Whale Song Partridge is an american artist and designer creating vibrant, pop art designs inspired by advertising, pop music, sci-fi and television.
Being interested in comic books and fashion from a young age, Whale blossomed artistically upon joining religious group The Partridge Family Temple / PFT!
With Whale elaborating,
“I really got into art when I joined the Partridge Family Temple Scene. I kept thinking of all of these great images that just didn’t exist, so I decided I should create them.
I had always enjoyed collage art, but had never done it digitally. I started out with that and enjoyed it so much that I continued to make whatever came into my mind, or whatever ideas that Shaun Partridge would toss my way to use for the Temple. The results kept getting better and people seemed to really enjoy what I was doing.
From that I branched out into more of a graphic design approach.“
Through his work with PFT!, Whale also came into contact with, and eventually befriended noted artist, musician and provocateur Boyd Rice. A friendship that eventually resulted in Whale providing art and graphic designs for Boyds many projects.
With Whale’s recent collaborative effort with Boyd Rice – the book ‘The Last Testament of Anton Szandor LaVey’ which Boyd wrote, and Whale designed and edited – having just been published we thought now was the perfect time to ask Whale some questions about life, art and a whole lot more.
Read it all via the interview below…
Name + D.OB?
Whale Song Partridge, and I was hatched on March 2nd, 1990.
City, State and Country you currently call home?
I live in a small resort town in the mountains of Colorado.
City, State and Country you’re from?
I’m originally from Illinois, I grew up in the suburbs.
You can never be too rich or too thin.
When and why did you first start making art of any type?
When I was little I collected comic books, and I always wanted to make my own. I remember taking a workshop class when I was little on how to draw cartoons. Needless to say, that didn’t result in anything, I was never very good at drawing at all.
When I was in high school I started heavily altering clothes to make them skin tight, making stencils to add my favorite bands or slogans onto everything and drawings that I’d do too. I still wasn’t any good at traditional art, but I loved altering my appearance and designing things that no one else had.
I remember sitting outside at the train station in Chicago when a limo drove past and the back window rolled down. The lady inside said she was a photographer from Rolling Stone Magazine and that I was giving her a lot of fashion ideas, I smiled and said that she should pay me then. Little things like that gave me a lot of confidence, because even though a lot of people didn’t get me, the few who did were the types who’s attention I wanted.
I really got into art when I joined the Partridge Family Temple Scene. I kept thinking of all of these great images that just didn’t exist, so I decided I should create them. I had always enjoyed collage art, but had never done it digitally. I started out with that and enjoyed it so much that I continued to make whatever came into my mind, or whatever ideas that Shaun Partridge would toss my way to use for the Temple. The results kept getting better and people seemed to really enjoy what I was doing. From that I branched out into more of a graphic design approach.
I haven’t had any training or schooling on any of this, so I have taught myself how to create images, design shirts, create book layouts, etc.
Any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
Joining the Temple really awakened all of that within me, if it weren’t for meeting Shaun and Kim Partridge I probably wouldn’t be making art today. They were incredibly supportive and kept egging me on to make more and more.
Within a year of working for the Temple we had already released a book featuring my artwork alongside Shaun’s writings, a Bobby Sherman wall clock, and we had begun discussing T-shirt designs. The momentum has stayed the same throughout the years too; Shaun has so many incredible ideas that there’s always something to do.
As far as influences go, I was mainly inspired by advertising when I started out, something that is still huge for me. God Ads is what we call my illustrations for the Temple, bringing religion to the masses. I love glossy magazine advertisements for Target or vintage ads from the 60’s.
I’ve been largely influenced by pop culture and product designs. A box of Corn Pops often has more appeal to me than a paining in a museum.
I love futuristic designs too, something that I’ve become even more fond of recently. I think the vision of a fabulous future is something that has been lost over the years, even looking back to music videos from the early 2000’s, everyone wanted to look fresh and metallic. I love that. I’ll always prefer the shiny plastic look.
Describe the process of producing your art?
It depends on what I’m creating. Usually it involves a lot of manipulation of found images, or creating shapes and layers.
I rarely draw anything out beforehand, I just find elements that I think will fit and begin a process of playing with them until a fully formed idea is generated. A lot of the time I don’t even have a concept before I start, but once I find it I will work until it’s done in one sitting. I don’t like to revisit things very often, I like to sit down and work on them until they’re complete and then move on to the next thing.
Favorite other artist(s)?
I’m lucky because a lot of my favorite artists are my friends.
Boyd Rice’s artwork is amazing, and something that I don’t think he gets enough credit for. Here’s someone that can make music, write books, and on top of all of that paint these incredible abstract paintings – it’s crazy!
It’s the same situation with Shaun Partridge, his pop paintings of beloved cultural characters like JonBenet Ramsey and Anne Frank really have to be seen to be believed.
Outside of that I love Corita Kent, she’s the nun that made fabulous pop art, Andy Warhol’s Piss Paintings, Josh Simmons, Bob Mizer, David LaChapelle, Paul Erschen, Peter Max, and Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeons.
Boyd Rice Questions
For those reading at home who may be unaware – please tell us about your work, friendship and collaborations with Mr. Boyd Rice?
Boyd and I met four years ago after I had moved to Colorado and began working for the Temple. I had been a fan of his for years, and we had a lot of mutual friends that suggested that we should meet. We hit it off right away and have remained close friends ever since.
The first project I had worked on for Boyd was actually the image that will be used as the cover for his upcoming double LP “Blast of Silence.” He had mentioned wanting an image of a disco ball in the shape of a grenade, and I said “I think I can do that!” So I went to work on it, just as a present for him, but he liked it so much that he asked if he could use it as the album cover.
