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Art Whino Blog

Juxtapoz interview with Ekundayo

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ekundayo’s life story is a very unique one (basically his mother and father split and he spent 7 years toted along with his dad on the run until his father passed away and he lived with his sister where he discovered his uncle’s black book that changed his life). Ekundayo’s work illustrates the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of fulfillment, while simultaneously questioning the actions taken to attain it.

Today, I feel:

Like nothing can stop me!

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

For my first wish, I would like to feel like I did when I would draw and paint as a youngster before art became a way to make a living.

Second, I would wish for a HUGE! studio spot were I would invite my favorite artists to create work and collaborate on projects.

Lastly, I would want all my friends and family to be healthy and happy pursuing what they want in life.

Do you consider yourself a funny person?

I'm seriously funny.

If you had one magic power, what would it be?

I would want the power to teleport to places that no other human has ever been before.



Something that makes you happy?

When I listen to good music and I’ve been painting for so long that I loose all track of time.

Something that makes you mad?

When companies lie to get you to buy something and then they don't deliver all the things they promised to get you to buy it in the first place!

What was your favorite subject in elementary school?


If you feel a creative block, what do you do to jumpstart inspiration?

I get out of the studio and just live life or get into shit. When I haven't thought about what I'm working on for a couple hours, I come back to it with fresh eyes.

When someone is taking a photo, do you smile for the camera or turn your head?

I smile while I turn my head so the picture comes out blurry.

Are you a social network enthusiast?



What is a quality you don’t like about yourself?

I can’t show my teeth when I smile.

Last good book you read?

Tuesdays with Morrie.

Who has had the most impact on your life?

Apollo Creed.


Are you spiritual?

All praises to the most high.

One word to describe your artwork?


What’s missing in your life?

Stability, but I've come to expect the unexpected.

Are you a pet person?



 Is your artwork understood?

Depends on who's looking, I feel like my art will only make sense in my mind. Ss long as the viewer can take something positive from my work, I'm happy.

 The most trouble you’ve ever gotten into:

A police task force was once assigned to arrest me and some friends.

Where do you imagine yourself in five years?

I imagine I would be thinking about what I would be doing in five years.

More on Ekundayo at

 Original Interview at

Interview with current exhibiting artist Adrian Viajero Roman

Sunday, October 24, 2010

AW: Tell us a bit about yourself; what are you into, what do you like

to do outside of the studio?


AR: Traveling is very important to me. I'm inspired by the lives of everyday people. Whether it's traveling internationally or within the U.S. My last trip was to Cuba, which a large portion of my current exhibit is based from. Music is also very important to me in my everyday life, especially when and traveling and creating. The drum is a prominent instrument of my creative process. You can't have one without the other! I'm currently learning how to play percussion of folkloric music from Puerto Rico and Cuba.

AW: What do you like most about your work, and what you do as an artist?
AR: I believe people naturally enjoy identifying with other people and their lives. Through experience I feel I've provided a sense of identification and remembrance for the viewer, simultaneously paying homage to my subjects. The materials I use are warm comforting materials that have lived a life, or that have embodied the lives of the people that have used them. Being an artist has provided me to be more of a student, an educator, a historian, and an activist.

AW: What are the first words that come to mind when you are asked to describe your body of work? Why?


AR: The first word that comes to mind is - "Remembering". I'm telling the stories of the everyday people that are unfortunately forgotten about. The people that have truly persevered through struggle and unfairness. Making them martyrs in their own right, immortalizing and memorializing them. A large part of accomplishing this is by the personal experiences I've had with most of my subjects. I also incorporate artifacts I collect during my travels that are marks in time that help support the stories and provide remembrance of a life once lived.

AW: What other genres of art are you find yourself attracted to outside of your own style of work?

AR: I try to be as versatile with my art as possible. Currently working 
with drawing, sculpting and installations, I'd like to do some more painting and maybe some "street art".

