I was just recently introduced to the work of artist Misaki Kawai. I must say that my interest in her work has since become something of a creative obsession. Her trippy, child-like figures and animals, painted in the most expressive, perfectly satisfying candy colored hues, are more than enough to send me running for the bag of jelly beans and jolly ranchers hidden in my cupboard.
New York artist James Jean doesn’t need any introduction. But, just in case you haven’t seen his work yet, take a peek now. And forever be in awe. We caught up with him recently in his studio and asked him about the props for his daily inspiration: ‘Sometimes I’ll have my laptop setup next to my work station so that I can listen to audio books, the radio, or have videos playing in the background. But mostly inspiration comes from books and magazines’.
The work of Brooklyn artist Cosme Herrera is beautiful, subtle and imbued with a deep sense of meaning. ‘As I constantly question man-made constructs, I search for a universal language’, he says. ‘Through this body of work, I seek to define my own logos. Logos are a system of symbols designed for easy and definite recognition. Using a system of logos, I explore my relationship with wood through metaphors and parables. My use of wood is observant of the information trees contain and communicate. Their rings, like an analogical language, tell the story of the tree’s experience through starvation, growth, long winters and wet springs’.
I recently got to see David Byrne’s installation piece, Playing the Building, at the Battery Maritime Building in lower Manhattan. It was opening day, but I got there on the early side, and everything was pretty well organized, so it wasn’t too difficult or slow to get in. The piece is pretty straightforward – it’s an antique organ that is attached to the building via an array of pneumatic and electrical tubes that connects each key to a pipe, pillar, or metal beam.
The duo of Brendan Monroe and Evah Fan are one of those creative, powerhouse couples. Though two entirely individual artists, the influence they exert upon one another is subtle yet undeniable. Both create the kind of art that that makes you giddy with pleasure, while the lack of pretension puts you completely at ease. You get the undeniable sense that these are two people who simply live and breathe creativity and love every moment of it. Two amazing artists with a wholly individual take on life and the world around them. I had the pleasure to grill them both.
Twin brothers, Ad Deville and DROO (aka Skewville), can’t seem to get a break. Working hard in a city where artists compete with finance gurus for space, the street artists are weathered craftsmen who are staying put and keeping shop in New York.
We spoke with Brooklyn-based illustrator Jordan Awan a few weeks back. This is the second part of that interview. How did you find your style? ‘Though “style” can be a slippery word to use, I can pinpoint one particular instance that led to a major turning point in the way I work. It was a comment made several years ago by my good friend Eric Wrenn, who told me that I was drawing too quickly and needed to physically slow my hand down’.