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Meet The Artists: AOTAII Interview @hypeisnow_

Art On The Ave II would not have been able to function if it were not for the talented artists who donated pieces to our fundraiser. These four artists gave some of their best work to be raffled off to support our 444 scholarship. This scholarship was established to support one high school providence youth who will be attending college in the fall. We want to give a warm thank you to our guests who donated to our scholarship and to the artists who believe in our mission.

I had the pleasure of asking these four individuals a few questions. See what they had to say.

Kirby Nunez: Kurbbs

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Kirby is 22 years old and a Providence native. He describes himself as creative, mindful and organic. He prefers to draw with his left hand although he is right handed. Kirby is currently working on his solo show as well as some pieces for his clothing line, BOND, formerly known as Divebros.

How did you come to your aesthetic style? How does your aesthetic style work with your message?

I’ve never been a fan of extreme photo-realism in art. Its dope that people can make things to look exactly like the real thing with their own hands, but it leaves nothing for the viewer to imagine.  I started using fewer details and made my art into something where the viewer has to create their own understanding. This style works because my art is meant to stimulate the mind and generate thoughts rather than just being seen as aesthetically pleasing.

What is your creative process? How do you come up with an idea and how do you execute it? What is your routine?

 My process is really one big experiment. I usually start sketching ideas down, and then I think of how I can present this work other than just hanging it on a wall. I usually have some good music playing when I work, but to be completely honest I do not even realize it its playing because when I start working everything else becomes background noise.

Growing up, how did art influence you and what was your first introduction into making art?

My father, uncle and brother are all really talented artists. When I was kid I always looked up to them as artist and I wanted to be just like them. My brother gave me a binder filled with blank paper when I was 4 years old and I’ve been drawing and sketching since.

What legacy do you want to leave behind as an artist?

I want people to remember my work as aesthetically dope and socially moving. I really want society and the youth to regard me in the same categories as Picasso and Basquiat.

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Alejandra Mayorga: @alejandramellamo

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Describe your aesthetic style of work.

I would describe my aesthetic style of work as natural life fusing with intergalactic themes and self-narrative illustrations. I am all about the earth and I’m all about digging deep into our roots as humans and spiritual beings. I don’t believe people should put themselves and others into labeled boxes or fight with themselves to push back whatever craves to come out from within us, what we know is real because we have been domesticated to be afraid.

What is the message you want to send with your work?

Stop tuning into the oppression we face instead tune into the power we can create. With my art I hope to inspire others to do and say what is out of the ordinary of our zombie lives.

Why do you create art?

I make art because it is what I have been driven to do from the moment I could hold a utensil in my hand and I continue to do it because it is that piece of my life that I could not picture myself without. Art is my voice box. It is my way of communicating to the world especially when words are not enough.

What are some aspects of the culture of your generation that has influenced your art the most?
My ideas are mostly influenced by what I observe in my daily experiences or they are an expansion of what lives within me. I am deeply influenced by nature. As I am growing, community art influences me the most. I get an extra drive for expression when I see others being courageous. Some of my first introductions to art have been the creative culture of Providence. To list a few collective groups of people such as New Urban Arts, As220, Big Nazo, ERB, What Cheer Brigade, Girls Rock RI and the Southside Community L and trust have all been a great influence in the way I have been shaped as a young artist.

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Denise Morales: MoraBlue

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She is 23 years old and originally from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and currently residing in Providence, RI. She describes herself as a little bit of a mess, a bit of a maniac, and egocentric. She labels her aesthetic style as modern expressionism.

How did you come to your aesthetic style? How does your aesthetic style work with your message?
I was a late bloomer, so my style came from me trying to understand my own anatomy. The message behind my style is that a nude female body is not a sexual object.

What do you want your audience to walk away with when they see your work? What kinds of questions do you want them to have? What is one of the hardest questions you have been asked about your work and why?
I want my audience to walk away with the urge to create, feel, love, and smile. I want them to ask why and how did I draw this woman and where is she from. The hardest questions I’ve ever been asked was why do I paint nipples so often and why are they sometimes red? To me it’s hard to answer because I see the female anatomy as it is…. nipples can be beautiful, but they’re tender and that is why I paint them red.

What are some aspects of the culture of your generation that has influenced your art the most?
My art is influenced by being pro-choice and believing in the “Free the Nipple” movement.

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Liana Weeks: xoraroLEE

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Liana is 20 years old and a Pawtucket native. She describes her self as outgoing, passionate and a young trap lord. She lived in South Korea for a year where she started her blog, The Youth Culture (theyouthcultureblog.wordpress.com), documenting her adventures through the Hip Hop scene in Asia.

Describe your aesthetic style of work.

I take black and white street and club photography. Generally, I take pictures of millennials in the clubs, bars, street, smoking, doing drugs, etc. My creative aesthetic is high-flash photography, generally taken at night. All of my pictures are candid. Though a lot of the time people know that I am there with my camera, their expression is the same exact expression they would make if the camera wasn’t there as a result of my relationship with the subject. My aesthetic is to capture motion as seen through eyes and not through a lens.

Who is your audience? What do they look like? How do you feel that you connect with them? How do you feel that you challenge them? How have they challenged you as an artist?

My audience is mostly millennials; most specifically because of my content, Black and Asian millennials. I have a lot of young people who follow an Ian Conner and Hypebeast type model aesthetic as well as a lot of followers who are heavy into hip-hop/rap culture and I connect with them on various levels. To some extent we all have the same ideas on life. We are into the same music, fashion, and ideas of youth and life. Me and my followers find beauty in the ‘fucked up’ and or deep subcultures; finding beauty in smoking, drinking, clubbing, high-end street wear, etc. Though the same in many ways, I feel like I challenge them by constantly trying to break that mold. Once in a while, I post captions on my pictures that are super deep and contemplative. These captions challenge our own culture and our place in relation to the rest of the world. How do they challenge me as an artist? Well I am part of them, so every time I ask them a question and challenge them to think outside the box, I’m challenging myself.

 

What is one of the hardest questions you have been asked about your work and why?
The hardest question I get asked about my work is what I am going to do with my work and how will I make money off of it. I find that often times to be insulting. My art is not a commodity and there is not really a real price tag on art. To be an artist I do not have to make money. I have dreams to be able to live off of my passion, but I am aware that all the money I will make will go back into my art to make more art. It is hard to hear that question because it is this pessimistic idea that my art will not get me anywhere but I know and believe that it will.

Who are your favorite artists and why?

My favorite artists are Kanye West, Kim Ki Duk, Wong Kar Wai, and Marlon Riggs. Kanye West as a rapper and a creative has taught me to be myself, to love myself and be okay with being my biggest fan. Ideologically, he shaped my attitude in terms of my radicalness as well as how I see myself in relation to others. Wong Kar Wai and Kim Ki Duk are two film directors that I respect to the highest level. Kim Ki Duk (my favorite artist of all time), is a Korean film director who makes amazing films that are noted for being disturbing. He taught me to see beauty in what society may no deem beautiful and to find beauty in pain. Wong Kar Wai, a director from Hong Kong, makes the most cinematically beautiful films I have ever seen. He taught me minimalism as well as how to artistically execute things. Lastly, Marlon Riggs was an experimental documentary film maker. He did a lot of work on blackness, sexuality, and Avant Garde.

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