BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY - The Leading Experimental Photography Platform

JUST ANOTHER DAY

AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID J. WEISSBERG

David J. Weissberg is an independent Creative Director and Illustrator. He has done work for a diverse range of clients including The Standard Hotel, Coachella, Jane Mayle, SpaceX, Just One Eye, Rita Ora x Adidas, Adidas, Nike, Dr. Romanelli, Obey/Shepard Fairey, Neutra, Eames, Silas (& Maria). A native of the great state of California, he had a curious upbringing; born Jewish and raised on soul food in a Japanese household. When he's not creating, he can be found crossing swords as an amateur fencer, collecting vintage coffee mugs and paying way too much for fancy shoes. Currently he lives in Echo Park, Los Angeles with his mini dachshund, Rei Kawachewbone. His work is at least as interesting as his life and we can't stop looking at it!

"As an artist as a commercial artist with as much experience as you, please can you tell me a bit about your work?"

My work is mixed media illustration and collage. I work primarily with found images and ink.

"I would love to hear more about your process. Do you create your work digitally or offline?"

A little of both digital and offline. I’m not an absolutist; the computer is a tool like any other. Sometime I cut images out by hand (and scan them), and sometimes I clip them on the computer. All the ink/paint is done by hand with a brush and then scanned.

That said I’m a bit of a classicist when it comes to how the computer is used. The computer is used to cut, to place, to color and to clean up. Filters are shunned. The final image should look like I would have been able to do this pre-Mac.

"As an illustrator, what role does photography play in your work?"

Given it’s collage work, huge! I pull from everywhere both on and offline. And what I can’t find I tend to go out and shoot.

"I love that your work is an eclectic mix of references; tell us a more about who your influences are and what themes your work discusses."

Fashion designers! I like the way certain designer’s make women’s clothes; the colors, the patterns, the way they drape. All those forms and shape’s influence a lot of my compositions. To me, that’s art, that’s design, just as much as any painting or photograph. Film and music as well. They both set a mood, which puts me in the right headspace for work. 

"Would you name drop a few people specifically that you find yourself obsessed with?"

As far as names, oof, how much space do you have? Off the top of my head…Chris Bigg, Jun Takahashi, Brothers Quay, Phyllis Galembo, Crazy Horse (Paris burlesque), Saint Laurent, 70s deco revival and Garage/Loft era disco, Dub reggae, Douglas Little, Alien and Blade Runner (only the first ones, which are art direction masterpieces), Yayoi Kusama, 70s/80s Andy Warhol, Spacemen 3, Brian Eno, Peter Saville, Isabella Blow, Leigh Bowery, FKA Twigs, Matthew Dear, Stanley Kubrick, Nick Knight, Inez  and Vinoodh, Aquirax Uno, natural history.

"This is a fantastic list of references, Beyond Photographers get inspired!"

I’d say my work is more akin to surrealist collage and themes tend to be a bit broad and more esoteric and less overtly political (though personally I’m a bit of a D.C. politics junky). 

Also I have always a big fan of Burroughs “cut-up” technique as well; stitching two seemingly random elements together and ending up with new meaning. There’s definitely consistent elements. Flora and fauna are heavily featured in my work. I like the symbolism they evoke, which tend to originate from folk and (dark) fairy tales.

For more work, follow David J. Weissberg on Instagram. 

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