Being the radical dude that he is, Dima took some time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions about the upcoming show. Thanks, Dima. You rule! So, here we go...
What is the origin of “Fuck You I’m Batman?”
Around 2007 I started drawing Batman in my sketchbook while doodling. He kind of became a go-to subject when I was at a loss for something to draw. One time I drew one and wrote "fuck you I'm Batman" underneath and thought it was funny. So I turned the idea into a design that my buddy Greg Barris and I use as part of our sticker campaign around NY and LA. It grew from there into tshirts and different versions of the sticker. It kinda died down for us in the last few years. In the last few months I started drawing batman again in my sketchbook when doodling and I kept going with it. So that set off a brain storm to make it a show, the show that Fuck You I'm Batman never got, and it would be fun to relaunch the shirts, make an updated version of the sticker and do a bunch of small paintings.
You did an insane amount of paintings for this show, all with a different looking Batman. Do you consider all of them distinct characters or different versions of the same dude?
I'm not sure what they are. I'm not sure what kind of narrative they exist in. I think they're a little bit of both, if that makes any sense. It's in the same sense that we've grown up with several different versions ofBatman, from comic books, tv shows, movies, video games, etc... there is no one definitive Batman. All are different versions of the same trope. The story is often rewritten, the design of him changes frequently, you can't point to one batman and say that's him. So I think these are kind of in the same realm as that idea, but more in the microcosm of my world. Maybe each one is it's own mini reboot of the same character.
Did you approach this project differently than you might for a show with a less defined theme?
It's a very different show for me then what I usually do. for one, this is a mass volume of small pieces. This was partly an exercise in working on a smaller scale. I've started doing smaller pieces in the past year, since I started to show with CCM actually, and i wanted to get better at it. What better way than to assigned an obscene amount of works to produce? Also since theres a very defined theme for the show it was easy to just settle in and just have fun with redesigning ol' bat. It wasn't that much different then when I was just doodling him. It was just to a bigger scale, and more defined form. Plus since Batman has such a rich history it was easy to play around with a lot of his familiar tropes. It was fun to plug all of them into my style.
It has been almost exactly a year since your first show with us. Do you feel like your work has changed since then?
Most definitely. I had a major shift in the way i work with my first show at CCM. I always try to keep evolving and keep things moving, but the last year has been a pretty significant change. I'm excited about what has happened so far and I'm stoked on where it will go.
What is the first thing you remember drawing obsessively as a kid?
I know I used to draw Garfield a lot as a kid. I had a Garfield stuffed animal, and I noticed a lot of my drawings of him are in the same pose as my toy, so I think I drew him from life haha. Come to think of it I still draw animals sitting in the same position. I literally just realized that right now... When I was 10-12 I drew the Ninja Turtle a lot, and my early teens is when I got into metal so I drew a lot of skulls and evil shit.
Batman has been revamped so many times in comics and movies. Do you have a favorite version?
I really like the Lego Batman in the Lego Movie. Will Arnett as Batman makes all the sense to me. But in all seriousness, I don't really have a favorite. I really loved the Dark Knight movies, despite whatever flaws people have picked them apart for, it was a great tone for the character, and the movies were so much fun to watch over and over. I remain optimistic about Affleck.
Do you think there is a big difference between a super hero and a vigilante?
I feel like when you call some one a "super hero" you're implying that they have a super power, like superman or spider-man. Vigilante is a human being without extraordinary powers. They just have to will to do it.
If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
Flight would be fun, though i don't know what sense that makes since i'm not a big fan of heights. Though maybe if I had the gift of flight I would no longer contextualize height with danger since up and down would be not that much different then the way I perceive left and right or front and back.
Do you think you will ever be done with the “Fuck You I’m Batman” concept?
I think I got a lot of it out of my system this go around. But never say never. Unless DC says never... then I'll probably stop for good.
If you could do any art project, no matter how big or expensive, what would you do?
I would to build a gaint Lil' Goof pyramid on the moon. I would settle on building it on Earth too... I guess...
We still have one Lil' Goof available online! Sweet!
We will be printing and releasing special edition "Fuck You I'm Batman" giclee prints the night of the opening, so stay tuned!
We are also super stoked to have some awesome "Fuck You I'm Batman" silkscreened t-shirts, available in red, purple and black!
To see more of Dima's astounding art, check out his website and instagram!
Opening Event Friday December 12th
7pm to 11pm
Permalink | Cotton Candy Machine, New Releases, Events, Toys, Parties, Mindless Entertainment, Silly Cuteness, Art, Openings, In Store