It feels real! I was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Rockaway Beach, and moved to LA later on. I started painting on the West Coast every day and I never really got a chance to exhibit my work in this way before in a New York Gallery that has importance. 4AM Gallery is curating this show in a space that Swizz Beatz curated the prolific artist Swoon’s work. It’s an honor. It also feels so good to know that a lot of my family and friends from high school, and people I haven’t seen in a long time, will be in attendance.
Where does inspiration for the title ‘When You Were Little You Used To Color’ come from?
I was on the phone with my mom while I was in my studio in LA and wrote down on a piece of paper all the titles to my previous shows. There were a lot. I told her I don’t know what I’m going to call the show, so I started to interview her because she’s good at that. I asked her – where did all this art come from? She said – in her Brooklyn accent almost to herself – “when you were little you used to color.” I thought about everyone being a kid and how it was an instinctual thing to grab crayons and let it all out and a coloring book. She really got it right.
What do you want fans and people who follow your artwork to get out of this exhibition?
I would love for the viewer to get a sense of their own legend, magic, and importance. There are a lot of symbols in these pieces that are close to my heart and family. We are all artists and we all have a story to tell. I hope this gets them thinking about that.
Is this your first exhibit or (if not) how many other times have you had this special opportunity?
I have done a lot of shows, but this is my first solid show in NYC gallery and I always treat each show as it is my first. I get so excited and pour everything into the last drop.
Your artwork is showcased in places like the Moma PS1, Soho house, Swizz Beatz Dean Collection. Which piece is your favorite?
The more I make works that I love, the more they find homes and spaces they feel right in. When a piece is good, you know because it hurts to see it go. It’s hard to play favorites because they all come from the same source of your heart and I can say that the central theme is happiness and being alive.
You have collaborated with brands such as Vans, Saint Laurent how cool was it to get to work with those brands?
To think this all began with the love of art, I love making things and sitting in my studio apartment which I called “the treehouse” in Los Angeles. From those floors in my studio I was making stickers, t-shirts, stencils, really just about anything that I could take a picture of and throw on a Tumblr blog. I’m really happy that I’ve got to work with such top-tier fashion lines real brands that have informed our way of life and charities that have left an indelible mark in the world.
What do you think Art means to the culture?
I think Art is the imprint to the culture. It’s a fossil of our time that can be looked on later in life to serve as a memory of when we were dope and lived.
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