"I am a germophobe. I was extremely difficult as a kid. I am an only child. I would not wear corduroy because it would make noise when I walked."
When discussing family support, Joey DeRuy adds "[my parents] did not get to see. They introduced me to a painting class because of learning disabilities back in Montana, but they died within a week when I was sixteen. I was exhibited in a collective when I was thirteen, and was featured in a magazine by sixteen. I began modeling that year. My parents had the worry their child was going to be raped. I was loaded when they died and lived a crazy life. Other members of the extended family wanted to be protected, assisted and simply asked for things. I did it all."
His mother was an herbalist, and flower-stay-at-home mother who would sew his clothes and cook meals from scratch. "For a while I thought she lived solely to take care of me." Joey admits he probably did not begin eating sugars until his twenties.
His father was a doctor of psychology. He was silent and built a carriage house for Joey because he was loud and they did not know what to do with him and all of his energy.
"Can we talk about lines again?" DeRuy is eager to make a point about his current artistic lifestyle. His borderline nomadic world is mostly full of him painting and landing gigs to create content, promote them and then comes the next. "Most people like me [in public]. They say hi, know me as the artist, but that is it." He admits that there is something quite lonely about being that guy.
"I am married to my work. It is the longest relationship [in my life]. It is there when nobody else is there." Joey says that most people do not consider him when they make plans. It seems, he admits, that most individuals think of him as a lively, happy person whose world of art is so full of adventure, excitement and luxury that they automatically assume he will not be interested in socializing with them. "Nobody asks me to visit during the holidays."
Joey describes himself as a celebrity with no name. "I am still waiting to come home to [my parents]. I am not prepared to grow up. It is like being a young model. My license says 5'11" and it stays with you." Joey says he is probably 5' 9" at most. "I have really done it all. All the [queer personas]; boy next door, model, go-go boy, arm candy, kept and the artist."
"I am aggressively wild" he adds. He feels he can make it work as long as he can use a paintbrush "or [my] dick".
What keeps you wanting to create? "Art is having an opinion and sticking with it. People are afraid to look foolish, so they keep quiet. Not me."
More interviews: Ryan Lill, Laura Pausini, Vanessa Carlton, KENN, Mary Lambert, SATURN, Stephen Dittmer, Stephan Nance, Mark David Gerson, Eric Himan, Kevin J Thornton, Sammy Crawford, Eddie Christie, John Carrasco, YogaBear, Bryan Nevin with Christopher Van Etten.
"This is a private commission as a portrait of the person's soul or energy.They shall remain anonymous by request. I'm inspired by people with these allowing the unique in each one. One could say I'm a painter of the spirit."
"This is the second DC painting I did that spawns from itself. It was interesting to be in DC and SF as the marriage equality was being determined. This time the equality was about the gay and lesbian community not a religion or race issue. I felt connected to a class of people by [choosing] to stand up against exclusion."
"This is an experiment and the beginning of more refinement in my execution and from the added years of experience and exposure to world class art. When I was thirty years-old I was told once in Paris that my work would get simplified as I got older. I have always been attracted to graphic novels so this idea was a shredded and I brushed it aside. DC is where I really grew."
"This painting is an 'ode to Matisse'--woman with hat as a study"