How is Mecier pronounced? Mess - ear
Where are you from? I was born in Los Angeles, and graduated from high school in Grass Valley. I now live in San Francisco.
What is your favorite food? They don't call me the Macaroni Monet for nothing...I love pasta!
What is your art background? Though I have no formal art training, I did have an excellent mentor in my grandmother, Anita Tollefson. When I was young, I remember being mesmerized by her paintings, weavings, mosaics, sculptures, collages, and stained glass work that filled my grandparents' house and yard. If Anita was working on an art project, she would set me up at a nearby table with a project of my own to work on. One of my earliest pieces, is a mosaic made from beans, noodles, rocks, and cut bamboo sticks glued on a piece of wood. My grandmother encouraged me to create masterpieces using materials readily available to me. She would rather paint on the back of her cigarette cartons than buy a canvas. I learned from her that I can make art out of anything I want to, and that there are no rules.
Who are your favorite artists? That's a tough question! Bernard Pras, Charles Ray, Salvador Dali, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Sandy Skogland (in particular her Cheetos and raw hamburger art pieces), Matthew Barny, Jeff Koons, Adam Ansell and Andy Warhol. It doesn't happen often, but I know I love an art piece when I become simultaneously confused, enraged, jealous and inspired!
I want to collect or trade art with celebrity artists like Marilyn Manson, Farrah Fawcett, Joan Rivers, Dennis Hopper, Anna Nicole Smith, Jane Seymour, David Lynch and Yoko Ono. A few of my most prized possessions are my original paintings by Phyllis Diller and Susan Tyrrell, and a bong Parker Posey gave me that she made in her pottery class!
How did celebrity culture become your major art theme? I don't know why, but it's always been there. As kid I remember obsessively clipping and scrap-booking pictures from the TV Guide of my favorite shows. In high school I did pencil drawings of my favorite record covers like The Rolling Stones, Olivia Newton-John and Pat Benatar. Later I did a series of psychedelic collages using Charlie's Angels trading cards and picture of Florence Henderson from the Wesson Oil coupons and ads. Soon I was arranging beans and noodles into larger portraits of these icons. It just exploded from there!
What kind of adhesives do you use? All kinds! I can wield 2-3 hot glue guns at a time! I also use Elmer's glue (for beans and noodles), bookbinding glue (for paper) Eileen's Tacky glue (for pencils and other small things) and E-6000 for hard to glue things like wine bottles, football helmets and steering wheels! I occasionally use a staple gun and screws.
How do you preserve the food? I use an acrylic sealant to help preserve the lifespan of mosaics made of beans, noodles, candy, dog food and junk food (like pretzels, chips, cookies and crackers.) I haven't found a solution to preserving fresh foods like lunchmeat, fruit, vegetables, soup, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, pickle relish, or McDonalds, so after photographing the final art piece I quickly throw it in the trash before the ants and flies take over.
How long does it take to make each portrait? At least fifty hours, but many take much, much longer! Lady GagaŹ and Farrah Fawcett each took almost 2 months and hundreds of hours!
Where do you get all that weird stuff? I love thrift shopping! For years I have collected a vast and varied arsenal of trash and trinkets that find their way into my art. These days, much of my material is gifted to me from friends, family, fans and of course the celebrities themselves.
How do you decide what materials to use for each portrait? I enjoy trying to match the perfect items, colors, and themes with the essence of each unique subject. Some fun examples include: Rosie O'Donnell made out of junk food, Snoop Dogg made out of marijuana, Sigmund Freud made out of pills. Sometimes the name suggests the medium. Guess what materials I used to make the following portraits: Condoleezza Rice, Salt-N-Peppa, Kevin Bacon, and Dog; The Bounty Hunter.* (*ANSWERS: Rice, salt and pepper, bacon, and....dog food!)
Wait, do celebrities really send you their trash? How much do they send you? Who has sent you stuff? Yes, they really do! Most people send me anywhere from a shoebox to a trash bag full of things to incorporate into their portraits. Phyllis Diller sends me a small box every few months filled with odd things like pinecones, dried up paints, jewelry, eyeglasses and anti-itch ointments. Barbi Benton sent me an entire U-Haul full of very personal keepsakes like prom queen crowns, platform shoes, Hee-Haw overalls, sunglasses, jewelry- and even the retainer she wore in high school! I also have a bag of Pam Anderson's laundry, and a letter Paris Hilton wrote me from prison!
Participants include Phyllis Diller, Rosie O'Donnell, Florence Henderson, Mary-Louise Parker, Amy Sedaris, Parker Posey, Ricki Lake, RuPaul, Elvira, Margaret Cho, George Lopez, Scissor Sisters, the Go-Go's, the B52's, Ryan Adams, Morgan Fairchild, Kathy Najimy, Barbi Benton, Tura Satana, Susan Tyrrell, Stepfanie Kramer, Joan Van Ark, Allee Willis, Heidi Fleiss and others. Other celebrity clients include Farrah Fawcett, Pink, Bjork, Melissa Etheridge, Gloria Steinem, William Friedkin, and Scary Spice.
Which celebrity's portrait are you dying to do, that you haven't already done?Paris Hilton, Ellen, Oprah, Tyra, Cher, Dolly Parton, Hugh Hefner, Judge Judy, Joan Rivers, Wendy Williams, Joy Behar, Jennifer Tilly, Daryl Hannah, Beyonce, Yoko Ono, David Lynch, Lindsay Lohan, Snookie, Shelley Duvall and Delta Burke ...just to name a few!
Where do you show your art? My portraits have been shown in just about every venue imaginable- from cafes and hair salons to art galleries, major museums and inside celebrity homes. Both my commercial art and fine art pieces have been published in international magazines and broadcast on network television programs. Please check out the SHOW link to see where I am currently exhibiting.
Do you do commissioned art pieces? YES! Please email me for a quote. email@example.com
Didn't you cover some stairwell with pencils? Where can I get more info about the "Pencil House?" The award-winning piece is known as "Pencil-vania" and has been featured in "Ripley's Believe It...Or Not!" you can see photos and read the FAQ at the Granny's Empire of Art website! http://jainabee.com/index.html#
What's next? I am designing a coffee table book of my Celebrity Junk Drawer portrait series.