Episode 18: Patty Hogan, Foodie and artist Living in Tapei

Patty Hogan is an internationally acclaimed artist and owner of the brand Fatty Romance. Patty talks about her experiences in Taipei, Korea and their food, Midwestern foods.

BIO of PATTY HOGAN

Patty Hogan is an internationally acclaimed artist and owner of the brand fatty romance. Born in Iowa and having spent many formative years in Seoul as well as Taipei it is no wonder why food plays such a large part in her art. Having been described as hilariously grotesque body image, food, overindulgence, and beauty in the mundane are all themes explored within her art.

Patty talks about her experiences in Taipei, Korea and their food, Midwestern foods.

SOME OF THE TOPICS COVERED

  • Why Korean food is extremely unique
  • Midwestern food and its similarity to other culture
  • Why Patty named her art as Fatty Romance

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CONNECT with PATTY HOGAN

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madeitouttafood
Facebook: FattyRomance
Website: http://fattyromance.com

Buy her artwork: https://www.saatchiart.com/

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TRANSCRIPT

You can read the transcript below or download here.

Zach Ireland:

Joining me today in the studio is freelance and internationally acclaimed artist, Patty Hogan and owner and CEO of the brand, fattyromance.com. Thanks for joining me today in the studio today, Patty.

Patty Hogan:

Thanks for having me, Zack.

Zach Ireland:

Of course, anytime.

Patty Hogan:

That’s great!

Zach Ireland:

Can you do me a favor and can you describe the studio that we’re shooting in right now?

Patty Hogan:

This studio is my art studio and currently, it is based in my lovely Taipei abode so, it’s right next to Shilin night market so we’re constantly surrounded by the buzz and humdrum of Taiwan life. Everything that is Taiwanese is wonderful.

Zach Ireland:

And tons and tons of good food over there.

Patty Hogan:

Way too much [laughs].

Zach Ireland:

I know that night market very, very well and actually, that leads me into, we can just go ahead and jump right into the meat of the interview. You work here as an artist. The majority of your art is paintings, is that correct?

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, at the moment. The last 10 years since I left the US has been kind of gravitating towards illustration and painting and illustrative paintings, I guess.

Zach Ireland:

And you mentioned the Shilin night market and, of course, a lot of food. Because I know you personally, I know food is very important to you but also, your Instagram handle for a lot of creations is @madeitouttafood. Can you talk about how food plays a role in that?

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, my Instagram handle is madeitouttafood which is what my partner and I say to each other when I was like, “Damn, you look so sexy! How’d you get so sexy?” and he’s like “Bitch, I made out with food! I just made it outta food!” That’s life and I guess the idea of eating and food has always been really important to everybody, of course. Everyone likes to eat good food and I’ve always found it hilarious thinking about what different people it. something that’s really delicious to me might not be delicious to you and as an American, I guess the transition from typical food culture, I think, that America used to have and to this mega food culture of the late 20thcentury, early 21stcentury is insane and growing up during that time, I just found it hilarious. This idea of mega portions and what is the epic mealtime sort of stuff and just food competitions and I just get delighted by that stuff so it’s been a part of it.

Zach Ireland:

You can get a gallon of soda for 25 cents.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah and you need to and it’s brilliant.

Zach Ireland:

Can you supersize that for me? Speaking of that, we come from very similar backgrounds in the sense that we’re both from Midwest of the United States of America. I’m from Nebraska, you’re from Iowa, we don’t need to talk about which state is better.

Patty Hogan:

I mean, we know.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, it’s very obvious. Let’s say it together at the same time. 

Patty Hogan:

No! [laughs]

Zach Ireland:

One, two, three, Nebraska! But we do have very similar food cultures in the sense that it’s very meat, very potato-heavy. It’s very Scandinavian, German and—

Patty Hogan:

Casseroles. I come from the Jell-O state which I found out in college.

Zach Ireland:

I didn’t know that.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, Iowa invented refrigerators with frigid air and what was it? Maytag and to sell more refrigerators throughout America, they made Jell-o salads. They’re like a chic thing to bring to a 1950s cocktail party. You can thank Iowa for that.

Zach Ireland:

So, Jell-o salad is like fruit, fluff and something like…

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, the ambrosia salad. The Jell-o molds, the savory or sweet just like abominations that our grandmothers slaved over.

Zach Ireland:

That’s so funny. I have no idea that…I was talking about this with a New York-based Filipino friend of mine who grew up in the Midwest and she has heard about and knows about ambrosia salad and fruit fluff and stuff.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, still my father’s favorite.

