Friday, March 4, 2011

Altered Esthetics Featured Interview - Dim Media

Dim Media

Altered Esthetics Featured Interview for the exhibit--Fanboi
Opening Reception: Friday March 4, 2011 7-10pm
Artist's discussion: Saturday March 19 from 1-3pm
Exhibit runs from 3/3/11 - 3/24/11

Dim MediaMinneapolis, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook page:

Dim Media
is a Twin Cities based multimedia collaborative. The ensemble combines the styles and talents of Charles Denton, Blaine Garrett, Ivy Sendrijas and Joe Lipscomb. Primarily painters, the group also works in illustration, animation, and writing. They publish their own zine “Coffee Crumbs”, a series of children books, paint live for local musicians, and record a podcast. Their individual styles are as diverse as the places they’ve exhibited work: local venues including galleries, coffee shops, an acupuncture clinic, downtown night clubs and salons. Presently, they are the featured artist for the March Altered Esthetics exhibit “Fanboi” and will be appearing in the local arts documentary “All Over the Walls” being released later this Spring by Blue Bridge Media.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?Our primary focus involves using varying processes to create artistic collaborations. Through this exploration we aim to create art that is greater than the sum of each artists’ individual contributions, or at the very least, unique.

Currently we are adding more abstract paintings to our “Birthmarks” series. Achieving successful abstract work is a feat for a single artist, let alone with four other “chefs” in the “kitchen”. Through long grueling painting sessions, we continue to learn how to blend our individual styles together while discovering the strengths and weaknesses that become present.
Additionally, we are working on a series entitled “Corrosion Maintained.” This series is our exploration of the implicit nature of graffiti and the techniques and methods used to create it. For the series, we “upcycled” some hundred year old bricks from a demolished building and created miniature walls for our “canvases”. Upon these walls we layered stencils, tags, original paintings, ink, wheat pastings, and even clay.

To emulate the “powers that clean up,” we painted over our layered work with a dull grey to represent the eradication of street art. We’ll repeat this process until the series achieves the golden ration between derelict and exquisite. “Corrosion Maintained” is a departure from our traditional media and is basically a self designed crash course in street art.

Outside of painting, we have published a few children books, record a podcast, and do various comic projects. Lately, we have been working steadily on a ‘zine called “Coffee Crumbs” which is an outlet for our writing, illustration, and comics. The fifth issue will be finished shortly and contains a story that Charles wrote and Blaine illustrated.

“The Good Doctor” - Paparazzi Series

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?We want our art to be an icebreaker into a dialogue. It is inconsequential whether that dialogue is made in jest or becomes a philosophical rant. Like all good media (movies, books, music, ect.) we want to create strong impressions that seduce viewers into thought and reflection. If the viewer can walk away from our work having some sort of memorable impact, then we’ve won.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?“If a piece of artwork turns out exactly as you envisioned it, you have not learned anything” and “Don’t learn anatomy from comic books, especially from Rob Liefeld.”

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?We thrive on over-stimulation and changing scenery. We create art in nightclubs, at the beach, in garages, basements, computer stations, and where ever we can. In a best case scenario, we’re working outside with some b-movie playing on a laptop, noise rock blasting out of another, and a BBQ commencing. We value versatility, and enjoy switching locations on a lark.

Our creative process is heavily collaborative on multiple levels. It begins with a brainstorming session, where we bounce ideas over coffee and/or beer. Lots of those ideas ripen into potential projects, so we usually work on three at a time. This helps us apply what we learn across media boundaries as well as preventing burnouts on any single project.

Next is the planning stage of the process. In order to avoid stagnation we invent unique rules for each collaboration. These rules can pertain to the order of an artist’s involvement, their specific role, or committing to a rigid color pallet. As a result of each of us have differing artistic styles, the process in which we work creates a vast range of results. Sometimes we plan on attacking paintings intuitively, whereas other times one artist will sketch out a specific composition that everyone else adds to.

