• JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 64

Back Talk with Dave Burke

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, 28 Jul 2009


His early roots in lowbrow helped him score covers for Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Rat Fink Comix in the mid 90’s as well as a two-man exhibit with Roth in 1999. Dabblings in kitsch landed his work alongside Margaret Keane’s in The Laguna Art Museum’s “Keane and Keanabilia” exhibit, which showcased early and current works by “big eyed” art masters.


Burke’s Tiki art has been published in books such as Taboo: The Art of Tiki and Tiki Art Now! And in 2008, he was part of Forest Lawn Museum’s prestigious “In Search of Tiki” exhibition. Burke has exhibited worldwide, and his creations have appeared in movies and on billboards. He has also collaborated with bands Skinny Puppy and Pigface, and in 2007, Burke created the 30th Anniversary “Fiend” logo for legendary horror punk band The Misfits. For more information about the artist, check out


Without further ado, here is Back Talk with Dave Burke:

How do you feel right now?


Gloriously and fearlessly in love.


If you could wake up in a different place tomorrow morning, where would it be and what would you do?

It would be in a modernist pod bed which resembled a big, white, hollowed out m&m with fresh cotton sheets of criminally high thread count in an architecturally intriguing house that I actually owned, located on a large parcel of land within walking distance from the ocean, a reasonably priced fish 'n' chips joint and a well stocked comic book shop. I'd get up, eat a "bodybuilder breakfast" and commence to putter about.

If you lost your creative skill, how would you see yourself making a living?

As a relationship therapist, most likely.

If you could punch one living contemporary artist, who would it be?

Punch to a bloody pulp, or like, "Go get 'em Tiger!"...?

Was your first kiss worth writing a song about?

Probably. It was with my (at the time) best friend's girlfriend...

At what point were you particularly happy?

I have to say, now. I've just completed painting for an exhibition opening this weekend and I'm in an utterly fantastic romantic collaboration with a woman who's never dated any of my best friends. Hi Honey!

No regrets allowed, but there must have been one?

Uh, yes. In fact, it occurred in the span of time since I answered the last question. My girlfriend and I just had an argument (seriously) and it seems we may be breaking up.

What trait do your friends have in common?

They all posses a twisted sense of humor and a godly amount of tolerance for my neuroses.

If you had to evacuate your home or studio, what's the one thing you would grab?

Prior to question #7 it was a little hand made Valentine I gave to my sweetums. Now I suppose it would be my laptop or something, but it doesn't really matter...

Greatest love of your life?

The gift of my art. It has been there for me through some rough times. My pretty partner in crime (update: we just reconciled!) is OK with this.

What is your favorite vice?

That'd be a toss up between foot fetishism and kettle style potato chips.

When you blow out the birthday candles, what do you wish for?

The Power

If you could play a character from a favorite film or TV show for a day, who would it be?

Actually, I play my favorite characters practically all day, every day. Today I was the time folding, spice mutated Guild representative in the movie Dune. Yesterday I was a scruffy crab fisherman from television's Worlds Deadliest Catch!

Do you ever lie?

Oh, little white lies or fibs to conceal surprise birthday parties or that sort of thing I suppose. But nothing more elaborate than that I can assure you.
INNER MONOLOGUE: "The fools! They believe every word! All is going according to plan..."

Do you think viewers understand the intent of your work?

I think so. Especially infants.

What virtue can you do without?

"Selflessishness" - The unnecessary indulgence in self-sacrifice.

Do you even notice when you're swearing?

Definitely. Everyone notices. I use it sparingly but with maximum impact.

What has been your proudest moment?

Personally, it was learning to ride a handstand on my skateboard. Professionally, I'd say it was being hand picked by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth to exhibit with him in a two-man show in 1998.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Something intensely meaningful which, I believe, I have not yet accomplished.

How would you prefer to die?

Mysteriously. Body never found.

DB’s work is currently displayed alongside the talented Mia and Sarah Folkman at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City. Definitely worth checking out.


Full magazine features from Juxtapoz

visit the VAULT >