With so many artists today sourcing materials from advertising, it should be no surprise to see TV networks return the favor. Case in point, the campaign for the HBO show "True Blood," in which globs of presumably vampire-related blood bear an uncanny resemblance artist Seth Price's signature cut-outs, the series of appropriated images that he reproduces in negative as all drawings. Price's series of silhouetted images reproduced in the negative have been exhibited at Friedrich Petzel in New York and the Whitney Biennial. Is HBO biting Price's style? Is it an homage? Or nothing at all?
ASHER PENN: Have you seen the new True Blood ads?
SETH PRICE: Yes.
AP: Where did you see them? What was your initial reaction?
SP: I saw a poster on the street, some time in the past few weeks. I didn't really think about it, beyond a glance. Is this about the ad?
AP: Yeah. For me they bore a striking resemblance to the silhouettes that I have seen you do.
SP: That's true.
AP: Do you think it's a coincidence?
SP: I don't know. I'm sure those two-profile illusions have been around for hundreds of years. I just took them as a starting point. Maybe I should take that ad and use it?
AP: Maybe. They're good ads... So you don't feel ripped off or anything?
SP: I don't know where they got it, but it looks good. It's better than the fake blood-drink ads they ran. I just checked out their online ad, the one that flows like a spill. I'd like to see the bonded wood and plastic look I did for the silhouettes work its way back into commercial design or interior design. Redundancy is interesting, it does complicated, kind of confusing things to the material.
AP: That online ad also reminded me of the video you did with the blobs of black over Robert Smithson. What art motifs do you like seeing in advertisements?
SP: I'm not sure what the difference is. It's a common language of images.
AP: Have you ever watched "True Blood?" What do you think about vampires?
SP: I watched the first few episodes, and then I lost interest. Vampires... I don't feel one way or another about vampires.
AP: I always figured that your cutouts were a riff on the Marcel Duchamp self-portrait, in which you get just the line of his nose and lips in silhouette...
SP: Yes, the profile. I hadn't thought of that. The Hitchcock profile is nice, too.