Rejection (Guest: Justine Sanborn)

In the newest episode of Doodle wt Dillon, Dillon Bakke collaborates with up-and-coming artist Justine Sanborn. I called Justine on a Sunday afternoon and enjoyed her classy Vivaldi ringback while I waited for her to answer the phone and talk with me about her work.

Tell me about this video that you and Dillon created.
We decided on the theme “Rejection.” February [when the video was created] is the month of Valentine’s Day, and rejection is a common thing for people who don’t have a valentine.

What’s your background as an artist and illustrator?
I’m a student at St. Cloud State, double majoring in graphic design and printmaking. I’ll be graduating next fall and I’m heading to New York to continue my career. As a printmaker I do silk screening, lithography—anything you can think of. Illustration…that’s my graphic design background. I do a lot of video work as well. In my current work, I’m using the wolf mask that you see in this video. I use it as a means of masking identity and giving my characters similar identities. The wolf represents America, so I use it with American characters. For example, with a child in Iraq who was used as a decoy bomber, the wolf mask represents the way America masks its actions and intentions.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
Joseph Beuys is one of my focuses—specifically, his performance called I Like America and America Likes Me, where he worked with a coyote. Also John Baldessari [above] and his process with the circle, the conceptual idea of masking. Ryan Trecartin, a young video artist, is a huge influence on my video work.

What do you like on your tacos?
I enjoy shrimp tacos with a bit of cilantro and some spicy hot tamale sauce.

- Interview by Jay Gabler

Image credits: John Baldessari’s Stonehenge (with Two Persons) Blue (2005), from the Museum of Contemporary Photography; photograph of Justine Sanborn courtesy Dillon Bakke.