With gambling and the gamble of life all around, it seems strange that so few artists major in the subject. Step forward Loz Taylor, a UK artist who, as a gambler of 30 years, is well equipped to conjure up images based on the uncertain yet fascinating areas of odds, chance and risk. Just as the Pop artists of the 1960s used consumer products to show how the world really was, so Taylor is highlighting the fact that we are all gamblers trying to shift the odds more in our favour. He also states that, if approached intelligently, gambling can be good.
A: You describe yourself as an Artist / Gambler, please tell me more about this description
LT: From the beginning I tried to keep my art and gambling separate, for fear of muddying the waters, but inevitably, because I saw the world through the eyes of a gambler, my work picked up on these influences. After a while I decided to let these two worlds collide and feed off each other, and as such my output has become more about who I really am. It seems crazy that it took so long for me to say with confidence that I am an artist / gambler.
A: You create contemporary gambling art for people who understand odds, chance and risk. What has influenced you to create this work?
LT: I approach gambling as a business, and know the odds can be beaten. But I’m also aware that there is a great resistance to this idea, mainly driven by people who don’t really understand the subject. Done correctly, gambling can be life enhancing and a force for good, done badly it can be a source of ruin. I’m also interested in how people gamble as part of their everyday lives – be it in the choice of a life partner, a career path, or what social circles to mix in. Generally I find that people are either pro risk, or risk averse, and that the former group live more expanded lives.
A: Tell us about the Gamble Of Life AlphaBET and your style of working
LT: I’m really excited to have hit upon my Gamble Of Life AlphaBET, as it is generating so many new ideas. It is based on my number sequence of zero to nine, which itself is chiefly based on the colours / numbers of greyhound racing jackets. In short, I see greyhound races and horse races as a metaphor for the gamble of life. Once I had my number sequence, I quickly saw that I could use it to create a related AlphaBET. Currently I am creating Word Art pieces such as A Player Or Nothing by rolling acrylic paint through stencils onto canvas.
A: You use pop-influenced imagery, how do you chose your subjects?
LT: I would say my style is heavily Pop-influenced, as I have great respect for the Pop artists of the sixties, and the way they went about creating their iconic works. Andy Warhol is, for me, chief among them, not only for the work he produced, but for the barriers he had to overcome, which, as you know, were many. He also has a great story to tell, one that a lot of people can relate to, or take something of value from. Regarding subject matter, if I see something in life that has an element of chance or risk to it, then I’m onto it straight away.
A: Where do you see your work going in the future?
LT: I think my work will always be based on odds, chance and risk, as there is so much ground to cover. I’d like to say that I see other artists filling in some of the blanks, but it just isn’t happening. In one way this is a good thing, as there is more for me to discover, but on the flip side it can sometimes feel as though I’m alone on the battlefield. My early art practice was devoted to the creation digital images, which I thought were the finished article, but now I realise that they are just blueprints for future works of a more physical nature.
To see his listing in the Artists’ Directory in Aesthetica Magazine issue 65 pick up a copy at www.aestheticamagazine.com
1. Buy It & Flip It – Courtesy of the Artist
2. Gamble Of Life AlphaBET – Courtesy of the Artist
3. Gambling Is Good – Courtesy of the Artist