Zach Ireland:

There are a lot of people in New York that are like “What are you talking about? What is this?” I didn’t know this was such a midwestern thing.

Patty Hogan:

Huh. I didn’t know either.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, I had no idea.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, maybe.

Zach Ireland:

Very cool but enough about ambrosian fruit salad, so, we’re also similar in the sense that when you left Iowa, you ended up moving to Korea was the first.

Patty Hogan:

I left Iowa in my early mid-twenties to move to Chicago and I lived there for a number of years doing grad school and other things and then I graduated grad school in 2009 and surprise, there was no economy so I’ve always been a traveler and I just figured if I’m going to slave away at something that isn’t going to be my desire because I just got out of school and I don’t have the experience and I’m competing with people with 40 years’ experience that had to be laid off, I might as well just travel on my own and just take a job abroad and typically, work significantly less than I would in the US and have more time off. So, then, I ended up in high school, before that I lived in Denmark so after grad school, okay, I’m free to go anywhere and I’d visited Taiwan and japan in 2007 and Korea just seemed like the place to go to. So yeah, ended up there.

Zach Ireland:

And talking about food culture and how that relates to your artwork, we mentioned before that we come from very casserole, meat, potato, very heavy, heavy food. How would you say that compared to your life in Korea when you first moved there?

Patty Hogan:

Korea, I think like most cultures, Korean culture is really proud of its cuisine and one thing that’s really lovely there is Korean people will constantly say food is very important to our culture. Gochujang and kimchi are the prizes of their nation. There’s so many things that are flavored with really rich and delicious flavors but it’s all pretty basic set of ingredients in it and so, being there, it was so nice eating all these fresh, amazing food that was also praising. I guess, for me, it was definitely the most valuable, most beloved thing in there and their menu as well, in a way but it got me thinking about what food comes from America. What is American cuisine and it’s like wow, Korean culture has so many amazing dishes and they’re pretty healthy and they’re well-balanced and not too heavy, not too rich. It’s really nice and then, wow, America is our food that we’ve developed is such classically American food is casseroles and hamburgers and all of these kind of like depression food that came out at this time we had to get creative to survive.

Zach Ireland:

The Reuben sandwich is a perfect example.

Patty Hogan:

Is it?

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, it was created in Omaha, Nebraska by a Ukrainian immigrant, I believe. It’s a sauerkraut between loose pieces of sandwiches. It’s depression food.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah. Wait, that’s a Runza.

Zach Ireland:

We do have Runzas as well.

Patty Hogan:

Oh, Runza, it’s corned beef with a pastrami.

Zach Ireland:

Oh yeah, corned beef, not with a sauerkraut. Yeah, on top of a pastrami but then a Runza is—

Patty Hogan:

I know what a Runza is. I don’t know if most people know if a Runza, every time I went to Omaha, it was like “You have to get a Runza” which is roast beef with the sauerkraut and then baked into a thing.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah and it’s essentially. Hot pocket almost. A very Nebraska thing.

Patty Hogan:

Oh, it’s so good. I appreciate Omaha a lot. I’ve always wanted for Iowa to absorb it because I always heard most Nebraskans complain about us, it’s like good. It’s like a body of precious Omaha.

Zach Ireland:

I think we would fit in a bit—oh, this is actually a controversial take—we might fit in a bit better in Iowa because we are the liberal half of this thing.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, you gave us Malcom X. You gave us a lot of phenomenal stuff.

Zach Ireland:

Really and Gabrielle Union.

Patty Hogan:

I appreciate her name. I don’t know what she really did.

Zach Ireland:

Bring It On, have you seen Bring It On?

Patty Hogan:

I guess, yeah.

Zach Ireland:

She is the head cover cheerleader.

Patty Hogan:

The other one. Yeah. I know the other one who is in the vampire movie.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, whatever her name is. Anyway, back to expat things and not just particularly midwestern stuff.

Patty Hogan:

Get our heads out of the Midwest.

Zach Ireland:

There is something that I do want to talk a bit about because I notice that food definitely does impact and affect your artwork. For those of you who aren’t familiar, you can go ahead and hop on google right now, or hop on Instagram and go to @madeitouttafood on Instagram, you can go to—

Patty Hogan:

It’s made it outta food. With the out to being—

Zach Ireland:

O-U-T-T-A?

Patty Hogan:

Yeah.

Zach Ireland:

Cool, cool and then you can hop on to google, your Safari browser and pop in fattyromance.com.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, also Facebook, ‘Fatty Romance’.

Zach Ireland:

Can you tell me why ‘Fatty Romance’?

