– Larry Carlson
G4Tech TV called him “The Salvador Dali of the Next Century”, and High Times magazine labeled him an “Artistic Mastermind”. Larry Carlson is a legendary visionary artist who utilizes a vast range of mediums to create mind boggling art that will make you think twice about how you see the world. He is a modern day renaissance man with revolutionary work that pushes the possibilities for consciousness exploration within contemporary art. Few artists can rival him in terms of innovation, vision, talent, and high-yield experimentation.
His work spans a variety of forms including photography, film making, web-art, collage painting, digital art, animation, video-art, text-art, and sound design. Whatever art form he’s working in Carlson’s greatest strength is in artfully depicting the mystical dimensions of consciousness, coaxing us into sweet spiritualized epiphanies one moment then plunging us into completely bizarre surreal frenzies the next. His artwork fuses together aspects of mysticism, surrealism, psychedelia and the technological resulting in sublime juxtapositions that can totally bend one’s perception.
Larry Carlson is noted for his extensive use of social media websites, publishing new artwork on a daily basis, and has a massive international online following with over 650,000 fans on Facebook and over 300,000 followers on Tumblr.
He has been featured in magazines like Vice, Juxtapoz, High Times, Cracked, NY Arts, Beautiful/Decay, and US weekly and international newspapers like London’s Guardian, Montreal’s Mirror, and Istanbul’s Vatan News, have done features on his unique awe-inspiring art. He has exhibited his collage artwork, digital photo artwork, and video art in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Sweden, Brazil, France, the U.K., India, and Germany. Such venues as; MOMA (NYC), Paço das Artes Museum ( San Palo, Brazil) , Galleri Loyal (Sweden), Alex Grey’s COSM (NYC), AKA (Canada), Nam Gallery (Tokyo), The Romare Bearden Foundation (NYC), Brattle Theater (Boston) A.T.A. (San Francisco) and many other galleries, theaters, and festivals around the world.
Larry Carlson has also created original album cover artwork for many musical acts including the art for the double LP “Phosphorescent Harvest” by The Chris Robinson Brotherhood ( The Black Crowes ).
Larry Carlson also creates his own original music and soundtracks and so far has released eight albums. In 2008, Portland, Oregon’s KBOO 90.7 fm hosted two Larry Carlson music specials featuring his surreal soundtracks. He also puts on live experimental video art shows, providing visuals for major events in the U.S. and internationally.
Larry Carlson graduated from Cooper Union School of Art, where he studied painting and video-art. He currently lives and works in his studio in New York City.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is your process for making the images?
Sometimes I see a clear vision in my mind’s eye of the image I want to make and then I set out and take the photos and do the computer effects to make it happen. Most of the time I just experiment and have fun with combinations of filters, images, and 3-D rendering. I do a lot of the work with the image editing program Photoshop. I also use 3-D rendering programs to make computer generated objects and settings to use in my work.
I always have a lot of unfinished works on my hard drive that I work on for a while and then put away until the inspiration hits me to work on it again. So most of my finished pieces are the result of months of on and off work. I follow my own vision and try to make something new everyday. Even if I dont feel like working, I still work on my art daily, because it helps me stay focused and continue to make new fresh work.
I am mostly left-handed and use an electronic pen on a tablet to actually draw and paint on my digital images. Sometimes I also use a mouse with my right hand at the same time.
As well as using computers to make images I also make old fashion cut and paste collages. This really influences the style of my digital work, as it helps me use Photoshop in a “real hands on” way, and not be dependent on digital effects only. I strive to have my work describe life as positive, elusive, and rich with wonder and possibility.
What inspires your work?
I let intuition and improvisation be the main guiding forces in the creation of my art. Many of the ideas for my art come to me in dreams and visions, so i spend a lot of time cultivating a mystical state of mind. I often go out in nature, hiking, camping and taking photos, being a part of the mother nature system has a deep influence on my work.
Do you take your own photos?