AW: Do you draw inspiration from any other artists, past or present?
AR: I don't make it a practice for me to search for inspiration but I've come across amazing artists from the past and present that have inspired me. In the current "street art" scene Jorge Rodriguez
Gerada's large charcoal portraits on buildings are amazing, but more importantly his philosophy is inspiring

AW: In terms of your work, what is it that most influences you; why d
id you choose the media that you work with?


AR: I get most of my influence from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. Being Puerto Rican, culture, traditions and history are a very important part of who I am and how I channel my work. Choosing wood as the main element helps create the feeling of life. Its versatility, the natural colors, the grains, the individuality of each piece not ever being the same, it ages, it warps ... etc. There's comfort in it because it's natural. 

AW: I’ve noticed that age seems to be a major motif in your work, that you 
focus on innocence of youth as well as the experience of wizened maturity; Are those choices intentional? How do you decide on which imagery you use, and the different appropriated objects that accompany each piece?

AR: Yes, I work with elders and children in most of my work because without the knowledge of our past, our future will be misguided. The elders being the keepers of our past, our history and traditions, and full of experience. The children being the innocent vessels to be filled with values and culture but also having the silent burden of early responsibility, and carrying on traditions. Choosing images and objects come natural, it's not planned. I believe it's a spiritual moment as well. I go through all my images and pull the ones that call out to me. As the drawing develops, artifacts callout to me. Some combinations are intentional, and some are given spiritually.

AW: Are there any specific narratives behind your pieces; what stories are
told both visually, or perhaps below the surface?

They all have specific narratives told below the surface, but they
 are not always told by me. I enjoy hearing what other people feel when viewing my work. I'm fascinated with hearing about memories and stories. There's been instances where I've created a narrative for a piece I felt was appropriate, and ended up changing it because a viewer shared such a touching story about how it reminded them of a dear family member.

AW: What is something you hope resonates with every viewer who comes out to see your  exhibition?


AR: Comfort, respect, history, understanding, identification, culture...I want the viewer to feel like they are stepping into the lives of these people and are welcomed by them and their spirits.

AW: What has been your greatest achievement so far as an independent artist?
ARI would have to say honoring the lives of my subjects, celebrating my Latin culture through its struggles and perseverance, and being acknowledged by the elders and my peers for doing it with sincerity, respect, and love.

AW: As artists, we all experience the evolution of our work; what do you see yourself doing next?


AR: I see myself using subtle color in my work, much larger scale, and getting more complex with the 3 dimensional pieces. I've been collecting research and my plan is to start a series for 2011 that will specifically focus on Afro-Latino culture. This series is very important and personal one to me. There will be a high level of potential to educate Latinos and non-Latinos of our African roots within the Caribbean and the Latin Americas. It will target religion, social and economic issues, and many more critical topics that need to be addressed.

Interview with upcoming exhibiting artist, Richard Salcido

Thursday, September 09, 2010

AW: Tell us a bit about yourself; what are you into, what do you like to do outside of the studio?

RS: I'm simple. I take pleasure in what to me are the important things, time with family,friends and a daily trip to the beach. If I'm not painting, I'm involved with one of those.

AW: What do you like most about your work, and what you do as an artist?

RS: What I like most about my work is It's honesty. I guess what I like the most about what I do as an artist is that I'm proud of all the work I do but I don't take pride in myself for doing it.

AW: What are the first words that come to mind when you are asked to describe your body of work? Why?

RS: In the past few years when asked what I paint I just say, 'I paint women".

AW: What is it about your painting technique that you enjoy; what inspired you to take that route creatively; what is the process involved?

RS: I enjoy the entire process from building panels to scratching or sanding up the painting I laid down, but honestly the scratching the work is the most fun. I enjoy that part of the process because the painting is calming and if I don't like, I can   paint over it. Once I gouge into it, there's no turning back.

AW: What other genres of art are you find yourself attracted to outside of your own style of work?

