Extra-cultural reviews by synaesthetes, symbolists, and strangers.
As I sit down to type this introduction, I have the feeling of a man who has just travelled to another dimension, aghast at the impossibility of communicating its wonders. This article covers my introduction to and conversation with outsider artist/dancer, Adelin Karius. I first learned of her work from a gallery artist in NYC, so I reached out by email for permission to give an interview, and this is what happened. *I should note that this conversation happened simultaneously in a series of email strings back and forth, so we jump around a bit, having fun, dropping threads left and right. “V” is me, Viktor Tar, and “A” is Adelin.
V: Where are you from?
A: [sends a tornado of jaw-dropping images… we’ll get to those in a bit]
V: This piece almost knocked me off my seat.
A: Hehehe those are my guys
V: What kind of guys are they?
A: Well they the ones that always have been were and are going to be …and kids arent really afraid of them but as we grow we get more and more frightened or detracted and avoiding of them. But there my guys because they always came to me ….even though there hard to understand…the sound of there voices is really whisper mechanical moan and groan shrieks and humming…whimsical humming
V: I can almost hear some sounds while I read this. Are they in your other work too? Some of the beings in your other paintings seem more scary than them, more human…
A: There from a place junkyard REMEDY. Thats what I named it……junkyard rmemedy use to be a pile of blankets with all the creees and folds in the blankets secret rooms and windows happened…publo like arcitcture….then they develop ed more into shanties…and I could walk around in there with them but Its not always safe. Because there all farel. Love and care and shit like that are all over and they are all a collectio. Of the aftermath of what people do to ea cj other. Junkyard remedy is the world of co sequence un guarded and unmatched unsupervised and abandoned.
When my mom rinsed my hair in the tub when I was little she told me to look up amd describe my monsters. …they were my friends…..I talked about them alot….They are my guys.
I j ave obe imaginary friend Gooberhunter who in alot of my drawings and sketches will sneeeeeak himself a cameo in there I mever k ow its coming
My guys are basically the symptom and result and the residue of all the everythings lime pink elephants or insecurities and horrifying realities that eggshells are built for to walk on…….
They dont walk on eggshells. ..they twist ans grind there feet against thier own heads
Im sorry about my typos
V: Do you always talk like a poem? That’s beautiful. I like the typos, I think it all adds more feeling to the real story, like your truth is so much darker than ink, it starts decaying the pieces we’d expect to be there, and replacing them with rhythm.
Maybe we can leave them in for the article. I feel like it’s all part of your poetic voice. Is that okay?
A: Im a dancer.
V: OH! That makes so much sense.
Did you dance first or paint first?
Also, you mentioned having your hair rinsed. It seems like there’s a lot of hair in your pictures. Is it to give us the same feeling of combing through and asking questions about monsters? […]
V: Who is this, and what’s going on?
(I just realize that made me sound senile. I meant in the painting..)
[this thread got lost in our conversation, which resembles a choose your own adventure style hopscotch with dragons, followed by a long fall down a gray well crusted with luminous sugary crystals, sharp protrusions, and everything that happens when you can’t stop falling….]
A. […] a mural I dod in Rochester ny 2013ish
V: That’s really cool. What were you doing in Rochester?
V: And where is this street I keep seeing where you have your paintings against fences and on the ground?
Talking to Adelin in a string of email chains, back and forth, jumping into […]
V: Is this you as a child?
A: Yes, it is.
My tits are the same
Crass we are
Thats important to mention. But we have some secret about grace embedded in there….
V: Grace, seen through the eye of a buckle, you are like its magnifying glass for the past.
A: I have to get ready to dodge out into the night for an invitation….can we have a to be continued. Or you just email me a b umcha questions and then ill email you back alll word ramble fumble trip jump poke stump like
V: Of course. Have a wonderful evening. Thank you for your words, brave being.
A: [sends this picture] I make my guys into hang out buddies too..
V: I look forward to being a hang out buddy again soon.
A: It was great seeing you too! Hahaha
To be continued…
That ended the first session of our interview. My head is spinning. I feel like I’m in one of those books you read when you’re in the middle of a dream. Where things float around the pages and shouldn’t make sense, but they do, at a deeper level. They make something more than sense. I’m intrigued, buzzing with energy and questions. Who is this otherworldly creature? What must it feel like to be her while she is painting? Moving through space? I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the tendrils, and now they’re frayed, flying all around me like live wires, dangerous, impossible, electric.
