Bob Dobâ€™s paintings are a reflection of Bob Dob. Wait, that statement may not be correct. Bob Dob likes film noir, but in the traditional way, not the Hilary Swank, Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson and Aaron Eckhart way, though. â€œThey changed the story so much I didn’t know what to expect anymore. I didn’t finish the movie, it was that bad,â€ says Bob Dob.
Maybe his affection for film noir explains why his paints are often filled with shady characters that are smoking cigarettes and cigars. But Bob Dob doesnâ€™t like smoking. â€œI don’t want the government to come in and pass laws telling businesses they can’t allow smoking. Personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant or bar that allowed smoking,â€ he says.
Recently, Bob Dob released his toy figure, Luey, with STRANGEco and had a solo art show in Los Angeles called Where Crows Die.
â€œI’ve said this before: I love adding the darker side of human nature in my work and film noir is a great source of inspiration.â€
Format: Recently, you teamed up with STRANGEco to release Luey, a vinyl figure series. How did this opportunity materialize and why is STRANGEco a good partner for you?
Bob Dob: I met them through my friend, artist Greg Simkins before Comic Con 2006. I liked the toys they were doing and they were great people. Very nice.
Format: Luey is part of Satan’s army and it is interesting that Luey will get drunk off of milk. Why milk, wouldn’t a bottle of gutter whiskey be more appropriate?
Dob: I think, subconsciously, I came up with milk, because my son is allergic to it. I guess milk can be this bad thing so it’s fitting that Satan’s minions get drunk from it.
Format: Several illustrators and painters are taken advantage of by not receiving the payment their work is worth. In your opinion, how can artists overcome cheap payment standards?
Dob: In my opinion all artists have to pay their dues. I did some low paying jobs right out of school, but I worked hard and eventually made a small name for myself. I’m very fortunate, because I’m now considered for some high paying jobs. I currently have an agent who handles the money negotiating. She’s great.
Format: Several of your pieces have the characters smoking cigarettes – Luey is, too – but in a previous interview you mention that smoking annoys you. In 2007, it is nearly impossible to smoke a cigarette in public. Do you think anti-smoking initiatives have extended their purpose by stomping out public smoking?
Dob: Yes I feel it has extended its purpose. The no smoking in bars and restaurants is not right, in my opinion. It should be the owner of the establishmentâ€™s decision on whether to allow smoking or not. In turn, the consumer can choose whether or not they want to go into that establishment. I don’t want the government to come in and pass laws telling businesses they can’t allow smoking. Personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant or bar that allowed smoking.
Format: GelaSkins used Rough Night Out for their iPod covers. What other commercial medium would you enjoy seeing your work on?
Dob: Maybe skateboards and clothing.
Format: If a tobacco company approached you to illustrate their product, would you?
Dob: Depends on how they use my artwork.
Format: In Election 2008, do you predict a female, an African-American or a Republican to be President?
Dob: It’s all up in the air. A lot of things are in play.
Format: In a past interview, you say you enjoy James Ellroy. In your opinion, did the film, The Black Dahlia, live up to the novel?
Dob: I felt the movie was horrible. They changed the story so much I didn’t know what to expect anymore. I didn’t finish the movie, it was that bad. L.A Confidential was by far a better adaption of one of James Ellroy’s books.
Format: Does film noir find its way into your art?
Dob: I love film noir. Sunset Blvd, Touch of Evil, Chinatown, The Big Combo and Blade Runner. I’ve said this before: I love adding the darker side of human nature in my work and film noir is a great source of inspiration.
Format: Recently, your show, Where Crows Die, took place. You’ve done shows with other artists before and one other official solo show. Do you feel more pressure being the only artists and how did this event turn out?
Dob: Being the only artist is what my goal was. It’s less competitive. The Where Crows Die show was very nice. I had a great time talking with people that were interested in my art. It was very humbling.
Format: You released a book with Murphy Marketplace that has a collection of your paintings. How did you choose what paintings would be in the book?
Dob: I left that up to Mark Murphy. He has a great eye for book design. I completely trusted him. If I wanted a painting to be in the book he wouldn’t have had a problem though.
Format: Some of your paintings and illustrations use popular imagery: Conan O’Brien, Mario and Luigi, and Pinocchio. Have you encountered any legal action or letters from people, companies or organizations that do not appreciate your parody?
Dob: Not yet. Knock on wood.
Format: Do you feel that your creativity has changed since you became a father?
Dob: Absolutely. My son is becoming my greatest inspiration. He’s very mischievous for only being 14 months.
Format: Please explain what La Luz de Jesus Gallery is to Los Angeles and what it has done for your career.
Dob: The owner of La Luz De Jesus is Billy Shire. I’m very new to this art movement, but in my opinion he was the first to recognize it. He’s been very good to me and has given me great exposure. It’s kind of a world famous gallery. Now he has the Billy Shire Fine Arts Gallery which is my next goal. It’s a bigger space and another great location.
Format: You lecture at Otis College of Art and Design, the same place you graduated. How has your experience as teacher been?
Dob: Teaching has been enjoyable this far. I love passing on any knowledge I have to students. It’s very rewarding to see a student become very successful.
More Info: http://www.bobdob.com/