RS: All styles. There's beauty everywhere.

 AW: Do you draw inspiration from any other artists, past or present?

RS: Sure, so many. From comic book artist, past and present illustrators, graffiti writers, sculptors, the list is endless and growing daily. The list is long but I'll give you a few of my favorites past and present. William Bougereau, J. Scott Campbell, Phil Hale, John Singer Sargent. The painting that blew my mind when I was 12 yrs old, 'Monitor' by Franz Kline! So simple and complex all at once.

AW: About your portraits, how do you choose your figures; how do their characters develop; are they based on people you know?

RS: Many times they are made up faces, some from my mind and some from takinga few faces and creating new face in photoshop. When I choose a "real" person to paint I try to find someone that has some personal strength that I admire. I throw a little bit of my wifes face in every portrait.

AW: What is the greatest challenge about choosing to represent the figure in fine art?

RS: I haven't really found any. I was told by galleries that "people dont sell", I saw this as a challenge.

AW: What was your goal with the conception and development of Beautiful Failures?

RS: The goal was to show work that isn't necessarily my best. Instead of just digging through a stack of failed paintings I decided to take 25 days to do 25 paintings   do the best I could on that day and show them no matter the outcome. Most of the time I set up a timer and when the timer went off I was finished.

AW: What is something you hope resonates with every viewer who comes out to see your upcoming exhibition?

RS: I just hope people like it for what it is, a showing of 25 simple paintings.

AW: What has been your greatest achievement so far as an independent artist?

RS: Five years without a day job.

AW: As artists, we all experience the evolution of our work; what do you see yourself doing next?

RS: I'm not sure, I see small changes in every painting. I'll let my work go wherever it goes.

AW: Any shout-outs, words of advice, or general nonsense you'd care to share with our readers?

RS: My words of advice,  just enjoy yourself. Whatever you do.  

Rich's show will be going up September 18th, be sure to clear your schedules and come check out his solo exhibition, Beautiful Failures.

Interview with Tatiana Suarez

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I had the awesome opportunity to interview our upcoming artist, Tatiana Suarez!

ML: Tell us a bit about yourself; what are you into, what do you like to do outside of painting, any other jobs on the side?

TS: I've been lucky enough to focus full time on my painting for the last couple of years. When I'm not painting, my side jobs include freelance design and illustration work. As for what I do for fun, currently I enjoy watching movies. Spending time hanging out with loved ones. Chatting over some drinks. On rooftops. While playing dominoes. Yep.


ML: Why painting as opposed to any other fine art medium?

TS: It's just the medium I was introduced to really early on, and I just stuck with it. Painting and drawing also runs in the family. Plus it's fun and messy.


ML: Were you always into visual arts, or did you start some where else and end up finding out this is what you really wanted to do?


TS: As a kid, I wanted to grow up to be either an artist for Disney, or a vet. Art class was the only class since elementary that I looked forward to attending. It was my only ' A+' class, haha. I never went to art school, but my parents always had me enlisted in after school cartooning and painting classes. In college I stopped painting and focused more on graphic design. It wasn't until after a couple of years of working in advertising, that I decided to once again focus on developing my paintings. All in all, it was a decision I'm really glad I made.


ML: Where does your imagery stem from?


TS: Ladies, fashion, movies, life experiences, cultures & heritage, folklore, critters, colors, shapes...


ML: You include an odd assortment of creatures to accompany your figures, any particular reason why you choose the 'pets' that you do?

TS: I just really love animals, especially the unusual ones that others might find creepy. I’ve played momma to plenty of exotic pets growing up…from chameleons to sugar gliders.


ML: Is there a dialogue behind your work; are there subtle narratives to be understood?

TS: Most of my work to date has been simply portraits, just focusing on the women, their emotions, and adorning them. I keep them mysterious. They are meant to be enjoyed by the viewer, and adapt to their own narrative.



