Picture This: Pictureplane Chats About His Renegade Art and Madonna
"I put on Madonna’s [self-titled] album and I just had this insane epiphany listening to the record."
Dance music and punk rock have a lot more in common than what the average listener would believe. Both of their origins are heavily tied to art and stem from raw artistic energy. Travis Egedy, better known as Pictureplane has a mission to remind listeners how close those two genres truly are.
Pictureplane has been a renaissance man for years, having studied and created art and music since his teen years as well as being a proprietor of second-hand fashion — the puffy, white sweater he wore at his recent DJ gig at New York’s White Rabbit for instance was procured from a bush where he found it hanging in Orlando, Florida. Before his set, Egedy took some time to talk to us about his recent move to Brooklyn, picking up the visual art side of his career and the liberating qualities of early Madonna.
Where are you from originally?
Pictureplane: I grew up in Sante Fe, New Mexico. I moved to Denver, Colorado in ’03 to go to art school.
I feel like a lot of people don’t really know about Denver and its DIY scene. Can you tell me a little about what it’s like there for young artists and musicians?
Well the scene that I was directly involved in there was very much a DIY, labor-of-love scene, surrounding mostly around a venue called Rhinoceropolis, where I lived at for five years and helped build basically. Because of the beauty of that space and the fertile creative ground that was there, a whole amazing scene blossomed. It was always there, but a place like Rhinoceropolis allows for creativity to really bloom and prosper.
And you just moved here to New York recently?
May 1, on my birthday. It started feeling like home because I would come here so often and I had a cool crew of friends out here so I was always just asking myself, “Why am I not living here?”
Aside from music, you also do other types of art. Could you tell me about some of that?
I’m a painter and drawer. I sort of approach Pictureplane as more of an art project than just a standard band. More like a performance art piece that I happen to make music for. I treat it like that really. I need to start doing more of that. I had been taking a break from that because I had been putting all my creative energy into music and performance but yeah I studied contemporary art in school for five years.
What type of paintings?
I do paintings of weird, punk, renegade, anarchist, freedom-fighter type looking people. Really colorful with crazy haircuts and crazy make-up and just fucked up looking people. Kind of like psychic warriors or something.
Is your new space more conducive to making art?
I do have a garage so I’m going to be turning that into a studio.
And you do performance art as well right?
Yeah, I still do. I just did a performance in a gallery in Denver before I left. I started getting really interested in performance just from being a performer as Pictureplane and studying performance art in school and stuff.
Some older clips I found of your performance pieces used a lot of early Madonna singles as a musical backdrop. Can you tell me the significance of Madonna to these pieces?
For a whole year of my life I was only making art about Madonna. Not even just Madonna, but mainly her song “Holiday.” It started one New Year's Eve [when it was] turning into 2008...I put on Madonna’s [self-titled] album and I just had this insane epiphany listening to the record. I sort of interpreted that song as having a mystical meaning. The lyrics — “If we took a holiday/Took some time to celebrate” — I took it to mean. as a whole society, to move from this place we’re at now, to just achieve a better state for all humanity... like going to another place where we’re in a constant state of celebration. Sort of like a golden age. That to me is what the art is all about.
Are you doing any interesting festivals or other projects this summer?
Yeah actually. I’m going to perform in a festival in the wilderness in Michigan...some sort of hippy-rave [Electric Forest]. It’ll have tons of different artists. I’m working on a new album right now. It’s still in the beginning phases but I’m getting a lot down. It’s moving very fast.
Image via Facebook
Pictureplan plays 285 Kent Ave. on July 4.