Artist Tim Biskup- The Happy Outsider, 7HollywoodMag - Fall 2013/14
Priding himself on his commitment to punk rock and pragmatism, LA artist Tim Biskup embarked on a career as a fine artist after a trip to the Pompidou Center in 1984 – he’s come a long way since.
Ten years ago intrinsically Californian, illustrative based lowbrow art was deemed "outsider," unfit for esteemed galleries, fast forward and the genre has come full circle. Championed by the likes of Robbie Conal Ron English, Shephard Fairey, and a host of others, lowbrow’s pundits hit the mainstream. Like an overpriced collectable high top sneaker, the movement jumped from the ghetto to the gallery with lots of commercial pit stops in between.
While many mainstays of the movement flounder in a formulaic and repetitious mire, some sustain and evolve. L:A artist Tim Biskup is one of lowbrow’s success stories.
Biskups work has been described as everything from "1950s storybook," to "vibrantly psychedelic" and "cutesy pop-design," – though he says he’d like to avoid alignment to particular genres or styles, "I'd love it if I never had to do that. Someone called my work "Baroque Modernism" which I really like, but that doesn't really encompass what I do. I figure I'll get shoved into some category that will fit at some point. I hope it's not too painful."
Biskup says his key influences are removed from the worlds of institutions and galleries "I look at a lot of mid-century design for inspiration. Japanese monsters are always good to get me into a weird place. I'm influenced by new people every day, though. I try to stay aware of what other artists are doing."
A Santa Monica native Biskup keenly embraces the renegade DIY punk ethos, something he sustains today even as a parent in his forties. Still his preoccupation with such ideology wasn’t so much about mosh pits at Henry Rollins concerts and tattoos, but more about existentialist self expression. "I went to art school in the 80s and was totally bummed out by it. It was way more of a theoretical training experience than I wanted. I left after two years and ended up education myself by working as an illustrator and eventually making my way into animation. My art theory education came from endless reading."
Like many of the LA artscene’s autodidactical success stories, removal from institutional structure wasn’t a setback for Biskup, whose career milestones have included international shows at galleries in Barcelona, France, Berlin, Milan and beyond. He recently showed with fellow lowbrow debutante Gary Baseman at the Laguna Art Museum and in late 2013 is celebrating a huge solo show in West Hollywood at the esteemed Martha Otero Gallery.
More about him at http://timbiskup.com/