I met Marris Mielnick by chance on a hot summer day at a party for mimes that was taking place in a bar in Bushwick around 2016. The party's focal point was a pageant of the most outrageously dressed mimes. When a mime dressed like Madonna circa Evita hit the stage, that was my cue to leave however I hit it off with Marris and we decided to spend the rest of the day going on a mini adventure around Bushwick. The rest of the day was spent walking around train tracks to survey and take photos of graffiti (many of the works Marris pointed out were created by friends of his), hopping around various Bushwick bars to meet up with his friends in art and music and by night time we ended up at a crowded rooftop party where a bonehead tried to start an argument with me and some dude started lighting his farts on fire while proclaiming that he must get laid that night. The evening ended at Marris's apartment where he pulled out a vintage typewriter and told me to type anything I wanted. Throughout the day I got to learn about his personal work as an artist and the artists he admires. I recently interviewed him because he's got a beautiful exhibit of his Polaroid photographs. During that hot summer day I recall him at one point telling me he's a "purist" when it comes to photography and so all of the work in his Polaroid show are vintage originals as opposed to the newly manufactured Polaroids that are popular and easy to find today.
Gone Bazaar: What's your background in art?
Marris Mielnick: I grew up the son of an art gallery director. I spent my afternoons in art centers, painting studios, openings, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to consider the impact that had on me as a child, until now. No one has ever asked that question. My father had several positions at different art centers in Central New York over the years, and I would be the little boy exploring the back rooms, pottery studios, painting rooms. Sneaking off with markers and oil sticks that didn’t belong to me.
So, I guess I had my heart set on being an “artist” at a pretty young age. Although I didn’t see much that impressed me. I went to college for studio composition of music. I learned a lot and got kicked out before I got a piece of paper. But I did get a camera. Later, I got certified as an audio engineer, and I do run a music label, but I don’t consider that my occupation.
GB: Who are some artists (of any discipline) who inspire you?
MM: Droid907. UFO907. Adam Void. Gane & Texas. Aaron Maine. Christina Halladay. Andrew Shirley. Mikael Kennedy. El-P. Daddy Kev. Ka. Open Mike Eagle. Neil Gaiman. Christopher Nolan. Charlie Kaufman. Lars Von Trier. Cash4. Tod Seelie. Swoon. Zach Tucker. Tom Porter. Mike O’Toole. Laura A. Serman. Reader & You Go Girl & Andrew Schrock. Smells907. Rhiannon Blatt. Lorn. Earth. Most of those are friends of mine. The others I bet we’d be good friends.
GB: If you could live inside the mind of one artist (past, present, fictional or real) for one day, whom would you choose? why?
MM: It’s terrible to be inside the mind of an artist. I bet it’s pretty fun to be Action Bronson. He has a lot of fun and still gets amazing shit done and has really clever insight on things.
GB: What's your favorite city and how does it inspire you?
MM: New Orleans.
All of the things I like to do in NYC are frowned upon. Down there those same things are celebrated. NYC feels like a paranoid, anxiety trap. Too much money, too much competition within the arts community. It’s a popularity contest in the purest essence, it’s nepotism. Take me somewhere where people appreciate what I do for what I do, not who I know or who my affiliates are.
GB: If you could have a dinner party with any 3 artists or people of your choice (past, present, fictional or real) who would you choose and what would you make for dinner?
MM: I don’t like eating around people.
But if I did...
I’d make chicken soup, it’s my go-to. A ton of it.
And I’d share it with Skech185, Elucid, and Jeff Markey.