Close Encounters of the Literary Kind: Part 6

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Meet Alex: Graphic designer, DVD collector, literary enthusiast

Recently, my iPod nano decided to up and die on me. Apparently, Apple products are not invincible, despite what their employees and devoted fans imply. It’s impossible for me to work out (or live, for that matter) without music. So the same day, I went to Fry’s Electronics to grab a replacement.

If you’ve ever been to Fry’s on a weekend, you’ve pretty much entered my own personal hell. It’s hot, it’s crowded, people are eating snacks in line, and 9 times out of 10 there’s a screaming kid within earshot. Unless you’re a total masochist, do yourself a favor and go on a weekday during your lunch.

I spotted Alex Gutierrez holding a stack of DVD’s while waiting in line for a cashier and did my best not to stare. Unfortunately that can be difficult when someone is directly in front of you and you’re trying to avoid impulse buys on surrounding shelves. I’m sure someone somewhere needs a Pillow Pet and Almond Roca, just not me. While trying not to burn a hole in his back, two things specifically caught my eye. “The Crow” on Blu Ray (don’t ask) and a beat up copy of ‘Story of the Eye’ by Georges Bataille poking out of the back pocket of his jeans. Wasn’t Bataille’s work banned? I couldn’t help myself…

1. What book has been the biggest influence in your life?

When i was in art school, we had to read Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky for a studio class. It completely changed how i approached and looked at art. Kandinsky was an amazing painter, but i really had no appreciation for him until i read that book. It’s his manifesto. He placed huge significance on these four elements: Line, Color, Composition, and Form. Which can be applied just as easily to abstract or figurative work.

2. What author and/or character do you identify with most?

Denis Johnson, particularly from his book, Jesus’ Son. The way he describes situations with an almost dream-like timeline is very relatable to how my memory works. He can find beauty in a totally insignificant “normal” situation. The narrator has a tendency to make terrible decisions without malicious intent. Sort of absent minded, but on some kind of weird road to enlightenment.

3. What do you think happens to you when you die?

Hopefully heaven or reincarnation. or something cool. if there’s nothing, then it’s sort of like, what’s the point. i feel like art and creativity are proof that we’re more than just hollow organisms. like, i feel like we have souls, and when our bodies die, our soul moves on. i dunno, i’m not religious, it’s just something i’ve always felt was real.

4. Have you ever penned anything yourself? And if so what’s the recurring theme?

No, i’m a terrible writer. maybe not terrible, but definitely not good enough to pursue it.

5. If you had to re-live your life as a character in a book, what book/character would it be?

Sal Paradise in On The Road, probably. The thought of road tripping across America, to Mexico, etc… especially around that time period (late 40s, early 50s) would be incredible.

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