Those of you who are not familiar with the name Victor Pross are in for a treat. As a professional artist, Mr. Pross is best known for his very creative and extreme caricature creations. He has also done work on CD covers, posters, and comic books in addition to teaching art.
Icons and Idols: Pop Goes the Culture is Victor Pross's first book. It contains a vast array of his drawings and paintings, quickly introducing readers to caricatures as they have never seen them before.
Caricature is a long-standing art form that many people greatly enjoy, myself included. Author and artist Pross displays a phenomenal talent in his work Icons and Idols: Pop Goes the Culture. If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to do so — I am very anxious to page through his work and view the twists and turns Mr. Pross lends to such greats as George Bush, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and so many more. In the meantime, sit back, relax, and enjoy a glimpse of the man behind the work.
What do you want readers to take away from reading Icons & Idols?
I want them to take away a greater admiration of some of the people I paint and write about — or a revulsion and understanding about some of the less savory people I illustrate and write about.
What was the most fun about writing Icons & Idols?
Creating the art.
What was the hardest part about writing Icons & Idols?
Could you please tell us about your writing process?
For my book, Icons & Idols, the writing was incidental to paintings. The text is minimal to the art, but I did do a lot of reading about the individuals I painted as a matter of research, and I just wrote from my perspective of their personalities and works.
Do you have any particular habits that you take part in while writing? By that I mean certain music you like to listen to, foods you like to eat, environment that helps you write better, etc.
For painting as for writing, I must have music.
Where do you get your ideas and inspirations?
I’ll take this question as addressing my paintings. Critics have responded to my art as though I was sui generis, a self-created eccentric without discernible origins. Very much the opposite is the truth. The origin of my art is the culture at large. I painted and drew as if I were an alien intelligence contemplating my own human species from a distant realm with a bemused objectivity, as though I was encountering them for the first time like David Bowie’s Ziggy. What I saw was a strange land filled with archetypes — "caricatures."
If you had to summarize your life and give it a book title, what would that title be?
My life feels as if I am on a mission. I have important contributions to make and a I have limited time to do it, relatively speaking. A book title for my life? The Hungry Artist. That’s the name of a novel I’m writing.
What are you reading right now?
The novel The Agony and the Ecstasy.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Ayn Rand, Victor Hugo, Robert Louis Stevenson — the classic writers.
What were some of your favorite books as a child?
I loved reading biographies and comics. Reading biographies, it turns out, helped me write my book Icons & Idols.
If you could have lunch and chat with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Dostoevsky. I would want to understand his mind better.
What do you hope to accomplish within the next five years?
I would like to have a few more books under my belt.
What are you working on right now and can you give us a sneak peek? A small excerpt?
I am doing a series of paintings of jazz musicians with fellow artist Rebecca Bessette. But I am also writing a novel about an artist. Here is a little excerpt from a central character:
I remembered someone once exclaimed how lucky I was to be an artist and that I have the ability to draw — as if it all materialized out of thin air because I had wished for it or because I had a genetic predisposition to hone whatever nature gave me. I just want to slap people like that. They don’t see the sleepless nights, the empty refrigerator, the hours of practice, the body wilted with exhaustion in pursuit of a goal. They simply day-dream with wishes swelling up in their heads but they don’t take any action to have them realized. And then they curse that ambition is futile.