Patty Hogan:

Fatty romance, I guess I’ve always loved—so one thing I’m always drawn to is really visceral, plushy, soft, malleable kind of skin and fleshy bodies and pustules and this sort of organic forms that, for a long time, my art was just focusing on just the flesh and the pustules and things and that, maybe 15 years ago, I started drawing kind of these characters and it became more of an obsession which is larger than just the pustules, larger than just the fleshy nodes and pods into portentous characters which for the, past 7 years or so, has been basically what I’ve been working on. Just this figure and I call him Fatty or Femme Fatties and they’re more or less characters that I would feel like are pretty mundane and genuine and who you’d probably see them, more or less on the streets, are pretty common but at the same time, I feel like there’s a vulnerability that I bring out of my characters. That I put straightforward that I think in your day to day life, it’s always about covering that up. You have cover up this vulnerability, you have to put on your smile. I always tell myself and my friends the most important thing to put on in the morning is to put on your confidence and that’s the truth. You don’t have to smile but at the same time, hold your head high. You’re fucking fabulous and everyone should be! And so, through my art I’d like to point out that these are just figures that want to be loved and want to be appreciated but are, generally, showing the typical more traditional, typical character states that were overlooked by a society at large. These are kind of like yucky so ‘Fatty Romance’ is my appreciation and love for everything large and beautiful and just owning yourself and being whatever you are and even be smaller, be bigger, whatever you want but own yourself and be awesome.

Zach Ireland:

When I personally first saw your artwork, and even though podcasting is very famously, a visual medium, I’m going to go ahead and avoid describing in detail what your characters are like. People can go ahead to the website and see but they have been described by many other people who have written up about you as hilariously grotesque and I know when I first saw them, there was something disturbing about the artwork. Disturbing as in it rumbled something in my heart and in my soul because this is something we don’t normally see. Normally, when we think of artwork, it’s all supposed to be very polished and very, very beautiful and very soft and there are many things—the artwork is very beautiful and very aesthetically pleasing but it is very confronting and I think, a lot of times as I was looking at your paintings and there were things like—oh, I see receding hairlines, or I see pimples and things like that and these are things that when I look in the mirror sometimes I see in myself and I don’t like and I want to cover.

Patty Hogan:

Of course.

Zach Ireland:

But then I see your characters being so free and so happy and constantly smiling, it’s very refreshing. It’s very different. I can’t think of another artist who is doing something similar to this.

Patty Hogan:

I love the beautiful grotesque and I think one thing that’s really cool, particularly from what I’ve seen in the [00:13:35] community, like right now, there is a lot of push to stop airbrushing, stop trying to cover up your pimples or your stretchmarks or your cottage cheese thighs or all the things that make you human. You’re a fucking bag of meat that puts food in it and then shits it out and that’s fucking awesome! My sister, God bless her, she can’t even fart in front of her husband. She can’t be this bag of oozing, bubbly stuff.

It’s beautiful! That’s what we are.

Zach Ireland:

And we destroy this food that we put into our moths with bones that are sticking out of our skin. The entire digestion, mastication process is incredibly  metal.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, it’s so cool.

Zach Ireland:

And we’ve evolved like thousands and thousands of years in order to get this way.

Patty Hogan:

And I love the eating and everything and I love the idea of consumption. Whether it’s just basic for of eating and how that plays into your day to day sustenance. Whether you’re trying to eat less, people talk about this all the time, “I’m trying to eat less,” or “Oh man, I can’t wait to eat next,” or “I’m fucking 600 hundred pounds and I don’t know what the fuck to do,” or “it’s not where I want to be. I can’t walk, I can’t shower myself, I can’t do these things,” or on the flipside, “Wow, I just want to fit in the culture. I just want to feel valid or relevant because at the moment, I’m overweight and I’m not fitting what society tells me is supposed to be what I did. What is beautiful and what is valid and I’m not going to get the time of day given. But if I’m emaciated, wow, you get too much attention,” which is really unfortunate as well. So, I think the idea of consumerism and society and everything comes into my plate with food and body and the full idea of consumption.

Zach Ireland:

You mentioned talking about eating too much, eating too little. I know we’re from the Midwest where we have where people describe as very healthy appetites but then during some very formal years during your mid-twenties, you ended up moving to Korea and Korea is an Asian nation and they have very different views of body image and eating and things like that. Can you talk about some of the differences between–

Patty Hogan:

I will say, fortunately, I’ve been reading that there is change happening but yeah, when I moved there, it was definitely I was told very bluntly that I was disgusting from the neck down. I’ve always been like, yeah, pretty meaty in size. I’m not fat but I’m not fit either. I’m somewhere in the middle and that’s just where my body sits happily. I can work out, I can do things but yeah, it will go down, I’ll get lethargic and then I’ll go up but it’s comfortable. I don’t change size very much. It’s comfortably where it is.

