Document Your Artistic Influences
What kind of art do you gravitate toward?
I love art, I love all kinds of art. Growing up in New York City we have a wealth of museums, and galleries. From Dustin Yellin’s iconic three dimensional collage biscuits, to bizarre pieces like Walter De Maria “Earth room”, and Ken Hiratsuka iconic sidewalk carvings; these fundamentally shaped what art was and means to me.
Growing up in Brooklyn in public school at around 11 and 13 years old I was immersed in graffiti or “tagging” culture. Many of the people I was around had black hardcover sketchbooks, carried sharpies around everywhere, and would lay down their mark all over the school, on and inside desks, bathroom stalls, and lockers. This bleed into sticker culture, kids using the iconic “hello my name is” and those priority mail postal labels. The most hardcore of which had large permanent markers, and spray cans. Today people joke about the “Cool S” shape, but among the the kids in my school that was the wackest “S” you could draw, freehanding a “bubble letter” “S” was a high artform in itself. I was a poser, I copied the kids around me and would never really vandalize anything. In some ways I did what I did to survive in school, trying my best to fit in.
I studied graphic design in college and while I didn’t know it at the time, my formative experiences with graffiti had followed with me. While in college I was heavily inspired by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Obey, Banksy, and Space Invader. I was obsessed with the stark visuals of the red and black aesthetic borrowed from Russian Constructivism mixed with the gritty skateboard culture wheatpaste vibe.
As an adult while I was living in Brooklyn, I lived a couple of blocks away from Basquiat’s childhood home in Boerum Hill. I’d sometimes go out of my way to stand outside the gate and imagine what live must have been like for him. Right around the corner from the subway, easily able to hop on and navigate the city, in a relationship with it.
I recently moved to Astoria, and visited the Noguchi museum. I didn’t really know much about him. Through hearing his biography I immediately felt a connection with him. I imagine him and his relationship with the city, going up and down the east river speaking with vendors of stone searching for scraps or discarded gems to carve new life into. The thing that inspires me, and connects the three of us is this city.
It’s important to document your influences. What kind of art you gravitate toward? Living in the city, we have amazing access to art. I find myself most creative when I’m consuming other people’s art. The set and setting has a power over me that shifts my perspective, like a meditation. It allows me to be present and unlocks empathy and connection with it’s creator. I’m interested in expression, and how people find a medium, feel heard, and release something new into the world.
If you’re a local artist in New York City, please reach out. I’d love to connect and meet more artists.