ML: If you could characterize this body of work on the fly, which personal descriptions immediately come to mind?

TS: Curvy, colorful, seductive. I like to picture drums thumping in the background, heh.



ML: What other genres of art are you attracted to outside of your own style of work?

TS: Cartooning, animation, illustration, digital art...


ML: Do you draw inspiration from any other artists, past or present?


TS: Of course!  Oof, there’s way too many for me to name. Here are a few from the top of my head: Gil Elvgren, Alphonse Mucha, James Jean, Audrey Kawasaki, Chet Zar, Dave Cooper, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Lori Early, Fafi, Nouar Boldy. Just a few names that help make my mind tick.


ML: Overall, what is your take on the New Brow scene in contemporary art?

TS: It’s great! * thumbs up * Just an awesome opportunity to explore, experiment, challenge and create some honest, true to heart, attention-grabbing art.



ML: As an emerging artist, what do you think is the biggest challenge in the contemporary art world right now?


TS: It's like anything else? So many people doing the same thing as you. Be original. Try and stand out.



ML: As artists, we all experience the evolution of our work; What do you see yourself doing next?


TS: Yes, always evolving and learning! I’m not too sure yet on what the future holds. I plan on exploring my work, perhaps composing some more narrative, and personal pieces. I want to continue painting on walls and have also been curious on playing with some 3d stuff, we’ll see!


ML: What do you like most about your work, and what you do?

TS: The entire process is always a ride I enjoy. I go through so many changes and detours with my pieces, plenty of shape and color shifting. When the piece finally starts coming together and I feel in control…it’s really a great feeling. I’m just so lucky to be able to do what I love.


ML: What has been your greatest achievement so far as an independent artist?

TS: Oh man, greatest achievement so far has been the opportunity to show over seas!  Seeing my name on art blogs I've always followed, painting on a wall…


ML: What are you looking forward to most about coming back and showing in D.C., any exciting things you’re going be getting into (well, besides hanging out with us. haha) ?


TS: Well I just look forward to being in DC again, I was only there for a short period of time. Meeting new people of course. Honestly, I really haven’t had a chance to plan anything out yet, it’s been hectic!



ML: Any shout-outs, words of advice, or general nonsense you'd care to share with our readers?


TS: I would like to give a shout out to my friends and family for all of the support. The awesome boyfriend for his patience, thanks for putting up with my crazy, freak-out moments in preparation for the show. 

Some words of advice: Keep loving what you do and be dedicated. Some general nonsense: Boop.


Also featured in RVA Magazine!

Be sure to check out her show this month, Saturday July 17th 6p-Midnight!

Upcoming, so break out those calendars!

Friday, June 18, 2010
In anticipation for the coming summer months, Art Whino is gearing up for a ton of exciting events! June 26th, we're traveling to Austin in collaboration with Seventy Seven Gallery to host Personality Instantly: The Art of Nick Morris, whose work "calls to mind a time of artistic girl-next-door pin ups and sleek muscle cars, with a tinge of sci-fi." So if you happen to be strolling the streets of Austin, TX or looking for an excuse for a weekend excursion, you should stop in and check out what's hanging. 

We've also partnered up with Mie N Yu restaurant in Georgetown to accentuate our fabulous opening nights! We'll be setting up for a special INDULGE event on July 9th, to feature a variety of Mie N Yu specialties, a bevy of refreshments, live music, good friends, and fine art; what else do you need in life...ehh? 

Also in July, we'll be hosting Tatiana Suarez's solo show featuring her Malagueta series. I've been honored with the opportunity to interview Ms. Tatiana, in collaboration with RVA Magazine, prior to her opening on the 19th; so I will be sure to post our Q & A session as soon as it goes down! In the future, I'd like to interview all of our opening artists featuring a few audience generated questions, if possible. We love seeing our followers getting involved with what we do, so I definitely look forward to seeing your curiosities come through via posted comments!