Zach Ireland:

It’s your body’s true form. It’s where it normally rests. 

Patty Hogan:

Right! Then, when I moved to Korea, it was like, “Wow, you’re disgusting,” Oh and I met a dude and we had some fun and he had been on a diet that time and he was like, “Yeah, I never had a six-pack so I want to see what it’s like,” and I’m just like, “Hey, that’s kind of cool,” and then all these people are telling me I’m disgusting anyway, maybe I’ll just take this time to diet and try to lose it so yeah, I started working out 3 to 5 times a week for about 2 hours a time and I’m really getting—and started taking some diet pills to when you hit your plateau and it’s like fuck, there’s another bit of weight I want to get off. That last 15, last 20. I mean, it’s always going to go up, though. I’m going to get more. Let’s lose more. 

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, the care is constant with that.

Patty Hogan:

I’m not this Russian supermodel now so I need to lose more or when I look in the mirror, I still see what I was trying to move away from. I don’t feel like whatever but at the same time, I was getting angrier and angrier and angrier. Why do I have to work so hard? Why is this who I have to be that I can’t sleep in in the morning? I can’t go out at night. I can’t eat with my friends. I can’t do these things even though, I have more confidence than ever because I’m a fucking hot bitch when I’m significantly lighter but now, I’ve always been pretty confident and happy with myself so feeling that anger and resentment towards other people is not me and I really didn’t like finding that in myself but I did like finding like I can buy clothes everywhere in a society that 6 months ago, I was this disgusting piece of trash from America who fit every American standard and artistically, I was met with a lot of appreciation and wonderful folks but also, some people in the Korean community were just—I mean, upfront and very sweet about it—but just like, “Wow, you’re really American and not Korean at all,” and I’m like no, I’m not. I can’t be. I can’t be what I’m not but I’d love to work with you but let’s jive. I think through that experience and in some ways, going the other way and finding myself in a different storyline than I have found a new fondness for myself. Fortunately, around the world there is a movement of just self-love and appreciation and that’s very beautiful.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, one of our collectively favorite artists, Lizzo.

Patty Hogan:

I was just going to ring up Lizzo. She’s like the best.

Zach Ireland:

When you mentioned rap in this sort of movement against airbrushing, and she’s not just a rapper, she’s really not just anything that she tried to fit into a box at all but she has, if you followed her social media presence, she has postings about #sofatsobrave because people keep talking about how brave she is.

Patty Hogan:

People are talking about that. she’s like I’m a fucking hot bitch, what are you talking about?

Zach Ireland:

She’s like “I’m so fat and I am hot,” these two words are not mutually exclusive.

Patty Hogan:

This is actually one of the things that, I know [00:20:43] always talked about in her career, where she’s like, I don’t know, it was more like about her acting skills, she’s amazing and it was like she couldn’t get the roles because she’s a larger woman and she’s like, “These things aren’t mutually exclusive,” Come on!

Zach Ireland:

Yeah! When I was studying for my BFA, there was a woman that I was studying with and she was a bit overweight and when we were doing these roles and stuff, she would always be playing these, we were going on in plays, she was always playing these character roles where she plays the 80-year old grandmother, the 80-year old nosy neighbor and she was absolutely hilarious and very, very talented but she even said, because I was talking with her, towards the end of her college career, she had yet to play an ingenue, she had yet to play anyone her own age. She always plays a mom and I said, “Yeah, when you graduate you won’t be able to go for those roles because you’re only 22 years old,” and she said, “Yeah, Zack, we’re doing these plays, it’s more realistic to have talking animals on stage than it is to have someone fall in love with a fat girl,” is what she said to me.

Patty Hogan:

Fortunately, our generation of everybody is changing it up. What’s the Australian actress?

Zach Ireland:

Oh Rebel Wilson? Oh she’s fantastic.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, I love her so much. Melisa McCarthy, also phenomenal. She does a lot of caricatures but supposedly, earlier in her career, she was doing a lot of really great work and even as a side character she’s just so appealing. She’s phenomenal.

Zach Ireland:

Or Retta on Parks and Rec.

Patty Hogan:

Yes! So good!

