Franz Szony created the art that illustrates this year’s Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada. A long-time Renoite, the 23-year-old uses a combination of photographs and computer skills to create images that are very modern but somehow classic. And sometimes, they’re a little twisted. Szony is hosting a public exhibit at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the nightclub 210 North, 210 N. Sierra St., to show off the “Best Of” work on a large and high-quality scale.
Where did you get your art education?
A lot of it was self-taught, but I also went to school at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
You grew up in Reno, right?
I moved here when I was 6. I went to Reno High. I took art classes almost all of my growing up from a place called Namaste—an art center that’s no longer in existence, but I took classes every day after school for about 12 years.
Why did you come back to Reno?
Different reasons. … I just wanted to get my work out there, basically. I figured there was more opportunity in Reno, just kind of … I don’t know, there were a lot of thought processes. It seemed like every photo shoot that I would do for school—whenever I had a big photo shoot—it seemed like I would come back to Reno. I just kind of figured it was a good starting ground to start off fresh and figure out how to turn my art into a business. I had more connections here. It’s cheaper here. I also really wanted to add to the arts and culture of Reno because I think it needs more of it.
What were the special challenges doing the art for the Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada?
Special challenges? [Laughs] There really weren’t any special challenges. I felt really good about how it went. I guess the challenges for any project are always time. Just like most writers’ [stories], a piece of art is never really finished. It’s just that I choose to stop tweaking it. So I guess the hardest part of any project, and especially this project, is being in the time frame and knowing when to stop each picture. I have a tendency to really think out each picture and change things, and tweak things, and I just had to stop.
What’s your favorite creepy nursery rhyme?
I was never really into nursery rhymes as a kid. I was more into the fairy tales. “Sleeping Beauty” is my favorite fairy tale. But nursery rhymes? I guess the one I remember getting read to me the most or getting told to me the most by my mom was “Rockabye baby on the treetop,” which isn’t really all that significant. There isn’t that interesting imagery, but I remember that one the most.
Oh yeah, until the baby falls out of the treetop. And the kid is supposed to sleep?
Pretty morbid. As a kid I remember having that image in my head. I didn’t understand how morbid it was at the time, but I remember thinking about two palm trees. As a kid you always think of things literally, and as a kid when that was being read to me I would constantly think of how that was possible.