Late in the afternoon on the last day of 2010, I paid a visit to the international headquarters of MPLS.TV, which are conveniently located in Northeast Minneapolis. Illustrator Justin Sehorn was at work with MPLS.TV’s Dillon Bakke creating an animated video that incorporates Sehorn’s signature collage technique. The creative juice (brand name: Franzia) was flowing, and needless to say, tacos were involved. “We’re going right over the top of this bitch,” said Sehorn as he shook a can of spray paint.
I asked Sehorn a few questions as he worked.
So you’re based in Minneapolis?
Yeah. Actually, I live on the St. Paul side, right by 280 and University.
Tell me about how you got started as an artist.
I’ve just always done it. It’s just something to do—to busy the hands so your mind gets a break.
Why do you work in collage as a style?
Because it’s fully loaded. You take an image that’s already been captured and use it in your own way. It’s a style that coincides with the way we use technology. When you want to do something with a computer, you don’t write a new program from 1s and 0s, you use a program that already exists. In the same way, in collage you don’t reinvent images—you take something that exists and use it to make something new. It’s the future of art. You take something that’s fully loaded with meaning, and you repurpose it.
What’s a particularly satisfying project you’ve worked on?
It’s always the next thing. Finished products are never up to speed with what you want to do next. There’s a gap between what you’re excited about and what you’ve finished.
Tell me about this animation you’re working on.
All I know is the word “lust.” That’s the theme, and we’re just throwing ideas at this board as they come. I have no idea where it’s going. This is my first time working with Dillon, so it will be a new collaboration.
What artists do you most respect?
I try to steer away from that kind of discussion, but I’m a fan of Basquiat and Picasso, because of their lifestyles. I’m a big fan of process, and you can see that in their work. How they live is completely available to you in their work. There’s no gap between them as people and the art they make.