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, it definitely is changing and it is something interesting, one of the reasons I want to talk about this is because in the United States we are pushing towards having a movement more for body positivity and it is very important and growing up in the Midwest, I was always very skinny for the Midwest. I was considered to be [00:22:59] for the longest time. I was 6 foot 2 and maybe a 170 pounds which is an 187 centimeters and about 72 kilos for our non-American listeners. I love you guys very much. I’m learning the metric system, I’m trying so hard, but then having lived in East Asia for so long, all the time I get told, “Oh, you need to lose 5 kilos,” even when I was at my skinniest of having a six-pack and everything. I was a 150 pounds and be like 65 kilos and I was so fat and in Korea that was such an issue.

Patty Hogan:

Oh, you got to lose weight. Why are you so fat? Yeah, that was the thing. I had lost 60 pounds in my hardcore year of working out and doing everything in my power not consuming more than 900 calories a day. I’d be dropping kilos like whoa! And yeah, 5 foot 9, so that’s a 170 centimeters and I get down to, I think, 60 kilos. I had lost all these weight and people were still telling me, “Yeah, but you need to lose more weight. You’re still fat,” How can I ever please you?

Zach Ireland:

I was working a show in Seoul and a photographer who I have never met before, she came up and she was adjusting some clothes and stuff on me and then she just grabbed my stomach and she looked at me and, keeping in mind that we were operating in Chinese and Korean but I don’t speak Korean so the translator, no English on set, she walked up to me, grabbed my stomach and, in English, looked up and said, “So fat! Hahahahaha!” and that’s just how it is and if you bring—

Patty Hogan:

It wouldn’t be bad if you knew it was a different context but it is the same as in the United States. It’s just a lack of—

Zach Ireland:

Empathy.

Patty Hogan:

–empathy or care.

Zach Ireland:

And what drive me nuts as well is, I, because in china at least, there is a mentality where it’s called [00:25:09] where they really want to take care and look after your heart. They say that a stranger wouldn’t notice if you lost or gained 5 pounds but a close friend would and so, in doing this, they’re showing that they really care about you or they’re showing that they’re worried about your health even though, health and weight and fat on a body is really mutually exclusive or really, sometimes doesn’t have to do with one or another.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, I know a lot of unhealthy skinny ones.

Zach Ireland:

I know tons of unhealthy, skinny people. I know some incredibly healthy larger people. But I had broken my arm and I ended up gaining about, something like 25 kilos, because I sunk into a bit of depression, I was unable to exercise, I was eating a little unhealthy or I was eating healthy but I had a lot of high fat, high dairy content to fix the bone but then, I brought this with somebody who said, “Wow, you’ve gained so much weight,” and I was like, “Yeah, well, I got hit by a bus and broke my arm,” and they got so awkward and they felt so bad because they don’t want to bring up—because it’s an awkward moment, you know.

Patty Hogan:

Good for you for being honest, though.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, and then, in that moment, it became less about me and my body and me and my pain, but actually, making them feel better even though it’s their own fault and then, because Asian culture, at least China, the way that the Chinese view this situation, “Oh Zack, you just shouldn’t have said anything because now they feel bad,”

Patty Hogan: 

To Confucius like save face and stuff. Let’s put this out there. In my opinion, Confucius is a dick so, you can’t just brush away most of what he talked about.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, there’s some—it’s a very complex situation. There’s some good and some bad.

Patty Hogan:

Pretty misogynistic and awful and yeah, the face culture. Yeah, but you have to be realistic. But anyway, the whole idea that your mental health, you can see it in your body. I totally agree, it is good to bring up, “Hey, I noticed that something might be going on,” I can tell that are you comfort eating? Is there something, can I help? Let’s go on a walk. There are different ways to attack it. I do want my friends to be open with this stuff. I do think that that is something to talk about within every culture, of course.

Zach Ireland:

There are ways to do it. You just don’t walk up to someone and just like, “Wow, you’ve gotten fat!” It’s like “Hey, I noticed there’s something that’s going on. Do you need to talk?” and then they’re like “What do you mean?” and you’re like “Oh, I noticed you put on a larger amount of weight in a very quick amount of time, is everything okay?”

Patty Hogan:

It’s like when you’re not washing your hair.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, exactly.

Patty Hogan:

You’re not wearing makeup when you used to wear a lot like what’s going on?

Zach Ireland:

All of a sudden, you cut off half of your hair and dyed it red out of nowhere, is that a new look? Is everything okay?

Patty Hogan:

Trying to provide mental health here.

