1. Hi Kenny, now that you have a solo exhibition in Sydney, I’m not sure if I should have contacted you via your agent?
At this stage the only agent in my life is James Bond. But that’s very hush hush and you have to promise not to tell anyone about him, because he’s not just an agent, he’s a secret agent.
2. How about talking us through your show A series of self poor traits and some of the other things you’ve been up to recently…
The show has about 25 works in it, ranging from a ceramic sculpture of a cold sore I once had to a painting of me auditioning as a contestant on The Voice, (and none of the judges spinning their chair around). The show follows a kind of narrative, and so the idea is that you look at the exhibition from left to right and it tells a little story. But yeah, rather than me talking about the show any more than that please just come see it! A series of self poor traits is at Galerie Pompom, opening this Wednesday 4 May. Also opening on the same night at Galerie Pompom is a new solo show by my buddy Heath Franco, so you should definitely come along for that too as I’m sure it’s gonna be really good. Another exhibition I have work in at the moment is the current show on at the Shepparton Art Museum, in Regional Victoria. The show’s curated by Anna Briers and is titled Cornucopia, (which means an abundance of food). For the show I’ve made a life size sculpture of a vending machine that is full of ceramic sculptures of chips and chocolate bars. I’m really happy with the work so hopefully you’ll get a chance to see it, also it’s hung right next to an Andy Warhol painting of a soup can, which is a real dream come true. As well as that I’m also in the current exhibition in the gallery at the Melbourne City Library, titled Playful and curated by Sophia Cai. And I’m also working on two large series of paintings and sculptures, which I’m really excited about, but they aren’t quite ready to be shown yet.
3. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
Last year I made a work called All my eggs in one basket, and so for the piece I sculpted a woven ceramic basket and filled it up by making a large series of ceramic eggs. One day I had a couple of the egg sculptures drying on my studio window ledge when a wild bird swooped in and grabbed three of them. The bird only carried the egg sculptures a few metres before dropping them onto the ground. I guess maybe the bird dropped them because it figured out the sculptures weren’t real eggs, or maybe the eggs were just too heavy, but either way having a bird think my ceramic eggs were real eggs is probably one of the best compliments I’ve gotten about my work.
4. Maybe you could tell us something about you that isn’t on your resume?
Ok, well I guess one thing that’s not on my resume is when I was in year 9, my best friend and I would stand in front of the supermarket most weekends and busk using yo-yo’s. I made a sign for us that read ‘At least we’re not doing drugs, please give generously’. The sign seemed to have a wide appeal; whenever older people would give us money they’d comment on how true the sign was that at least we weren’t doing drugs, and whenever younger people gave us money they’d say, “here you go, now you can afford to go get some”. We practised the yo-yo’s a lot (because we were very cool), and we actually got pretty good at them. One day we made sixty bucks in an hour, which was amazing cause at the same time I was working at a fish’n’chip shop where I was being paid $7.49 an hour. The Fish’n’Chip shop was a pretty awful place to work – I’d tell you more about it but that’s something that is on my resume.
5. Imagine you’re hosting an arty dinner party. Which five artists (dead or alive) would you invite and – perhaps more importantly – what’s on the menu?
I guess if I had to choose I’d invite Joy Hester. I’ve always been jealous of Albert Tucker for getting to hang out with her. The other four artists I’d invite are Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael. We’d eat pizza.
6. What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
Um… maybe my kiln? Actually that’s not true, I only got the kiln last year and I’ve been working with clay for years and years without it. I guess my answer is probably the same as everyone else’s; my phone. Also my super bright lamp, my brushes, my old pineapple slices tins where I store my brushes, my bolt cutters, my tile cutters, my wood cutter (aka. my jigsaw) … Actually, looking around my studio I think pretty much everything in here is indispensable. The only thing I maybe could get rid of is my Stormtrooper Pez dispenser, but I’m gonna keep it anyway because even if it’s not indispensable it’s still the one thing in my studio that does the most dispensing.
6.5 What’s another question I could have asked?
Is it true that you’re Brad Pitt’s identical twin brother, and that he legally shortened his name from Brad Pittock to Brad Pitt because he was tired of being overshadowed by you? And the answer is, (according to the stage names page of Wikipedia), yes.