What's the difference between writing a song and a painting for you?
"I started painting because it was things I couldn't say and do in songs, it's something I'm still sort of learning to deal with - the difference - I try to keep them separate, but when I write a song it has the same sort of intimacy as when I do a painting but when you have a song you end up performing it in front of strangers, and when you do a painting then you end up showing it to strangers. But I think that painting, art, people either like or they don't. Painting, you've done it, but songs, you're singing it. Painting - for me, is a little more personal. It's things I can't do in music, so it's not really a 'side' for me, anymore. It's me acknowledging that I'm creative, so some things go into music and some things go into painting.
"As far as people that I haven't met that I paint, I would point out that Jon-Benet Ramsay, Elizabeth Short and this one [points to Die Deutsche Kampferin, which depicts a feminised Adolf Hitler] which was very much a dedication to Dali, because he had painted Hitler as a housewife, and the paintings were all destroyed when he exhibited them with the exhibition for Un Chien Andalou with Buñuel, so no one has ever seen them. So when I was reading about them I wanted to paint something in return, but living in Hollywood I thought there was a bit of Chaplin in it all. I think it's funny that when you have a moustache, it really defines either 'Evil' or 'Funny'. Change hats, same moustahce, you know? [smiles]
So it's silly to me, yeah."
This [exhibition] is basically your home town, for the first time?
"It's like being raped in the face. [smiles]
No, it's actually pretty calm. I end up having New Orleans as a home town, Miami as a home town, Los Angeles as a home town and Ohio as a home town. Ohio's not a town though."
Which [painting] represents you best?
"That's really tough to point out. The first one over there is very grey and monochromatic, it's sort of a self-portrait [presumably Self Portrait (The Grey Series)].
These two are the most recent. This one [points to as-yet untitled painting of Isani Griffiths] is barely dry, and I actually spilled a drink on it before it was framed that's why it's a little bit [smeared], but I thought that it actually added to it. I tend to have a bad habit of spilling fluids on women, it's not really personal...
These I like a lot [Isani series] because you're always attached to what you create most recently."
"The piece that I picked for the show isn't necessarily my favourite I just found it to be the most unusual because I was obssessing over 19th Century medicine when I was working on my script about Lewis Carroll, and I was on Ebay and I found this - what it is, is a 'Portable Embalming Table'. And it sounds like a great idea on paper, but when you get embalmed it's a little bit grotesque even for me - so it just sat in the corner for a while. One day I was looking at it, and there's stains that are probably from embalming fluid or people, or whatever it might be... and it looked very much like The Shroud Of Turin. So I painted that. I guess it's very unusual to paint watercolours on canvas or burlap or whatever the exact fabric is. That one was during a period in my life where I was feeling a bit hopeless, and I think that - for me - signifies change in a period where no person and no interpretation of what I do could make me feel better about who I am, I really had to do it myself. So that piece really signifies to me, my resurrection and believing in myself."