Zach Ireland:

Speaking of that, how did your experience in Korea, did that—how did that impact your art? Because I know a lot of your work is about fatties, about the beautifully grotesque about food, they’re all very plush characters.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, and my work is always been about the consumerism through food and just the idea of American consumerism and capitalism through consumption and these characters but during that time, honestly, I was incredibly driven so I would, I think, partly because of those diet pills that I fucking love, I would probably get on them now if I had them. In Taiwan, it’s not legal which is good but it’s basically like legal speed. I wake up at 5, maybe 5:30, go to the gym at 6, workout until 8, go to work at 9 and then I’d work until—oh, I was off at 5 and then, I’d be at my studio from 6 until 10 or 11 almost every night, if I could and so, it was really great. I had all of this energy and I just put all of that focus into my work and it got a lot trippier. Definitely there was a lot more patterns and I mean, my work always had patterns but—

Zach Ireland:

It’s very geometric.

Patty Hogan:

–I don’t know, yeah, I’ve always loved the combination of geometric and organic forms together and, so I think it helped me wade through a lot of bullshit. There’s a lot of meditative aspects of my work at that time and through that experience, I think I came out stronger and better at my craft which is good since I hadn’t really painted much before then, like a little bit, there’s a big learning curve. It’s not what I went to school for. I used to drawing, loved illustrating and doing just freeform drawing but yeah, it was a neat kind of expansion especially after grad school, I was so burnt out. It was just 2 years of heavy thought process on what is my art, what is my craft, who am I, what is beautiful, what’s my voice, what’s my focus? And it’s always been the idea of consumption, the beautiful grotesque. My thesis was this massive sculpture. It was basically a giant open mouth with about 500 pounds of frosting and sugar and processed foods flowing so there were heat lamps on it that made it melt into these pods of like—what did I put in there?—there was processed breads and candies and chocolates and other things so just dripping through these pods. It’s like the idea of everything just bringing it all into this new form but then, it was named Candy and it was just kind of poppy, pop-colored bright and appealing sculpture.

Zach Ireland:

Which should be bright and cute and very quiet, still very disgusting.

Patty Hogan:

But then there’s massive chains about 6 feet off the ground and it hung there for a month while it was melting and processing and consuming itself.

Zach Ireland:

Do you think that there’s any—how do I put this?—do you think there is any jealousy within your art, in the sense that, here you are, you were in Korea, you were usually starving yourself, running on diet pills and you were creating all these characters that get to eat everything that they want and they’re beloved? There’s also something of your art piece, Candy, because I’m constantly dieting because I have to be dieting because of my job and I have dreams, fever dreams, where I just eat Taco Bell and just gorge myself and it sounds like it’s kind of what Candy was.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, it is. It is the healthiest fast food [laughs] It’s just on that. Yeah, I guess, there was always this idea of we’re always taught to be overly conscious of how much we eat and at the same time, encouraged to eat all the time and in the US especially, I found myself just floating between meals where it’s like okay, I have a meal and then I walk a little bit and go do some stuff but then it’s like well, let’s eat again. It’s always these things and I don’t know. It gets so, as much as I love eating and all these stuff, sometimes it gets so monotonous. Okay, this is it? Just sleep, breathe and shit? I don’t know, like we got to, I don’t know. It’s a neat cycle and it’s something that we all experience and yeah, perhaps, there’s an element of jealousy but I don’t really think so. These are my companions and they just haunt me in the best of ways but it’s like I’m not crazy, look at all these bitches. They’re fucking living it up, having a blast

Zach Ireland:

They’re definitely fun.

Patty Hogan:

They’re nervous to meet new people but they’re having a ball. They’ve got their panda bear eyes out. They’re like concealer, fuck that, it’s isn’t going to heal that.

Zach Ireland:

Let’s move on a little bit about the fatties because again, podcasting, famously visual medium. You ran an art studio for a little bit.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, I ran one in Seoul. I ran one here. In Seoul, I found myself with a group of really great artists, musicians as well as visual artists and they had a studio going and it was really amazing but then, quite a few of them were leaving so I kind of took over the space and had, I just got more people on it because it’s such a large space. We called that the [00:34:51] Art Hole and it was really great. I found this new passion of “Wow, this is phenomenal,” I want to be a curator of artists. I love getting feedback on my work. I love working amongst people. One thing that I don’t know if it gets talked about enough is it’s really lonely just sitting in your studio, making work. As much as it’s liberating and wonderful and you feel like you’ve just been exorcising all day, it’s hard work and it can get really lonely like, “Okay, I’m going to walk myself in my studio and make magic happen,” and I come out and it’s not as glorious as it really is so finding myself being able to being able to surround myself with like, “Hey, that guy is working on some noise music,”, “Here comes the DJ,”, “I’ll just do this and those people are hanging out on the couch for a little bit,” and then we can just bounce off views with each other immediately and we can get feedback immediately and then, as a group, we can have focus on and see an open studio and get an audience going and as a foreigner, I felt like it was a great way to start a larger discussion with galleries and other members of the art community in this foreign country that we all lived in.

