New York-based sculptor and designer Jason Freeny might have actual super powers. How else could he be so good at imagining the the interior workings, a.k.a. anatomy, of the most loved characters in pop culture? You know that cut-open Barbie that’s been going around the Internet? HE DID THAT. Gutedama, too. And Batman. No one is safe from Jason’s surgeon-like precision when it comes to sculpting. Figures, it’s his first love. GIST interviews Jason, who will be coming to Manila for AsiaPOP Comic Con 2017:
GIST: How did XXRAY Universe begin?
JASON FREENY: I have been creating these characters well over 10 years on my own. The Xxray universe began when Mightyjaxx approached me to collaborate and create a line of characters. The Xxray line is the collaboration of Mightyjaxx and myself.
Why show the insides of our favorite characters? Is there a philosophical statement to that?
There is only my curiosity to see what the skeletons of my favorite characters would look like and my love of sculpting.
How did you get into art? Was it your first path?
My father was a sculpture and painting professor, so I had been exposed to it since a very young age. Art and sculpting is in my blood and there was never really any other option.
Of all the disciplines, why did you pick sculptures? What drew you in?
Sculpting comes very naturally to me, painting and drawing is actually a lot of work to me and I have to force it. When I sculpt it is very therapeutic and I can think and work in three dimensions very easily.
What was the moment you realized people loved your work and what did that feel like for you?
I created my first illustration of the anatomical balloon dog back on my space was a thing. I posted it and shared it with the small following I had, mostly friends and family. The people from Hi-Fructose magazine contacted me and wanted to publish it, that is when I knew people liked it.
Which of your contemporaries do you admire? When you hang out with them, what do you talk about?
There are far too many to mention. With my work and traveling to comic conventions throughout the world I run into a lot of my contemporaries at these events and I have made friends with them and see them from time to time in different cities. We do talk about toys sometimes but mostly it’s about food! 🙂
Is your daughter into art as well?
I see a lot of myself in my daughter and, to be honest, she is far better than I was at her age.
What are you looking forward to most at Asia Pop Comicon?
I love exploring new cities, I love discovering new work, I love meeting the people that like my work and I love being placed in a culture that I am not used to, there is nothing more humbling and mind expanding. Above all I look forward to eating delicious foods that the cultures I find myself in made.
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Jason Freeny will be at AsiaPOP Comic Con 2017 as a guest artist. AsiaPOP Comic Con is on Aug. 25 to 27 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. For information, visit the AsiaPOP website. Images from Jason Freeny Facebook and jasonfreeny.com.
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