I’ve always believed in the artist as shaman, but tonight I felt it. I felt like this artist was channeling me directly into her world. I felt the magic. The monsters. The ones that pretend to be monsters And the ones that pretend not to be.
This conversation marked a breach. With Adelin, her words and brush strokes work the same way. The same magic, uniting things we shouldn’t know, and the worlds we must. I feel like I’ve been missing something, living in so many boxes, and this unusual artist, a complete stranger, just danced around me, ripping the packing tape from my seams.
This seems like a good time to pause and look at some of Adelin’s work. If I can elicit details about any of these pieces later, I’ll insert them between the images as new information arrives. I’m already shaking. I’m a little worried, because I think I’m starting to sense something under the surface of these images, and I know that the longer I look, the more I’ll feel it.
V: That was exhilarating, earlier! Here’s a list of some basic questions for background, since I’m sure our readers will be quite curious. Answer only the ones you want to, of course:
V: Where are you from, and where are you based now?
A: I was born in Rochester ny
Im based in New Orleans
V: Did you go to art school?
A: I went to ScAB. I mean Scad. Where I learned how much I will never have patience to learn systems dealing with financial situations in my life…..I use to ride my bike with a broken windshield I used for a pallet…I had a giant huge undefined chip on my shoulder ….Art school pissed me off and as a waitress id lie when customers would say “you must go to scad”…..I go “no.”…I hated being clumped. Stillllll do. Im dominant in presence but utterly unprepared and dont know what to do wi th it ….ferral
V: You mentioned Gooberhunter earlier, is that him in the mural you painted?
A: Gooberhunter is in everything I paint hes the stroke closest to a smirk or crooked eyeball.
V: What kind of mood is he usually in?
A: Gooberhunter is sacred calm almost godly…he looks like hes always holding a seret…hes incredibly mischievous amd ultimately amused by everything. He loves me. And his love is viscious.
V: How would you describe the emotional content in your work?
A: I reluctantly lean to the word angst and soar for emotion …with a very thick and dense angry halo…people never take my words the way I need them too….ive suffered from verbal communication frustration since ive begun to talk I feel….the kind of angry that is spawned out of sadness or disappointment….ya know when it adds up and all you got left is a c racky scattered and choppy hard laugh…wwwwww.AAAAAAAAAGGGH. boo fucking hoo. Those twisted anatomies could be my own reactions to my emotions…I get self discust just as much as I get disgusted by…all the other shit that discussing…like small talk. “Come here I dare you…” some of my guys hiss or coo or whisper or shout….but theres “I dare you” alot.big I dare you glares. That emotion. BIG DICK SYNDROME. Cocky nueances ( I dont k nnnnnn ow how to spell) Shameful shamelessness. Careful carelessness. Acidental intentions. Aimless purpose. Left and right.
V: What motivates you to create?
A: the choice that this worlds outfitted itself around me bores me alot. Leaves me lonely.and socially enraged. I got a strong but cracky ancient heart i beileve I was born with from a long line of previous souls. GOD has something to do with it mostly. Disjointed durranged rearranged…im devastatingly stubborn. And my unrelenquished defence, causes me to be adaptive….I work like that…everything I make is an adaption from the last mark tug pull scrape tear smear stroke…punch.
V: What do you want people to get out of seeing your work (if it even matters to you)?
A: of course I care about people getting something out of my work….I loved sharing when I was little. It interrupted my wondering what to do thoughts…I WANT PEOPLE TO ADMIT IT! I WANT THEM TO RELATE…I WANT THEM TO REALIZE….I want em to…..see. . . . . I think a person has thier feelings and stuff…and sometimes I feel overwhelmed and powered by all thier feelings….mine get buried. Sometimes my pieces are retaliation…from being buried.
V: What is your favorite thing in the whole wide world?
A: My favorite thing in the whole wide world is blowing bubbles. Annnnnnnnd, mosssssss☆☆☆☆☆♡
V: Can you choose one of the paintings and walk us through the story, so we can understand your approach to symbolism?
A: Cant really walk through painting*…..
