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Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots
Mario Zoots


interview: Tiffany Diane Tso
images: courtesy Mario Zoots

I would call Denver artist Mario Zoots a triple art threat. Because not only does he create visual art, he makes music as Modern Witch and videos to accompany songs, as well as ones to stand alone. On top of that, his severe intellect and thoughtfulness (behind his art) are boundless. Viewing any of his art is likely to fuck the minds of innocent bystanders, but for those a little less timid, the surreality and mystique could play with your subconscious for days to follow.   

If you're interested in taking a journey of intrigue and confusion, pop culture and the digisphere, war and obscure, look to Zoots and don't be sorry.

What's your take on Dadaism?

I’m a fan of dada and its introduction of collage into the art world. I personally however connect with surrealism on so many more levels.

2012, who are you voting for?

I’m voting for the Internet in 2012.

What are some of your favorite publications?

My favorite series of books has been the collaboration of Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press. They have put together a collection titled, Documents of Contemporary Art. Each book is on a specific theme in contemporary culture, such as ‘Appropriation’, ‘The Sublime’ or ‘Failure’. I use these books as inspiration when going to work in my studio often. These books are full of short excerpts from many different artists, theorists and intellectuals.

I also really love zines. I am a part of an experimental publishing project called Drippy Bone Books. We have been making artists zines and comix since 2007.

In your last memorable nightmare, what happened? Was your dream in 1st person or 3rd?

One dream that is always disturbing, frightening and recurring is one where I am levitating above my bed with my eyes open. I am completely frozen. I can not move my arms or legs. I want to close my eyes, but I can't. I have no control over my body, and I can't wake up. And in once instance, I stood across the room watching myself levitate.

Mario Zoots

I am levitating above my bed with my eyes open. I am completely frozen. I can not move my arms or legs. I want to close my eyes, but I can't.

Marry, boff, kill: Nico, Ginger Spice, Bai Ling.

I love Nico so much. I have the hugest crush on her. I would do anything to go back in time to meet her or see her perform. My other female singer obsession is Marianne Faithfull.

What frontier are you most eager to travel?

These last few years, I have spent time in Holland, Belgium and Brazil. I really want to find the time to make it to the Mediterranean. I would love to spend some time in Greece. It's my current fantasy.

Gun to your head, choose one: visual art or music.

Music; it inspires everything I do in my life.

Do you have any tattoos? What are they?

I have a half dozen tattoos. Some with stories some with none. I have a tattoo of two praying hands chopped at the wrist with blue bones coming out out from the flesh; they're dripping with blood. This represents my childhood and growing up in a strict religious household, then abandoning it all later in life.

What is your lucky charm?

I have a necklace that my best friend Kristy Fenton got me in Amsterdam. It's two charms, one is a kind of skeleton key, and the other is a palm with a face on it. There is some kind of Arabic writing on them, which I don't understand. I wear them everyday, and they bring me positive energy wherever I go.

Tell us about your past life.

In a past life, I was probably a magician.

The subjects of your art - is there any rhyme or reason for selecting them? What is it?

Appropriation, mysticism, the occult, the new Gothic, the Internet, surrealism, death and pop culture. I make work under these themes, because I am strongly drawn to them.

What is on the walls of your bedroom right now?

White paint.

+ Mario Zoots website
+ Mario Zoots videos
+ Documents of Contemporary Art