Q: What inspires you to create?
A: Connectivity. Human connection, or lately, the very apparent disconnection of people due to technology. We are overwhelmed with devices and while their intention is to connect us – they disconnect us. People look at their phones more than they look into each other eyes. I would like to think that looking at my art does more to really connect us.
Q: Who or what is your largest artistic influence?
A: Kandinsky, because he looked at color as sound. I’m looking at Wi-Fi waves as invisible connections and the new age of the info-sphere. Just because we can’t see it – doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. My art has also been informed by the Light & Space movement and artists like Mary Corse, Larry Bell and Robert Irwin.
Q: What message(s) do you strive to communicate in your work?
A: My art is about connection, disconnection, neural pathways and ways to connect organically.
Q: Is there a particular commentary you instill in your public works?
A: I want you to look at my art and feel connected to something. I want to make people disconnect from machines and reconnect with themselves and other people. I want people to realize that we already were connected – even before this age of technology overtook us.
Q: How would you describe the DTLA art scene right now? How do you see yourself contributing to it?
A: I think the DTLA art scene is starting to rival markets like New York and Berlin. Since LA and Hollywood have made such an impact on popular culture through movies and television, it’s interesting to see now how it’s drawn all these interesting new artists and talent to an analog format. So much street art shouts its message. Mine whispers. I want to draw people into looking at the details. In a mature market like Berlin for example, the connection between street art and fine art is seamless. I would like to make that happen here.
Q: What are some of the challenges artists face in Los Angeles or elsewhere?
A: Canvas space. New unpainted panels. Where to place your message. Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message”. Take the electrical box for example. LA artists like Robby Conal saw it first and pasted on it. Then artists like Shepard did it a decade later, making it look like it belonged there. Now there is nothing unique about the electrical box as a platform for art. I think that the real challenge is to make your art look like it belongs there and is not some random sticker or pasting.
The other challenge is gentrification. Artists are poor. What used to be an inexpensive place to live is now becoming super expensive. I think it’s exciting and cool that OLiVE is welcoming artists back to a place they used to be able to afford.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring artists in Los Angeles and/or those hoping to enter the DTLA arena?
A: Whatever you do – do a lot of it. Find new unique places to show it. Be able to describe your work. Have a plan and either self promote or find someone to help you. You can’t just sit home and paint anymore. You have to learn how to speak to the specific people who can appreciate and buy your art.
Q: What do you believe sets you apart from other artists in DTLA?
A: In a sea of hipsters, I’m the real deal. I’m my own kind of artist and I don’t shout my messages. I’m looking to bring a more discreet message to DTLA. I learned that in order to be taken seriously, I needed to make my way to canvas and the gallery world. Basquiat and Haring started on walls around the very galleries they wanted to hang in… then they moved inside. While I’m not quite famous, that was my plan too. I’m working on it.
Q: How will OLiVE allow you to pursue and progress your career? (Or what does this residency mean to you?)
A: OLiVE is a launching pad for my deep dive into DTLA. Most artists are being squeezed out of DTLA. To have a warm and friendly home base to share my message is amazing. I think it’s cool that OLiVE is offering this.