We have been closely following artist Alex Israel’s talk show series As it Lays where he interviews well known Los Angelenos like Rachel Zoe, Ian Ziering, Rick Rubin and Marilyn Manson. Taking cues from his deadpan manner of interviewing subjects, we came up with a few of our own questions for the man behind the sunglasses. MOCA will screen As it Lays accompanied by a special performance by Israel on May 19th following the release of the final episode on May 7th.
Paddle8: Why do you wear sunglasses?
Alex Israel: I’m actually really interested in sunglasses. So much so that I started my own brand: Freeway Eyewear. I’m proud of them so I wear them all the time.
P8: What is the perfect “video portrait”?
AI: They all are. Perfection is the simple act of getting one done!
P8: What was your toughest interview moment?
AI: I was meant to interview a former studio head at his home. He kept canceling the appointment–this dragged on for weeks. When he finally agreed to do the shoot, I showed up at his house, ready to go. He was there, in bed, in his pajamas. He berated me before refusing to shoot, for no apparent reason whatsoever.
P8: Which astrological sign are you most romantically compatible with?
AI: My psychic says an Aries is in my future.
P8: Please complete this sentence: “The best place to ______ in Los Angeles is ________.
AI: The best place to wiggle your toes in the sand while eating a fish taco in Los Angeles is Paradise Cove.
P8: Where does your fascination with the “Talk Show” come from?
AI: I’m by no means a talk show expert, but I do think there’s something to be said for Arsenio Hall as a cultural touchstone.
P8: What are your guilty pleasures?
AI: I don’t feel guilty when I masturbate, if that’s what you’re asking.
P8: Do you carry a lucky talisman?
P8: Do you have a favorite “bad” television show?
AI: I won’t watch a show that I think is bad. Right now I love anything with a Kardashian in it, The Voice and Work of Art.
P8: Which celebrity do people mistake you for?
AI: In my video portrait of Marilyn Manson, he remarks that I resemble Griffin Dunne.
For more information about Alex Israel, check out his Berlin gallery Peres Projects, or view Israel’s recent exhibition at Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York. Interview with Marilyn Manson courtesy of Alex Israel and asitlays.com.