Yes. I take photos with a digital camera that I use in my work. Sometimes I do shoots in a studio, other times I take shots outdoors. I retouch, fix up, composite, and alter the photos in Photoshop. In the city or up in the mountains, its always an adventure getting new shots to use in my work.
How do you create your collage artwork?
With glue and scissors, I take a tiny little bit of something from a piece and put it together with a lot of other pieces and make a distinct whole. The result is a juxtaposition of the familiar and the fantastical. I hunt for old books and magazines for material to use and I print out images from the computer. I cut and splice these samples into new formations that reconstruct culturally constructed meaning of the original samples, opening up the images to a multiplicity of interpretations. I am inspired by the infinite permutations of visual images which parallel the infinite nature of the imagination.
How do you make the soundtracks?
Like my visual artwork it’s a collage process. I make my soundtracks by mixing and processing sound samples on the computer. I use several different sound programs to put the tracks together. I collage samples from everywhere and anywhere, the TV, the web, radio, phone messages, you-tube videos, turntables and musical instruments. Sometimes I use programs to generate sounds to mix in the work. I also play around with the KORG MS2000, a really cool Pink Floydish sounding synthesizer.I even like to mix in sounds I get from an ol’ school ATARI 2600 console. All my soundtracks are available as a free mp3 downloads. And I have a SoundCloud music page and an iLike music fan page.
Where do you exhibit your work?
I show different forms of art, like interactive web sites art, video installations, large high quality prints of digital art, collage paintings and handmade collage books. Recently my movies were presented at Alex Grey’s COSM gallery, and were publicly displayed on a pair of outdoor video screens at Harvard. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City showed some collage art books I collaborated on in the show Book/Shelf. The Paço das Artes Museum in San Palo Brazil exhibited a version of my web site LARRYCARLSON.COM projected on a wall in a gallery where visitors could interact with it. In Stockholm, Sweden, Galleri Loyal has exhibited my collage paintings. My movies have been screened in festivals around the world in places like New York City, Austin,Texas, France, Canada and Germany. And I have had many exhibitions of my digital images at festivals and shows around the world.
How do you do your live VJ shows?
Basically I mix a collage of videos and animations in much the same way that DJs mix records. The techniques and equipment are different then a DJ, but the basic principles are the same (eg selecting, cross fading, scratching, cutting, sampling to the rhythm). I burn my own custom made DVDs and much of my VJing now is me mixing content on several DVD players through a video mixer device to the rhythm of the music. As well as the DVD players I also use a VJ software program to mix and manipulate digital video clips. In the past I have played live on tour with musical groups like The Kottonmouth Kings, and at major electronic music events.
How and when did you get into computers?
My early experiences with computers begin when I was a kid, messing with the old Commodore 64 home computer. Later on in college I did a big experimental video collage piece with the Amiga video editing system as well as experiments with Adobe Premiere. I spent a lot of time creating digital images with Photoshop. During this time i started making music with the computer and more then any thing I wanted people too see this cool stuff, so publishing on the net became a must. I quickly learned how to make web pages and my early web sites were online galleries of my digital images. So by the time Flash came out , I was ready to really rock the system! After having spent years of exploring so many different fields of computer art, now its all kind of melting together into one “multimedia” experience.
Did you go to school to learn how to do this?
I graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where I studied painting and video-art. A lot of the artwork I do now, I learned on my own. I love learning new programs and experimenting with them to make something new.
How can people stay updated on what your doing?
I am active on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter and post new work there often. I also am very active on SnapChat at SNAPCHAT : LARRYCARLSON. Connect, add your feedback, and stay updated on new work that is posted daily.
Vice magazine (Mexico), Ilustraciones Medievales Renacen con Toques de Psicodelia, 2016.
THC Argentina, LARRY CARLSON Y EL NUEVO ARTE PSICODELICO, 2015.
Qetic Japan First Exhibition in Japan by Contempoary Artist Larry Carlson, 2013.
