David M Cook is the architect of a mischievous microcosm. Amicable and unassuming, he hardly seems the “type” to consistently and skillfully crank out such a lewd labyrinth of work, but the cheeky hedonism comes all too naturally. Based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn, but originally from Louisville, Kentucky, David (who also answers to Bonethrower) uses no shortage of fine lines to design a world that is equal parts modern mysticism and memento mori—at the end of the day, it all sinks in like a psychotropic drug.
SK: Tell us a little bit about this piece. Was it part of a recent theme or series you produced?
Bonethrower: It was a part of a series of 4 drawings (for now) of heavy metal and rock gods making shadow puppets. I can’t tell you if there was a real thought process going into but I sure found the end result pretty hilarious.
SK: What materials did you use to make it?
B: Most all of my work is pen and paper. Some times for larger areas I will do a bit of cut paper as well.
SK: I read somewhere that you want your work to look as if a computer has been used. With so many details and intricate line work all done by hand each piece must take you an age to make. How long did this particular piece take you?
B: Each one in that series was about 30 hours or so. I tend to work pretty fast these days. Each one was 20x30 inches.
SK: Tell us a bit about the idea and execution.
B: Really it started as simple as me not really having any ideas and think well hold on, I have never really drawn the Motorhead logo. I gave that one a shit and had fun with it so I though tlet me try king diamond, gene simmons, and one of my all time favorites alice cooper. This all lead me down a road of drawings of fictional black metal gods and the churches they inhabit. Was a really fun series of drawings and lead me to start drawing these architectural drawings that I have never tried before. Funny how one things just leads to another sometimes.
SK: Where does the name Bonethrower come from?
B: Honestly it was a song title from a band called marching teeth that I play in. I needed something to use for instagram when I signed up for it and now here we are. I never intended for that to be a name I would go by. At thte same time I don’t hate it so I think I’ll just keep rolling with it.
SK: Your characters have a mythical element to them, like they are demigods ruling their domain. How would you describe them and the world that they inhabit?
B: I think you nailed right there. I like creating these worlds and conflicts for the characters to live in. it makes it a lot more fun for me (and I hope the viewer as well) to have some type of relatable world for them to live in.
SK: You seem to be constantly busy producing new work, what have you been up to lately and where have you gone recently?
B: I try and work everyday. It is the only way I am ever going to get any better and to find new ideas to play with. Some of the most recent things have been getting in my first group show since I moved to LA at Soze Gallery. I got to show with some pretty big names and I felt like I fit right in. made me feel proud that my work could hold its own with the group of talent I was showing with. I just finished a tour poster for the band brand new and saves the day. A new record cover for long time friends in the band young widows. A new tour shirt for the band mastodon. Working on two new bodies of work for various shows this year. Lots of things on my plate these days.
SK: You also play in the Brooklyn based metal band, ‘Marching Teeth.’ (The ‘ABOUT’ section on your page made me crack up!) Does your ties to the music scene influence your work? If so, how?
B: Oh for sure. Growing up with heavy metal, punk, and skateboarding has influenced everything I do and how I live my life. Those things saved my life I think. They gave a group to bounce ideas off of and more Ideas than I think I will ever find the time to make. I love that I still get asked by bands that I am a fan of to make things for. To have a band like mastodon keep coming back for my crazy ideas and putting them on shirts makes me more than happy.
SK: What was it like living in Brooklyn? How would you describe the local art scene?
B: I loved my time in Brooklyn but after almost 12 years there it was finally time to go and try something new. I moved to Los Angeles in November and have been slowly learning to adjust to a slower pace of life. It has been interesting to say the least. Polar opposite from NYC to me. The art scene there was fantastic. Getting to meet so many great people and artist that I admired pushed me to try everything harder and make everything better. The folks at the cotton candy machine were incredible to me. Gave me a lot of opportunities that I will forever be thankful for.
SK: What are your thoughts on collecting art? What is your own collection like?
B: Well being a poor artist I would say my collection could be better. The great thing about meeting artist that you are a fan of is sometimes finding out that they are a fan of you as well so trades are always a possibility. Having said that my favorites right now are some trades I got to make with Skinner, Ferris Plock, and a small painting I got through the tiny trifecta show they do every year at the cotton candy machine by Arik Roper.
SK: Do you remember the first piece of art you bought?
B: I honestly could not tell you. I think the only thing I have ever really bought art wise was the Arik Roper. I have never really had the money to buy all the fantastic things I wish I could have bought.
SK: What other artists have inspired or influenced your work?
B: That is a huge laundry list right there. I will just list a few artist and musicians that I am in love with. Gerhard Richter, Barry McGee, Metallica, Charles Bradley, Alice Cooper, Mike Giant, Jay Howell, The Band Sleep, Kurt Vile, Disney and Hannah Barbera, loving all the new work by Cleon Peterson, Stanley Kubrick, the Cohen brothers… this could go on forever.
SK: What else is on the cards for you this year?
B: Working my skinny ass off for anything and everything that gets thrown my way. A couple of group shows here in LA and Denver, a fun project with a music festival in Mexico City, some more band work. Anything and everything I hope. As long as I am making new and fun stuff and pushing myself into new directions I am a happy man.