Q. Ben Warwick
6. Would we be correct in saying that the focus behind your career for the immediate future is to continue to showcase your artwork in respected galleries as a headline artist?
I think that more artists are now turning their focus into becoming respected at a gallery level especially since the rise in popularity of urban art. Showing in a gallery means many things for different people. It is what we show our parents, what we boast about in conversations, what can introduce us to new audiences and what can provide us with more opportunities in the future. For me I want to continue painting outdoors and at events as well as continue to have group and solo shows. It is all about having a balance and pushing what you do. Your art will speak for itself. People can see the effort, time and hard work you put into what you create and that will bring respect whether it is out or indoors. I am humbled by the amount of opportunities that I have had in my career as a stencil artists and it is exciting to see what the future holds.
7. You appear to welcome the possibilities of new media platforms/technology, for example the wallpapers you created for increasingly popular smart phones, will fans of your work be able to enjoy more of this in the future or was this purely an exposure move?
I think the whole concept is about accessibility. I want my art to be as accessible to people as possible. When I was young I didn’t have money for an eight hundred dollar painting or print for sixty dollars so I know what it feels like to be such a huge fan of an artist but never having the ability to own any original art. It is one of the main reasons I give out so many free stickers. I want people to have it; to hold it. Even if it is 1/10 of the paintings original size, having something from the artists is better than having nothing. As an artist I love embracing new media and technology. Sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter allows me to connect and be at the same level with my audience. The best part is finding new ways to share your art with people through new means whether they be products, stickers, shirts, prints, phone wallpapers, or even skateboards. The more creative you are about making yourself and your art accessible, the greater the connection between you and your audience becomes.
8. Do you intend to showcase your artistic talents in the form of fashion as many of your fellow graffiti artists have done? If you have done so or intend to, what would your focus be (adapting your existing artwork or following a different approach)?
A T-shirt is a walking canvas and a dress as a walking mural. I think that in the future it will be a great opportunity to move into fashion or some type of clothing design. It goes back to the concept of accessibility. Artists that have moved into fashion and clothing have done a great job and the work that they have done gives us all another level to reach and shoot for in our careers. I think that whatever the future holds in terms of PaperMonster and fashion I want it to be unique and groundbreaking.
9. Do you actively sell prints of your work? If you do, are they unique copies, limited prints or indeed a combination of methods? How would our readership go about purchasing your work?
I do sell prints. The times that I have made prints they are different from what I would typically do on canvas. I dislike repetition, so for the most part all of the prints have a personal touch whether it is a hand sprayed layer or other hand embellishment I want people to have something unique. It is strange that as a stencil artist I really hate repeating things but it is a quality that pushes me look for ways to make prints that are both unique copies and limited to certain editions. I also enjoy doing personal commissions and readers can find information about prints and paintings over at http://papermonster.wordpress.com
10. What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations for your artwork and prospering career as we move into a new decade?
I am ending this year on some really high notes from a group show at Brooklynite Gallery at the end of November to several pieces at this year’s Art Basel in Miami at the beginning of December. One of the most exciting projects that I am looking forward to is preparations for a solo show in Paris 2010. That should be a great opportunity to show a full body of work. Most of all, my dream is to be an artist who is current and a source of inspiration for people who at one time or another felt rejected or lost. Your passion for what you create is contagious and no level of rejection can overpower your confidence for what you do.
Part one can be found here.