By Jeromy Carpenter
San Francisco-based artist Talon Geer’s work is highly-detailed, with a sense of color and richeness bordering on baroque fantasy. According to his artists’ bio,
“TTAAGG, aka Talon Anthony Geer, is a California-based artist who works with fine pens to create intricate, beautiful and surreal works based on popular imagery. Though not a trained artist, he is a skillful draughtsman, creating detailed representations of pop icons with both a quasi-religious and psychedelic tone. The works he creates are erotic, provocative and visually stunning.”
Geer’s work has been shown all over the world. Currently, he has a show at F8, a nightclub located in the San Francisco SoMa neighborhood. I had the opportunity to interview him at the opening of his exhibit at F8 and now I share that interview with you.
Jeromy Carpenter: So your name is Talon Geer, correct?
Talon Greer: Yes
JC: OK, and you are an artist.
TG: I am.
JC: And I think I recall hearing that a studio in Milan asked you to put your stuff on display there.
TG: Yeah, it was an exhibition in Picasso's hometown and they were looking for artists from around the world to be a part of it and stay in Picasso's villa but I ended up not doing that because I couldn't afford to go there. Maybe another time.
JC: OK, well that's still an honor. Have you been asked to display your work anywhere else before?
TG: I've done a lot of shows all over New York, Manhattan, Brooklyn, a lot in San Francisco. I had my first solo show in Mendocino last year, and some in L.A.
JC: How long have you been doing this?
TG: I started making it my career when I moved to New York, so when I was 22.
JC: And when was that?
JC: So, 5 years?
TG: Yeah, I really got into it. I've been doing it forever. I was more musically inclined before I started art but I just went full force into it.
JC: Well, it looks like you've got some cool pieces, and you wrote them down for me. I'm going to ask you to tell me a little bit about each one for me.
TG: Alright, so The Boy and the Fish, that's one that I did as a self-portrait and I was feeling pretty under water. I don't know. My head was in a pretty under water space. So I put a little fish in there, and some bright colors. That one's not as exciting.
The Girl with the Secret, that was a painting I did of this model from a magazine, but my friend was going through a hard time so I drew a picture for her.
Self-Portrait is pretty self-explanatory.
The Breakup, that's a picture of this guy having his heart pierced all the way through and I was going through a pretty bad breakup in that one. I won't go into the juicy details on that but I was definitely feeling very heartbroken so that's kind of a representation of my emotions.
The Boys Kissing, that was for a show I did in L.A. I did it in two days. It's 6 feet by 6 feet. I locked myself in my room and just went to town on it.
JC: Your friend was telling me that some gay men were critiquing it for being too forward.
TG: I did a series of homo-erotic art with cum mandalas and I did it for a chocolate-in-art show down at the SoMa Art Center and so many people loved it, but this queer couple came up and they just said it was really inappropriate and I like to stand in the back and listen to what people have to say to get a real feeling for it. I walked up to them and I was like, "Hey, so, you don't like this one?" And they were like, "Oh no, it's great! I love it!" I said, "It's OK, art is supposed to be provocative and make you feel something." So many people loved it but the gay couple didn't really love it.
JC: Isn't that weird that we are our own worst critics? And, Juniper, is that what that one is?
TG: Uh, that's Jumper. This is a boy that my friend, Georgie, she was dating him and I had the biggest crush on him so I decided to draw a picture of him and he's just gorgeous. And that's what came about. So, it turns out he's not all the way straight.
TG: Not while they were together!
JC: They never are.
TG: Yeah, but I showed him that picture and that's what happened.
TG: It was very flattering.
JC: It is flattering to have someone draw you.
TG: For sure! He was beautiful. He had two different colored eyes.
JC: Oh, like a husky!
TG: Yeah, like a little husky dog.
TG: So cute.
JC: That's sweet.
TG: I started doing this more expressive, controlled art. I've been splattering paint and using a straw to blow them in different directions.
JC: A regular Pollock, huh?
TG: Yeah, and doing some controlled swirly line art. I'm not sure where I'm going with it yet, but it's there.
JC: Well it's always a learning experience.
TG: Yeah, yeah and Christina, Xtina, that's Christina Aguilera.
JC: Oh, is it really?
TG: Yeah, yeah. She came out with a new album and I really wanted to do something of her. I do a lot of pop art, lots of pop icons.
JC: So like a mix between Pollock and...the Campbell's soup guy.
JC: Yeah, Warhol.
TG: Kinda, yeah. My big influence is M.C. Escher.
JC: Oh, yeah, Escher's great.
TG: Huge influence and I do love Andy Warhol, just for his pop art.
JC: Yup, he was gender bending too.
JC: Right on! Well, thank you for taking the time for the description.