With the luxe 70s-inspired video for Toro y Moi/ Chaz Bundick's current single 'So Many Details', you might think that the lo-fi pop polymath was now permanently pimping. Not so. In advance of the Jan 22 release of his third LP 'Anything In Return', Bundick recently presented two exhibitions of his original art in New York and San Francisco, which showcased a previously-unseen visual side of his work. In the gallery setting, headphones accompanied each of the 13 drawings, playing a preview of a new track in an immersive audiovisual experience. We caught up with Bundick to find out more about his art, and present an exclusive selection of the images in our gallery.
How long have you been making artwork for?
I've been into drawing and making stuff since I was a little kid, but I studied design in college. More recently, I have been doing my album covers.
Is it more or less nerve-wracking for you to be at a private view of your work than on stage performing?
It was kind of the same feeling almost. I'm glad no one tried to mess with the pieces or something! Revealing a part of yourself to the public is always weird no matter the context.
How did it feel to watch people at galleries listen to your music in headphones? It's perhaps a private listening experience made public.
That was strange, but then I thought: this is kinda like playing a show except I don't have to sing. And I got to have a closer look of how people react to a new song. Some people were puzzled and some were dancing in front of everyone. It was interesting to see.
Do the images correspond to the material on your forthcoming album 'Anything In Return'?
The images don't correspond to the songs in any way, and if you found something it's completely by coincidence. But since I enjoy drawing and doodling I thought it'd be fun to share them with people. Theres no real meaning behind it, it's just fun to do.
What are the ideal conditions for you to make your visual art?
The ideal environment is for me to be around people really. I like to draw funny stuff mostly, so when I'm around people who laugh at my drawings I know its a good idea. When I go draw I try to come up with about two or three solid, iconic drawings. From there they could turn into bigger versions, or something I use for Toro y Moi.
Some of the drawings are quite visceral, like the one with the severed finger spurting blood.
Similarly to my music, I think with most of my drawings are a bit on the morose side but there's a sense of humour behind it. I try not to take things to seriously. Everything is hard as it is, so why not just make fun of life instead?
What illustrators inspire you?
Parra, Geoff McFetridge, Paul Rand, Saul Bass.
Is that supposed to be a pill on your drawing of a tongue?
Yeah that was supposed to be a pill of some sort. What kind of pill is up to the viewer. It could be a Advil, Ecstasy, or maybe even just candy.
What's the hungry coyote about to eat?
I don't know, but I think he may represent my recent departure from eating meat.