John Casey is obsessed with fictitious human morphology, which he explores in his ink drawings and small sculptures. At first glance, his works seem to portray a menagerie of deformed creatures. A collective analysis reveals this array of oddball creations to be a series of psychological studies — self-portraits of the artist's inner psyche in all of its multifaceted incarnations. Some sad, some horrific, and some whimsical, these characters evoke responses from laughter and sympathy to disgust and discomfort. While one might call Casey's work the exorcising of inner demons, his creations inspire more empathy than they do loathing. By depicting the grotesque as pitiable, John Casey illuminates the darkest corners of the mind, seeking redemption for all of us.
 John took some time out to talk to us here at The405, check it out! During which part of your life did being an "artist" appeal to you the most and make you structure your life around becoming one? I always made art. As a kid I had no concept of what being and "artist" was. I entered Massachusetts College of Art as an industrial designer but by my second year I was taking painting and sculpting classes and was pretty much hooked on art. I used to cringe at the artist moniker but as I've gotten older, I wear it with pride. How has art changed your life? That's hard to say since I've been doing it all my life and can't imagine life without it. I'd probably be a lot better off financially without art but a lot less spiritually enriched. Your creations are often referred to as being "Monsters". You've also said that you see them as "self-portraits". What exactly do you mean by this? These are self portraits in the sense that I'm channeling inner emotions as I create them so they are reflections of myself. I'm conveying the "monster within" I suppose though I don't see these characters as monsters per se. I think they are much more sympathetic than their initial physical impressions imply. How did you come about making the decision to take your creations on paper and begin turning them into physical sculptures? Personally, I believe that this has helped you to convey and explore your fascination with physical morphology and feature deformities because in this instance you're physically creating new and unique abnormalities that have never pre existed. Was this a conscious decision or was it simply something you wanted to give a go and then stuck at? A number of years ago I made only sculpture and did little drawing. It's actually the drawing that has emerged as my dominant medium over the last 8-10 years. I will continue to make sculpture because I love the physicality of it. And you are correct, it's very helpful to make the physical morphed object. Drawing does not spawn sculpture or vice versa in my case. They happen in tandem, both informing the other. Have you ever thought about how your art work would could perceived by those who that actually have physical deformities? I think folks with deformities understand the metaphorical nature of my work. My invented deformities are, for the most part, so ridiculous that they could only exist in art. Would you say that each of your pieces can tell or have a particular story or message attached to them? Is this always intentional? The story comes after the creation. I never begin with a specific narrative. My process is intuitive. I can look at a drawing weeks after it's completion and it is still telling me a story. Hopefully other viewers experience the same. Would you say that sometimes your religious views and beliefs spill into your art work as a means of conveying a message or influencing the birth of a new character? I am an atheist. I am however oddly superstitious and, although I do not believe in ghosts and aliens, I like the folklore that surrounds those beliefs. I'm sure those tales are influencing my work on an intuitive level. Do you think you may have ever become a Doctor due to your fascination with the human anatomy? No. I can't stand the sight of blood. I can, and have in the past, handled bloody emergency situations, but I'd never make a career out of it. What is the average amount of time that you spend on a piece? It varies quite a bit. A drawing can take anywhere from 3-30 hours. I find the ones I struggle with the most, become the strongest. Sculpture is done over a several day period. It's a lot less intuitive and requires more planning but small sculptures can take a couple of days, larger ones weeks. And finally, what does the future hold? In regards to your work, new projects and any other personal aspirations you have in life. Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to? I have a show coming up at POVevolving (http://www.povevolving.com) in LA in August. That will be a larger solo and I'm looking forward to that. I've just recently been accepted to the Affiliate Artist Program at the Headlands (http://www.headlands.org) in rural Marin just north of San Francisco. I will have a studio there for at least a year. It's a very tranquil setting that hopefully inspire some new directions creatively for me. Here's hoping. I'd like to give a shout out to all Bay Area artists. I love living in Oakland and environs. Thanks to all of you folks for being an inspiration! Be sure to check out more from John by visiting his Official Website here