Cracked magazine, The 5 Most Aggressively Crazy Websites on the Internet, 2013.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Artwork by Larry Carlson,spring issue, 2013.
Sound Colour Vibration, Creator Wave Vol 39, “Interview with Larry Carlson”, 2012
iHeardin, “Artist: Larry Carlson”, 2012
Daily Dot, “The Art is in the Tweet”, 2011
PONCZ magazine, issue 3, Collage Artwork, Warsaw, Poland, 2010
The Telegraph, London, UK, “Medijate”, 2010
Art Nectar, Artist Spotlight: The Weird World of Multi-Media Artist Larry Carlson , 2010
Beautiful / Decay 2010
Kash “Alien Mind Control?”, 2010
Prana Genius “Larry Carlson’s Medijate”, 2010
Frequência X ” Visonário Artista da Multimédia”, 2010
Trend Hunter “Is Artist Larry Carlson a Modern Salvador Dali?”, 2009
Daily Art Press,”Surreal Art by Larry Carlson” 2009
US Weekly, full page art by Larry Carlson, 2008
Lucky magazine, full page art by Larry Carlson, 2008
Art Style, “The Abstract Art Vision of Larry Carlson”, 2008
Alterati, “Z-Q by Larry Carlson”, 2007
Someones Garden, Japan, 2007
Vice magazine, “He Hates Eyes” 2007
Juxtapoz magazine, “Larry Carlson”, 2007
Dose Nation, “The Visionary Art of Larry Carlson”, 2007
Berkshires News, “Artist Larry Carlson”, 2007
Seven Days, Vermont newspaper, 2005
High Times magazine, artist feature 2004
Drunken Boat, Columbia University , artist profile, Spring 2004
Vatan Newspaper, “Dijital Ecstasy”, Istanbul, Turkey, 2003
G4 Tech TV, Artist Feature 2002
Internet Art, featured artist, Paço das Artes Museum book, Brazil, 2002
Sound Colour Vibration, Creator Wave Vol 39, Interview with Larry Carlson, 2012
NY Arts Larry Carlson talks to Ry Fyan 2007
Shot in the Art | Interview 2007
NOW TV Interview 2001
Featured artist of the month interview with Larry Carlson from PixArt magazine, 2000
G4 Tech TV, Artist Feature 2002
NOW TV, Interview 2001
Emerald Cup, Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, CA, 2013
Larry Carlson, NamGallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2013
Money, Tomato House Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, NY, 2013
CON/HAL, Wayward Gallery, London, U.K., 2013
The Bearden 100, The Romare Bearden Foundation, New York, New York, 2012
PsycheDADA, AKA Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada , 2011
Gathering of the Vibes, Art and Music Festival, Bridgeport, CT, 2010-2011
S.O.L.U.T.I.O.N., Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA, 2010
MOMA New York Art Books, Museum of Modern Art / P.S.1., New York, NY, 2010
Mutant Pop, Galleri Loyal, Malmö, Sweden, 2010
HeadShop, Exile, Berlin, Germany, 2010
Boston Motion Graphics Festival, Brattle Theater, Boston, MA, 2010
Masks of God, The 58 Gallery. Jersey City, NJ, 2009
Seven Easy Steps, Horton & Liu, New York, NY, 2009
Video Installation, Lumen Eclipse, Harvard Sq, MA 2009
Art vs. Starlight, Madison, WI 2009
Book/Shelf, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 2008
Galleri Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden 2007
Other Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada 2007
David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL, 2006
Koi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2004
The Lunatarium, Kind 4, New York, NY, 2003.
The Lunatarium, Afraid of the Dark, New York, NY, 2003.
The Paço das Artes Museum, San Palo, Brazil, 2002
Amazura Ballroom, One Love, New York, NY, 2002.
B.B. King’s, New York, NY, 11.11.02
Key Club, West Hollywood, CA, 10.08.02
2nd International Digital Art Exhibition, Mumbai, India, 1999.