Zach Ireland:

So is most of the people in this art studio, were they other foreigners?

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, so most of them are foreigners and so, when I left Korea, I left it in great hands and it like passed it off and then, when my husband and I moved here, we really wanted to recreate that and I always work better in a studio surrounded by people because I mean, most of the time, you’re still alone, doing your own thing, listening to podcasts and you’re in your own thoughts but at the same time, it’s nice to be able to take a break and “Okay, so I did this thing. What do you think? How is this? Is this spot on as I want it to be? Can you help me? I’m not sure what to do here? What do you think about these colors?” all of these conversations can come up so he and I assembled, we kept meeting all these artists and musicians and things and they didn’t know each other so we put together an event with some friends that we had made to go to a park in Taipei, it’s really frequent to go to parks and congregate and get to know each other, and have some beers and just hang out and so, everybody, artists, musicians, writers, everybody, I’d love to have a multimedia, inter-media kind of studio so we can all feed each other and all build and grow and so, we put out a call and it ended up being from about 2 in the afternoon until I think we left at 1 or 2 in the morning and over a hundred people showed up. We just took down names and then we went searching for spaces and decided, 10 is a good number for this, at least to start out and we can grow from there and so, yeah, we had a—we started Colorwolf Studio. Colorwolf translated into Chinese is pervert. It’s this—which is really great because typically, foreigners are known as big perverts and we’re cultural perverts and we are extremely free and open about talking about these things, just on a personal level that we don’t hold anything back. So, we started this studio and we had writers, we had artists and we have musicians coming through. Unfortunately, there is a noise concern in Taipei so we ran that for about 3 years, had 10 people at any given time, but it’s always rotating. We had people from St. Kit’s, Russia, Canada, US, England, of course, Taiwan. Where else? Swaziland, down in Africa. Just so many phenomenal people. It was great having everybody together to work together on bigger projects and dump ideas off of and having this common ground and we always focused on free. We wanted free events. We wanted everything to be accessible to everybody. Art is culture. Culture is art. We’re all making something and freezing it at a point in time and that’s beautiful.

Zach Ireland:

How did you find the local response to a studio ran by foreigners and are predominantly foreign?

Patty Hogan:

I think…most of our events were often a lot of foreigners but I think it was a really open space for Taiwanese people that are open to getting to know a different kind of culture and we met a lot of phenomenal Taiwanese folks that came through and we’re still friends with a lot of them. I think it was pretty good. We were written up in the Taipei Times a few times, found some really good footing, worked with a lot of galleries and other companies around Taipei and actually, the island itself, we would go out and do murals and other things so it was nice. I think pretty good response.

Zach Ireland: 

Do you think—We’re pretty much reaching the end, we’re totally flying on time and stuff. I think we got pretty much everything we need. I think we got a really great interview, honestly. There is something that I kind of want to ask. I don’t know where we’ll fit it in. maybe we’ll fit it in toward the end or the beginning. It was just interesting to hear you talk about art in general and how being a foreigner impacted that but I think we talked more about art as opposed to being an expat and I think that’s fine. It’s good. I don’t know if like literally what I’m saying right now is going to be in the podcast or not but a question that I do want to know is how do you think—how do I put this?—so, whether or not you left the United States, you still would have been an artist but how do you think having left the United States and travelled a lot and continue to be an expat, how do you think that has changed your trajectory?

Patty Hogan:

Number one, I think, particularly, living in Southeast Asia, South Asia, ack! Not Southeast Asia. Uh, I’m tired. Living in in East Asia, there’s a different aesthetic. Living in that setting for prolonged period of time, of course, it wears off on you. I haven’t absorbed it completely, by any means, but it is—I think it’s informed my focus on making things more perfect and making things cleaner than I would typically want it to be, having more polish than maybe I previously would have wanted it to be which is always funny. I was recently at Art Basel in Hongkong so it’s the Art Basel so there are over, I think, over 200 galleries represented during this massive art show that the art world has its eye on and everybody chose their best of the best and so, walking through that, as I was gravitating toward, typically, Berlin galleries, London galleries or New York galleries, not because of their signs, by any means, it’s just like looking around that there’s a grit to this. There’s a depth to the idea, it’s just not this factory-made, beautiful piece of work which is beautiful and wonderful but I don’t have any connection to it. I don’t think a human made this. I don’t feel the connection to it and that might be me being older. I mean, not that old but at the same time, I don’t know how new millennium millennials know or approach this stuff. I like the gritty. I like it kind of gross. I grew up in the grunge area. I grew up with the slacker style and so, it’s been nice being in East Asia where I can finetune these things, I can tweak these things and you know, it might be like the Instagram rip-off to I don’t know. I feel like the last 2 years, everything kind of exploded and I’m like okay, what I thought I knew, I don’t know at all and the world is a completely different place but at the same time, I think I have my thumb on the pulse of it still and I feel okay. I don’t feel like that person.

