Since graduating from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in 2000, under the tutelage of sculptor Chuck Parsons, Daniel Crosier has put his hands in plenty of new projects: He’s been a neo-kabuki performance artist with his group OFM: OdAm fEI mUd, transformed wood-burned illustrations into comic books, done costume fabrication and filmmaking, and helped found the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo with Charlie La Greca and friends. And that’s just the big stuff. Crosier is a mover and shaker in a cross-section of Denver arts communities, organizing events and bringing people together. What’s next on his crowded, coffee-fueled agenda? Crosier tells all via the 100CC questionnaire. Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Daniel Crosier: That is already a loaded question. Man alive! I would’ve loved to have added to the brilliant mess of Francis Bacon’s studio when he was alive. I would want to just be in the presence of Alejandro Jodorowsky. I am happy just pushing a broom for him. He is in his eighties, and he has the energy of a teenager. He speaks with such energy and conviction for his vision that it is infectious. I would also have loved to have been a roadie for Fugazi. I just would want to be in the same room when that gooseflesh-producing music is performed live, on a regular basis. I wouldn’t need coffee if I could do all three!
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I love these questions because it is like handing me a loaded gun. There are so many great people in the world who get me jazzed. This year, Bernie Sanders revved my engine on the possibilities of compassion and bettering the human condition. Also, filmmakers like Cory McAbee (American Astronaut), who lives the mantra of limitations breed innovations. He also carries himself in such an engaging and loving way that it makes me want to adapt my approach to creativity in a more considerate way. What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
Closed-mindedness and hate. It might not be an art trend, but it does no one any good. It does not improve the conditions of those on the receiving end, or the ones dishing it out. Negative things are created from this cesspool. It is a shitty shackle. Past that, all art trends have their place, and within those trends are schools of thought that have their cream. I get goosebumps from the cream.
What's your day job?
Working as a facilities manager/maintenance person for Star Mesa Properties. I work with tenants AXS TV, 35 Left Studios, Barbizon Lighting and more production-based tenants. A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
I don’t want blood money. I would figure out where it came from. If it is tainted, I'd take it and create a housing project for the homeless. If it isn’t tainted, I’d do the same. I can always seek out partners and investors for my creative projects.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I love Denver. I feel bad that we are disrupting culture with so much development and things are becoming overpriced. This tends to leave out the underprivileged. However, my friends, collaborators and networks are in town. That keeps me grounded, but motivated and inspired. With tools like the Internet, I don’t need to move, but I do need to travel. What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Emphasize creative education and promote out-of-the-box problem-solving. Our education system is outdated, focusing almost exclusively on test-taking as the only measure for accumulated knowledge. In that mix, the arts become a casualty.
For creatives, I think there need to be more business and community programs in place to promote creative entrepreneurship and lead communities while supporting the neighborhood culture. This might help reduce the scattering of artists and keep families in neighborhoods.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Oh, man! There are so many. Where to begin?! I’m a huge fan of Little Fyodor! Itchy-O Marching Band! Motoman Project! Me Me Monster! Mr. Pacman! Visual artists like Chuck Parson! Melanie Pruitt! Media folks like Ryan Policky, Andrew Novick, Heather Dalton! Guys who’ve really promoted the arts, like Jim Norris, Ivar Zeile and Cabal Gallery! I could really go on and on! If you are not familiar with their work, look them up! Seek them out! You’ll become a fan of what they do! What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I am starting work on the next feature film, called Camp Crash, which I’ll be directing with my producing partners. We’re also looking at producing a documentary. Plus continuing some TV projects and DINK in April. I’m also working on a few comic-book projects. Finishing the ShowDevils series with sideshow icon The Enigma, and continuing the laser-engraved wood series Mr. Skinsman’s Lime Green Yogurt Mythology. Working on a horror/comedy book with Joe Oliver. Plus a YA series I’m calling Bug Cake.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
I think comic-book artists and filmmakers need to be recognized along with street artists and bands. We have talented animators like Michael Scott, whose work needs to be seen. Comic-book creators like Alan Brooks, Morgan Beam, Lonnie Allen, Zak Kinsella and Karl Christian Krumpholz, along with local publisher Tinto Press, need to be sought out!
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.