V: It looks and sounds to me like you have a jagged young-old soul that treats emotion like language-space, and the paint makes communication that way the most honest/natural. Like the cliche system wasn’t working for you, so why work for it, when your own is so much closer to your experience. (If I were into women, I would have the hugest crush on you). I hear your frustration about the words, but I can’t help feeling like your words are a sort of direct pipeline to a whole invisible scene, with its own poetry to it. Talking to you has been totally inspiring and awakening. I get that from your paintings, too, all that, rampant un-containment and a little bit of being scared, but in a good way.
V: What is your favorite book?
A: I use to read alice in wonderland alot in high school and I read it as a satire or what I was going through myself in my own world at the time….the characters were symbols to me the Cheshire cat was what apathy was in the 90s….for me in my experiences at that time…I danced …the mad hatter was ever project or goal or obstical, hes character was the soul I put into being motivated….I made it darker naturally…he had fangs but a bubbly giggle still.slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut kinda made me understand my paradoxical romantic side…Tropical of cancer Henry miller had a familiar voice I recognized within myself. And Aesops fables was my jam! Along with ever fairytale ever.
V: What do you believe in?
A: I beileve everything but frequently smell hilarious wafts of bullshit…then gag. I was a sunday school teacher for four years. I Was a dance teacher also longer I beileve in teaching I beileve in shared experiences I believe in community. …Like we Need MORE ROBIN HOODS I VERY FIRMLY BEILEVE IN HIM. And peter pan. . . I beileve in the devastation underestimating someobe is, and visa versa. I beileve in paying attention and admitting when Im not. I beileve in the past. I beileve in nature ….and I beileve in magic. And I beileve people around me extinguish to much and ruin it for others…..and I beileve in my rage.
V: Is there anything you want people to know about your work?
A: I dont really know what to tell people about my work…..id rather they tell themselves about it. I love the power of humor and satire and turning the perspective as demented or bad timing or ill tasting it may happen….bill hicks rules Henry Rollins diamandoa galas these are my shout outs ya know curt obtain always cracked me up George Carlin and man Mitch hedburg I wish he coulda stayed longer….but thats causing im selfish in the regard…someday I want to rip the face off a four story house mansion and turn it into a life size installation with live action choreography narrative style to my world junkyard remedy….I can really walk you through a journey of a painting its….abandoned then rekindled time and time again doctoral lost and then blooming with beckoning. IN MY DREAMS THE PUEBLOS CAME FIRST and then they turned into shanties. …my guys lived there….and the suffering was beauty. But it is suffering.
V: Who are your favorite artists?
A: My favorite artists are
Nikkei de saint phalle
Henry Darger – I just got that picked for me to say some thing about and reAlized …..things. he lived somewhere else while here on earth and his vivian girls are kind of….I think grandmothers maybe of my guys……
V: Is there anything you wish I’d ask, that we didn’t discuss yet?
[Adelin directed me to her youtube channel called American Breakfast]
I don’t even know how to begin to describe it. I laughed a little, then got flustered. I kept watching. It’s weirdly addictive. I can’t really say why. You can go and see for yourself.
I do have one pressing question after that window into [whatever that was a window into]:
V: Last question, do you have a permanent spot where that fence is, where you sell your art so I can give people an address to find you and buy paintings in person? (Also, what’s the story with Jack, from American Breakfast?)
A: Jack is my best friend I met when I was seventeen who was once a stranger with an undesired bag of cherries to him, but very fortunate to have had me around to be desiring cherries. Im on the fence usually everyday!. Different every time. The competition for a good spot is intense….sleep not very much….
[a day passes:]
A: Nothings ever finished even ourselfn we die unfinished….alot of my works are unfinished ….sometimes people buy it that way.. its cool…soul swapping…Faust. Prostitution….Art isnt money. But money is Art….people need to support thier visionaries support thier story tellers and support means even the change in your pocket that youll leave when you dont have time to count it out… …… CONSIDER THIS.
Ok I think I need to go hunting again.
Thus concludes my adventures into the rabbithole. For those in New Orleans, go say hello or start collecting Adelin’s artwork! As she says, we need to support our visionaries! Directions below.
About Viktor Tar: Viktor is a luddite and disluminary from Athens, in upstate NY. He is currently working on his next book of poetry, Handweaving With Fates. He enjoys interviewing artists/authors and reviewing books, and invites artists and writers to reach out with inquiries by connecting on Patreon and Instagram.