Zach Ireland:

How do you continue to keep your thumb on the pulse of things, as you say, being so far away from the cultures that you grew up in? do you consider yourself more of a global citizen now and so you just consider—

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, I mean, I always looked at myself as a global citizen so yeah, I always appreciated what happens locally but at the same time, it’s a big world and there is the internet. I got the internet at home in ’95. I was 12 years old. It’s been a pretty big part of my life and it’s one of the reasons that I have a hard time excusing people, particularly in the United States, for not understanding the depth of what you’re dealing with and how to wade through the bullshit of the internet which is a big conversation right now. How do you know this is the real news? The same fucking way you knew this is a real newspaper and a fake one! National Enquirer, not! New York Times, yes! Yes then, yes now, yes tomorrow.

Zach Ireland:

Sometimes, you just want to shake people and wonder were you paying attention in 3rdgrade when you learned how to find real sources for these papers that you’re working on.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah and if you haven’t seen the name of that website, if you don’t know the name of that website, you don’t know the name of this publication, don’t fucking trust it! Even though [00:45:55] is telling you exactly what you want to hear, don’t trust it!

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, you shouldn’t be looking at a news source just because it makes you happy. You shouldn’t, yeah.

Patty Hogan:

Damn right! All the [00:46:10] and I hate them!

Zach Ireland:

Oh, I hate these—oh, they’re awful!

Patty Hogan:

Oh, they ate all my crumbs! [laughs] Come on. Not true! None of that’s true. Anyway, so global citizen, I guess, is really important. Life is good. Go live it! Go live it here, there and everywhere!

Zach Ireland:

Alright, where can people find you?

Patty Hogan:

I’m Patty Hogan and you can find me at fattyromance.com. Facebook, Fatty Romance and Instagram: @madeitouttafood.

Zach Ireland:

Very cool and I notice that there are actually a couple sites where people can buy your art from that are not just Fatty Romance. Is there, in particular, a place that you want to send some of the people to?

Patty Hogan:

I always loved saatchi.com. You can feel free to go there. Messaging the artist directly is always a great way to purchase things. That way, it’s only just me you have to deal with and the money can just go to the person you want to support and not the third party but yeah, I’ll probably be launching some new stuff soon.

Zach Ireland:

Fantastic! Anything you want to plug in directly or should they—

Patty Hogan:

Plug in directly? Number one, what I want everyone to do is just be as awesome as you can. Keep creative. Keep being creative. Keep making stuff. Keep being you. Be confident. Be strong because you’re worth it and you know what? If you’re not, just kill yourself. Save yourself the trouble.

Zach Ireland:

That’s some advice.

Patty Hogan:

But the reality is: you’re amazing.

Zach Ireland:

You’re awesome, yes. So, here we are at the very end of the episode with one of my favorite segments called what did we learn? Today, I learned that there definitely is beauty to be found everywhere. Beauty can be found in the grotesque. I also found that if art disturbs you, it can be a good disruption or a bad disruption and there’s probably something there. If it’s a bad disruption, if it’s something that makes you feel in a way that might be uncomfortable, I feel that’s something to explore. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t realize that I like your art that much, Patty.

Patty Hogan:

You got to let it resonate.

Zach Ireland:

Absolutely and it really do.

Patty Hogan:

Yeah, and if it resonates, it’s probably something.

Zach Ireland:

It’s probably something. I learned a lot about how food and how to consume food, the ways in which we consume food, how our life revolves around food is definitely reflective of our culture as a whole and—

Patty Hogan:

Everybody loves food especially good food.

Zach Ireland:

Everybody loves food and so much of our life revolves around food.

Patty Hogan:

Those memories, the most important things.

Zach Ireland:

The most time you’re around people is at the dinner table and once again, I learned that starting a podcast is an amazing way to get to know your friends a lot better.

Patty Hogan:

Oh, yeah, baby.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, thanks so much for joining me.

Patty Hogan:

Thanks for having me!

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