After we agree on a direction, we enter the execution stage: two parts alchemy to one part anarchy. Once we start diving in, we usually deviate from the original plan and digress into improvising. Sometimes we start paintings individually and pass them off to another group member. Other times we set up multiple canvases and everyone takes turns contributing to a painting for a moment before switching to the next one. Either method can cause conflicts when one artist paints over another persons intricate contribution. Generally fist fights are prevented by keeping an ongoing dialogue, but not always. We deem our paintings done once they reach a point where adding brushstrokes no longer improves them.
“Cold Front” - Birthmarks Series

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?There are a lot of great artists in the state we greatly admire and we are fortunate to personally know a few.

Scott Stulen ( has been one of our personal mentors and we really enjoy the playfulness and humor he brings to his work.

We admire the works of Matt Wells ( ) for his illustrative style and his collaborations with the from the Rogue Citizen collective.

We have worked with Jacob Alexander ( numerous times and take a lot of inspiration from his eccentric abstractions and raw energy in live painting.

Outside of painting, we really like Talissa Mehringer ( for her multimedia work, our former intern

Danny Levar ( for his visual story telling ability,

Martha Iserman ( ) because we admire her working on a career in scientific illustration (and her artwork is amazing) and

Sharolyn B. Hagen ( who is such a wonderful portrait photographer that we predict we’ll be seeing her work in galleries very soon.

“Corrosion Maintained 1” - Corrosion Maintained Series

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?We’d start it off with a cup of coffee at the Boiler Room before crossing the street to SSCA for a gander at an art opening with hors d'oeuvres. Next, we’d run up to Hell’s Kitchen for a round of White Russians and enjoy the numerous Ralph Steadman pieces. Then we’d trot on over to Jean Stephen Galleries and scope out the Dr. Seuss’s paintings and sculptures. After spilling a drink in honor of the late Ox-Op Gallery we would travel northeast to Uncle Franky’s for a Chicago dog and to sit next to the Wesley Willis drawing.

Next we’d meander over to Altered Esthetics, take in one of their themed gallery openings before hitting up the 331. After a couple Surly Benders we could stumble past Shuga Records and take a moment to appreciate the sprawling mural on the side of its building. Finally, we’d run to Tarnish & Gold before ending the night at Psycho Suzie’s, or if we’re feeling dangerous, Vegas Lounge for some karaoke!

If we survive this excursion, we might take a field trip to Lakeville and check out the tasteful graffiti on the out of service box cars parked off of County Road 50 or up to Franconia to see the sculpture garden (Fraconia Sculpture Park).

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?We watch a lot of jaded art documentaries on Netflix for inspiration. StumbleUpon ( is a great source to find new contemporary artists worldwide. We use MPLSArt ( and MNArtists ( to find out about opportunities and local exhibits to check out. We can also admit to unintentionally finding inspiring images by randomly punching words into Google. Our browser bookmarks are mostly riddled with art sites we will most likely never get around to viewing again.
Coffee Crumbs 3 - Cover illustration

What can we expect to see from you in the future?2011 is a busy year for Dim Media. We will be live painting for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Gala fundraiser dinner in April.

Among numerous other shows and festivals, we are the featured artist for the March Altered Esthetics exhibition “Fanboi” which will feature a few select pieces from our “Paparazzi” series.
Our collaborative abstract series “Birthmarks” will be at the Hopkins Art Center starting in June. We are also working on finishing our graffiti series “Corrosion Maintained” and exhibiting it in the fall.

Outside of showing our paintings, we are also working on our next “Coffee Crumbs” ‘zine which we will be showcasing at ‘Zine Fest, Spring Con, and the TC Indie Xpo. We also will be revisiting some animation projects and launching a new podcast.

“Fractal Hippy” (Terence McKenna)

Dim Media
Twin Cities Collaborative Art Crew - Live Painting, Fine Art, Illustration, and more

No comments: