Q&A: Christian Cox, Metro Pulse Gamut Artist

How did you make these?

I used this program called Photoshop. You just open it, click a few buttons and modern art comes out of it. This series investigates the default properties of the gradient tool and various custom brushes. I'm particularly impressed with the wistful nature of the "fall leaves" brush.

You're one of those "graphics designers," aren't you? Why does that make you qualified to do art? Don't you know real artists hate "graphics designs"?

Yes, my main focus is making graphics designs. I was really hesitant about doing art. My BA degree from the University of Tennessee is in graphics designs, but I later realized (after finding a tube under my bed that had my diploma in it) that it was actually a BFA in graphics designs. I read the words aloud: bachelor of fine arts. It was a revelation. Legally, I am certified by the state of Tennessee to produce fine arts. Seeing a separation between my designer persona and artist persona, I developed the artist pseudonym Mr. Talent—which was inspired by the film The Talented Mr. Ripley, believe it or not.

The attraction here for me is based on the composition—the shapes and color. Is composition your focus or is it something more sinister?

The works are interactive. They're about performance and audience interaction. I don't even name them because that would guide people too directly in what to think of them.

Those colors are pretty bold. I feel like I'm looking at art made by bomb-pops. Why?

I believe in tendencies towards disorder. Chaotic, systematic processes that develop infrastructural, geopolitical, and even regressive attitudes towards gender, culture, and the Oxford comma. This might shed light on the bomb-pops connection.

That sounds like a proper artist-statement bullshit answer. You are well on your way to being written about in Artforum! Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Oh, something important, I hope. If not, then maybe some charity work. To be honest, probably dead.

These kind of look like gesture drawings but made on the computer. I bet you spent like five seconds on these, but they look great. How did you do that?

I visited New York one time for a week. After that, I felt like everything I made had a special significance.

You designed the last Royal Bangs album cover. Does that make you feel like you're better than me?

You make terrific lunches.

Besides graphics designs, which everyone knows isn't real art, what sort of art forms do you enjoy?

I enjoy most issues of Artforum. There was one that had the movie Jackass listed as one of the best films of the year. What an idiot.

Why do you even do anything at all? Don't you know how attractive you are? Pretty people don't have to do anything with their lives but stand there and be admired.

Anything is everything. And everything is in anything and everything, so why not everything and anything is?

I asked our last Street Talk artist, Claire Jamieson, out on a date and she said yes but we haven't gone yet. Do you want to go on a date with us?

I haven't seen the new Harry Potter.

Well I have. We're going to Taste of Thai and then Motel 6.