Sarah Jayne Fell talks to AJ Fosik about God, acid trips and impending doom, as well as his latest body of work, which fits somewhere roughly in between.

The Third Way Out (2009) AJ Fosik

The Third Way Out (2009) wood, paint and nails 213.4 x 91.4 x 91.4 cm

Images courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York


Who is AJ Fosik? (And what does AJ stand for?)

AJ Fosik is a benevolent and loving creator who will smash and burn everything you love if you don’t exalt and praise his name, which the faithful can tell you is Antonius Jamiroquai.


Tell me about when and where you grew up…

I grew up gnawing on the rusty bones of Detroit, Michigan. We washed down dinner with a glass of tears from each of the Big Three and at night we would use the axles of Plymouths and Pontiacs to bar our doors against the wolves and prostitutes.


Always to Dust (2007) AJ Fosik

Always to Dust (2007) mixed media 127 x 132 x 35.6 cm

I’ll probably never get to meet you so what kind of person would you say you are?

Don’t be so negative, we could have a chance encounter in an airport bathroom in some far-flung port of call. I’m a raptor.


Does it surprise you that there would be an interest in your work all the way in ‘deep dark Africa’?

I’m surprised, yes. Given that I’m American, and a product of the American education system, I was quite surprised to learn of the existence of a ‘South’ Africa. The globes we buy from Walmart only feature the US of A on them so I’m not sure exactly where you are but I’m guessing it’s close to Florida.


In the Teeth of Stupifying Odds (2010) AJ Fosik

In the Teeth of Stupifying Odds (2010) wood, paint and nails 121.9 x 121.9 x 38.1 cm


You studied illustration. Why the departure?

I still illustrate, I just don’t make clever little jokes for art directors. I make clever little jokes for people to hang above their sofas.


Read the full article in issue 22 of one small seed: South Africa’s pop culture quarterly. Order your copy here.