October 31, 2022

Art as Therapy | An Interview w/ T-Rex

Elhadji Mare

Elhadji is a Creative Content Strategist & Writer @ StockX

We sit down with artist T-Rex to learn more about his process and his upcoming DropX with StockX.

We sit down with artist T-Rex to learn more about his process and his upcoming DropX with StockX.

It’s really easy to just stick to the status quo and do whatever is the popular, trendy stunt. Especially in this very “like, comment, subscribe” driven world, originality and authenticity become foreign and true feelings get suppressed. But artists like T-Rex are a breath of much-needed fresh air. T-Rex, whose real name is Tyler Rexeisen, started and continues using art as a form of therapy, and it shows through his work. 

Many of his works consist of the same medium; paint. But his work’s elusive concept is what attracts anyone to his pieces. Most of his artwork follows the same theme, a female character painted in red with devil horns drawn on their heads. The thing is, though, these women within each piece aren’t performing blatant devilish acts but are somewhat hidden in plain sight, and that might just be the point. “I think there’s a lot of self-destruction within our society, myself included,” says T-Rex from his studio in Los Angeles. “I like highlighting it in my work because there’s so much irony and humor within it that I think is appropriate to display. There’s something destructive within us all, and I just like to show it this way.”

Initially, though, the work started from a place of truth. During our interview, T-Rex mentioned that the idea of painting these devilish characters came from “using [his] first girlfriend, whom [he] wasn’t really fond of, as a muse.” But as he continues to work on the unfortunate trauma from his past relationship, a more general sense of what these characters stand for begins to flourish, allowing him to work on his paintings and his mental health. These devilish characters, ironically, have almost become guardian angels. 

“Art definitely keeps my head in a good place. At least the process of working on it. Even just the act of working on my craft in effect helps keep me on track and leveled,” said T-Rex. “Completely turning a negative into a positive, which is the point of the devil figure. The output is very therapeutic. From start to finish, it’s always filled with emotion.” 

On this continued path of growth and resolution, T-Rex is stepping into a new medium with his T-Rex Big Head Plush Doll. The plush doll brings the devil character in 3D form and will be exclusively sold through StockX’s DropX platform. When asked the purpose for choosing StockX as the appropriate platform for this release, he alluded to the fact that it’s all around supporting people’s vices. “We have intertwined communities. I love collecting toys and clothes and am a frequent user of StockX, and I know my community is too. Not to mention people have shopped on the site for my pieces as well. Everyone’s got their thing that they are connected to and I feel like StockX gives people that space to get even closer to things they want.”

T-Rex spoke a lot about why he does art but the biggest takeaway was that there is still more work to be done on his end. “There’s still more of a story to be told with this devil girl. It’s not something that I’m quite done talking about yet.” And with some upcoming projects coming down the line, including a pop-up show in Japan, T-Rex certainly has the time and space to tell it. Surely, we’re all eager to learn more.