so I wouldn't focus on the real-life body horror that was happening. Also, I think absorbing the aesthetic of 1980s medical equipment during my hospital time factored into it somehow. It's pretty far out looking - especially when you're new to the world!
2 - What 80's toy, movie or moment do you enjoy the most?
Good question. The Carbonite freezing scene in Empire Strikes Back left a big imprint on me. As a kid I was - and still am - fascinated by the idea of forced hibernation and eventual revival. Maybe it had something to do with the horror or being anesthetized and put to sleep for surgery. That was always really scary for me - what if I didn't wake up? I used to stage freezing scenes in my bathroom sink with tupperware beneath the faucet, the "prisoner" was lowered in and then frozen overnight. There'd of course be a thawing scenario the next day.
3 - What artists are you really digging right now (living artists)?
4 - If you could be an Avenger, Master of the Universe, or TMNT which genre and specific character would you choose?
Modulok from Masters of the Universe! So many body configuration options, man!
5 - Burgers appear in your art quite often...what's up with that? What makes the perfect burger? Favorite toppings, etc...
You know, the interesting this is... I don't even like burgers that much. I just think they're really cool looking. There are so many color combinations and kinds of things you can put in it. It's just endless textures and shapes you can play with. Also, McDonaldland. Something about the H.R. Pufnstuff'ishness of that world always appealed to me.
6 - You're on a boat with Eddie Vedder (with ukulele), Pamela Anderson (circa 95) and Albert Einstein. Each begins to fall and all are within reach but you can save only one. You are within sight of a deserted island where you know you will never be found. The other two who fall off will be instantly eaten by sharks. Who do you save? Why?
Albert Einstein, man! I'm confident he could devise a plan to get us back to civilization. Though '95 Pamela Anderson would be an effective flotation device.
7 - Do you have any professional training in art or are you self taught? What led you to this career?
I've been drawing pretty much my whole life. I've had classes here and there, took a helpful printmaking course in college, but most of my technique I've developed through a combination of caffeine, psychedelics, and just playing around with art supplies.
8 - What do you fear more the impending singularity, alien invasion or food poisoning?
Food poisoning, man. My stomach is messed up.
9 - Where are you currently drawing the most artistic inspiration from?
I'm constantly accumulating action figures, and I definitely draw inspiration from 'em (literally and figuratively). During that torrential, surgery-filled early period of my life, my parents were very generous with buying me toys. After I'd come home from a procedure, there'd be toys waiting for me. I think that created an inextricable association between toys, escapism, and the happy place beyond the gates of suffering.
9.5 - Your parents inform you that all this time _____________________________ is actually Axl Rose. How do you feel about that?
Answer: Doesn't really surprise me that Banksy is Axl Rose, to be honest.
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