After that I started working with him to set up an online shop of shirts and other merchandise for him, which is a lot of fun because I love designing that stuff. We also worked together to re-release his book “NO,” which was long out of print.
I got to design the cover for a CD release called “The Spoken Word Album” which is comprised of tracks he had recorded for the super limited edition version of his book “Standing in Two Circles.”
Our most recent collaboration was on his book “The Last Testament of Anton Szandor LaVey,” it was just released in August.
What impact has Boyd Rice had on your life both artistically, and personally?
Boyd has had a huge impact on me, I’m still amazed that a man I looked up to for so long has become one of my best friends. He’s given me the chance to work on a lot of things that I have always wanted to do, like designing an album cover, and I’ve expanded my skills a lot from what we have worked on. I never would have imagined that I’d be editing books and designing layouts, things like that, so it’s been amazing.
Spending time with Boyd and his wife Karin is one of my absolute favorite things to do, they’re both incredibly supportive of me and we always have a great time together. What Boyd often says about Anton LaVey being harsher than you could ever imagine and funnier than you could ever imagine is exactly how I’d describe Boyd as well.
There’s no one else like him, and to get to know him on a personal level has been a real treat.
What should we expect from Boyd’s recently released book, that you assisted with, ‘The Last Testament of Anton Szandor LaVey’?
“The Last Testament of Anton Szandor LaVey” wound up becoming what I would call the definitive book on LaVey.
When we initially started working on it we imagined it to be a slimmer volume of recollections, but it kept growing and getting better and better. It really does him justice and highlights the impact he’s had on pop culture and the world we live in now. For younger people it may be easy to dismiss the Church of Satan because of what it has become, but when LaVey was at the helm it was absolutely groundbreaking. Boyd does a great job of showing just how far ahead of his time LaVey truly was.
This book shows the many sides to LaVey’s personality, and in turn also gives insight into Boyd’s past and the relationship that the two of them had. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming positive, and it actually debuted as the #1 bestseller in Religious Studies! Hopefully the book will turn a lot of new people on to LaVey and his philosophy.
Karla LaVey was kind enough to allow her conversation with Boyd at an event put on by Lethal Amounts to be transcribed, and that adds a lot of fascinating information to the text, and the entire book is heavily illustrated with tons of rare photographs. It’s a must have for anyone interested in LaVey’s life, or Boyd’s life for that matter!
On a personal note, I’m incredibly honored to have been able to help with the whole thing.
Partridge Family Temple Questions
Please explain the who, what, and why of the ‘PFT’?
The Pft! stands for Partridge Family Temple, it’s a gateway religion for TV freaks.
The Temple was started by Shaun Partridge, Dan Kapelovitz and Adam Sleek in 1988 and has continued ever since. The basic concept is that Television is the new God, all of the characters from The Partridge Family represent archetypes found throughout history in all of its holy books. While it was initially based around The Partridge Family, it has expanded to include Bobby Sherman, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, JonBenet Ramsey, the Banana Splits, McDonald’s, Beverly Hills 90210, etc.
Anything groovy fits right in to Temple logic.
What is your current role within the ‘PFT’?
I’m the Ad Man for the Temple Scene, so I provide artwork and have worked on books and products with Shaun Partridge (The Partridge in the Peartree) and Kaleidoscope Partridge.
How and why did you come to get involved with the ‘PFT’?
I found out about the Temple through the modern magic of YouTube, which only exists because Janet Jackson bared her breast on national TV. I was captivated by Dan Kapelovitz’s public access show Threee Geniuses, and found out that it was tied into the Temple. From there I checked out the website and was instantly hooked. I began speaking to Shaun Partridge a few years later and he asked me to help with the Facebook page. That’s when the artwork started and everything blossomed from there.
Who are some fellow ‘PFT’ members that have most impacted your artistic and personal life? – Please tell us who they are, how they impacted you, and what has become of them today (if known).
Every single member has had some kind of impact on me, but the main cast would consist of Shaun Partridge and his bride Kaleidoscope, SevenUp Partridge and his gal Caira Paravel, Boyd Rice, and Chocolate Bar Partridge. All of them have become close friends that I can’t imagine living without. They inspire me artistically and keep the world fun!
If you were trying to convert some recently crash-landed aliens to the ‘PFT’. What would your sales pitch be?
Welcome to Albuquerque!
Odds and Ends
What role did toys play in your childhood?
Toys played a big part, especially action figures. I collected Batman toys at first, and then got really into Spawn and those amazing figures created by McFarlane Toys.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
Johnathan Taylor Thomas, he was so cute!
Does sex change everything?
No, unless it’s bad, then we probably won’t be speaking again.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
It depends. I did waste a lot of time on drugs, and never had any type of additional insight from using them.
There are certain people that can be very creative while under the influence of drugs, I just wasn’t one of them.
Of course they can be fun, as long as they aren’t fucking up your life.
If people wanted to work with you or buy something – how should they get in touch?
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Boyd Rice and I are working on more material for several books as part of his organisation the Order of the Trapezoid, and Shaun Partridge and I are also collaborating on a new book project.
Any major projects you want to hype?
“The Last Testament of Anton Szandor LaVey” can be purchased on Amazon.
The designs I’ve done for Boyd Rice can be found on orderofthetrapezoidofficial.com.
“The Mystery of The Sleeping Keyboardist” by Shaun Partridge and I can also be found on Amazon, and the Temple website hosts a lot of my designs and has a link to the shirts and merchandise I’ve done, that’s thepartridgefamilytemple.org