The Shooting Gallery here in San Francisco opens Grand Illusion, work by Anthony Michael Sneed Saturday, July 9th 7-11pm and runs through July 30th. In addition to paintings and handmade wooden object installations, Sneed will be releasing a print with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Daniel Rolnik interviews Sneed covering his process, his musical past and how he was once part of a Christian cult. Featured here in this interview is some recent work and previous works.
Do you sketch everything out before you paint it?
I do it all in the computer.
The print with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the San Francisco LGBT Community Center
What program do you use?
Photoshop. I could probably do it in illustrator way better, but illustrator and I don’t get along.
How do you transfer the sketches from the computer onto canvass?
I don’t mean to sound like a geek, but it involves a series of math that I have to do. There’s a tool in Photoshop under the analysis menu called record measurements, where you can record each pixel. I lasso one row of pixels and it tells me how many pixels it is. Let’s say it measures 256px across in Photoshop and my actual canvass is 55.5 inches wide. I’d divide the two numbers; find out how big each pixel is, and then make custom rulers out of tape that equal those measurements. I make an x/y axis and cover the piece in tape - I don’t grid it out in pencil. I use an x-acto to cut the lines out on the x/y axis, pull it out, and paint it in. Eventually, I got to the point where I was making them like a manual screen-print, I would see where the color would be and paint huge blotches to save me a lot of time. It’s all math.
Wouldn’t it be easier to use a projector?
The lines wouldn’t be perfect because all types of weird shit can happen to lenses since they can get bumped or curved.
Is it true that you found out about the horror film you were in, Bad Biology, from craigslist?
That’s a lie. This girl I was hooking up with at the time had this TV show on the style network and was friends with the rapper R.A. Thornurn who was the produer and co-writer of Bad Biology and I knew of him since I was doing hip-hop music at the time, believe it or not. Anyways she asked me if I wanted to audition and I thought I’d give it a try even though I didn’t really think I’d get it, but I ended up getting the role which was cool.
What was your rapper name?
Chief Sneed. I’ve had like 7 different names and they’re all bad.
Did you take all of your rap offline?
Hell yeah. You can actually find some beats I produced for a record that we put Jay Z vocals over - which everyone and their mother has already done. Rob Swift from the X-ecutioners did all the cuts on it, which is cool. It’s called Native American Gangster because the vocals were taken from the American Gangster record that Jay Z did and the fact that I’m a quarter Cherokee Indian. My family lives on a reservation in North Carolina.