I was recently interviewed for BaseNine Magazine, here's the piece...
1. What got you motivated to become an artist?
LUV1-I was born that way I guess. Only thing I ever wanted to do. In Kindergarten they’d ask what you want to be…then again years past…only answer I ever had “artist”.
2. Who are your inspirations in the discipline you do, and how have they influence your work?
LUV1-I draw inspiration from everything, rust, steam, erosion, and the color of sound, the texture of emotion, in art…the monks of Iona, tribal art, abstract expressionists, street art and graffiti from all over the world.
3. How long have you been creating, can you share some of your experiences?
LUV1-All my life. My art has been shown in Jersey City Hall, in Quad Studios in Times Square, Coyote Building in Chicago, and Guerrilla Gallery at Newark’s Penn Station among many other places. I’ve painted on walls in Yonkers, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Chester (PA), Chicago, Washington DC, and all around Central NJ, but most quantitatively Trenton, and I can’t wait to add to that list. My work has been featured in the Utrecht Supply Catalog, on Liquitex Brushes’ YouTube Channel, many online sites, several NJ newspapers, but the coolest was in Dr. Cornel West’s Memoir “Brother West.”
4.Name the tools of your trade, do you prefer traditional mediums or digital mediums?
LUV1-Aerosol, acrylic and ink
5. Did you have any formal training in a vocational or techinical school? If so which schools did you attend and how was the experience?
LUV1-I went to SVA in NYC. It was cool.
6. Do you feel schools and learning institutions that specialize in art training are essential for an artist to develop their talents or can one do it by learning on their own?
LUV1-Essential? No, by no means. Worth their cost? Nope. Actually they can be formatively destructive at times to an original thinker because they’re filled with formulaic approaches handed down for centuries and “right way/wrong way” ideologies’. But if you get a good teacher or two and really pay attention, you can learn a few things to help you along the way.
7. Where were you born and did your upbringing have a strong influence towards your creative development?
LUV1-Outside Philly, but was moved around a lot because my dad was a pastor. I’d say that aspect of my upbringing caused me to be broad thinking. Having different geographical experiences of different social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds made me a student of culture. I know a bit about a lotta kinds of people. It probably makes me a bridge builder. I am always trying to bring opposing elements together. Even with my art…I don’t really call myself a graffiti artist, because it’s not all about my name, also I started as more of a character artist within that box, until I got out and focused on bringing more abstract expression and trying to go somewhere new with it. I don’t really think it’s necessarily street art as we know it, in the sense, I’m rocking yards, jams, walls, ect with cans. I like to see it as a gray area between both. I’m like that with a lot in my life.
8. If you don’t mind us asking what projects are you currently working on and is it available to the public?
LUV1- I am currently working on a show for the spring of Recycled Advertisement Art which you can see on my flickr or get updates on at my blog http://eluvee.blogspot.com . This project that I refer to is my Recycled Advert Art series, consists of art on signs we were throwing away at my job because the next retail set went up. Yes I work sorta retail, I make coffee, I'll let you guess...Reason I started it is to save money on canvas and have thinner easier to store pieces that could still be very large and yet not burdensome b/c they lay flat. It's also that I feel myself eager to use them, I live around them, and they have symbols that are ingrained in me because of all the time I've spent around them. They also represent society to me. As the people I encounter by a huge majority present themselves as a result of these images and the culture it represents. I think it's something I want to reclaim and be heard in, not a take over or separation, but a Buddhist like acceptance and flow, like using their aggressioninto a counter move in water style kung fu. At first I wanted to cover the surface of the ads and rid them from my memory, make "me" all that matters. But, what I feel at this stage in my life is a deep pull toward at oneness. And although this Americanized commercialized commoditized genericness I am surrounded by has always been my skeptically paternal ever present bad ruler thru putty brains of warm cozy conformity in the sentiment and motives of even my own and always under the guard of "safety" is an acknowledged problem I have with the world, it is just that, everything that raised me, something I feel sentimentally proud of even such, there's good there too sometimes, it's just misled. So the pieces are to be my coercion, my Utopian edits, and places of common ground with the subtle monsters of our commutes. Complete with organic local handmade fingerprints!
9.What advice would you give to aspiring artist wanting to brave the world of and independent artist ?
LUV1- Stay positive
10. What projects have you done that you are most proud of?
LUV1-Actually nothing glamorous at all. Me and KASSO painted two daycares in Trenton. Meeting all the little kids, their families, the teachers, and then having 'em all out there watching us was such a great blessing. At the second one I even had the kids helping, spraying stencils. I'm not a teacher, I don't want to be. What made me proud of the moment was our art work, labeled "graffiti" that we had been doing illegally all over the city was loved by the community and being used at a place where kids can see and it has the power to really change some minds about art and where it should be, how it should be done, and who should do it. You know? Affecting the world around me, it's powerful. (S/O to Andrea and Kids R First!)
11.What is your opinion of the state of art in todays world of technology driven special effects do you feel that artist still recieve respect for his or her works?
LUV1-man, I dunno bout that one...take printed word for example (which feeds Illustrators and photographers as well) is it better online? Not for producers, or their communities, but easier access is better for the consumer, more convenient anyways. Which potentially could lead to more awareness, and also truer freedom of press and not pay for play. Or music for that matter…was it better in the days of vinyl? For the culture, as far as overall experience, yeah I think so, better sounds, better returns, communal places to share and explore with other like minds. As for accessibility though, affordability, that may be different. Art isn’t just a product like eggs and milk; it’s a part of the human experience like a smile. Like libraries, you can’t keep it locked up in profits, people have the right, or at least are better people with access. I’m going to feed my soul by any means. There again, the question is…better access to everything vs. better wealth distribution, though not necessarily more fairness.
12. Do you feel that art is dying in the sense that very few artist still create by hand in the mass market of popular culture?
LUV1-Not at all, I feel the human touch is irreplaceable and necessary for the spirit’s health.
You can check out LUV1's work at http://eluvee.blogspot.com/