In August, Art Whino will be in Georgetown to set up the big top for our Urban Carnivale show. We're currently on the hunt for side show performers to feature two levels of freakshow antics, including a trifecta of exhibiting artists, mingled with tarot card readings, street performers, and other strange and fascinating performances. It's going to be a blast, and if you know us well enough--we can throw a party! You're not going to want to miss this!

As you can see, we've got quite the summer line-up! And we're adding even more as we go, so keep checking back a time or two! If any of our readers have any cool events on their itinerary we'd love to hear about them, as well as any other neat stuff you happen to find around D.C., and elsewhere! So hit us up with some links, comments, shout-outs, pictures of you at our events, etc. etc. We'd love to hear from you guys!

--Megan L.

Ursula Young Interview by Groove Effect

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Ursula Young Interview by Groove Effect

I got to speak with Ursula Young, a San Francisco based artist and asked her a few questions about her work, how San Francisco plays its role in her work, and how electronic music plays a role in her artistic style...

I was looking at many of the artists your style really stood out to me because of its edginess, and the feel of the work itself. While visually it doesn't have that realistic feel, the subject matter and your use of mixing black and white with color gives the work a very real feeling and emotion. Have you always had an ability to see the beauty and wonder in everything that's around you?

Well first, thank you!...I guess growing up in a national park helped. There is so much beauty in the old 15th century villages and the early evening light over the moors and dales of North Yorkshire. I also traveled from a young age, and that really made me see and learn so much so quickly, you can't help but take it all in.

Does it ever feel overwhelming the amount of beauty that you see? Out of all the places you have been, where has been the most moving?

I guess I get overwhelmed sometimes - but to me that's such a magical feeling, and it makes me want to take as much time as possible when I get somewhere amazing just to take it all in. I often look at things whilst sub-consciously trying to imagine how I would convey them on paper or in paint strokes. I think this is why I travel so much, and love to visit the hard-to-reach places on the planet, just to have those it a storm rolling in over the Karst cliffs of a tiny stilted village in northern Laos, or the dripping sounds and lush dense greens of a Costa Rican jungle, or the color of setting sun on the red rocks of New Mexico. its all in the details. I don't think I could pick a 'most moving' but I think that usually those moments have been inspired mainly by nature.

A lot of our readers are fans of electronic music. I noticed that you have some involvement with the electronic music scene - what is it about the scene inspires you?

I got into dance music as a teenager in northern England - my home town was very close to Manchester and the electronic music scene was exploding at that time - and from there jumped full force into new york city's rave/club life of the early 90's while I was attending Parsons. When I moved to San Francisco after I graduated, I started organizing DJ events and club nights, and then created club fliers, record covers, and backdrops at events. There's just something about house music, and the underground culture that surrounds it - and of course the people - that inspires me. I think its just that total feeling of joy and freedom that I felt dancing with a million people to the same beats, and now (even though I'm much less involved) I still get inspiration from that feeling and the music, and my art definitely expresses that I think.

What other artists influence you? Do you have a particular piece that is especially moving?

While there are lots of interesting contemporary and modern artists that I follow and love, and get inspired by, I think the art that I get most moved by is the magical fairytale works of the pre-raphaelites: especially rosetti & burne-jones. I also love Arthur Rackham and some of the other illustrators of that era...and the Vienna secessionists: Egon Sheile and Gustav Klimt, and I am highly influenced by art nouveau: Alphonse Mucha especially. My dad also really loves art and he used to take me to galleries all over Europe when I was a kid, so its amazing that I've actually got to see most of my favorite works of art in person. we went back to Paris earlier this year to do a whirlwind tour of all the galleries there - such an inspiration.

As for mediums, I also noticed that you noted you love to paint on wood. How did you discover this love?

I think I discovered it when I was doing a show on found objects, I just found the surface of wood so smooth to work on, and the colors seemed brighter too. I still mainly work on wood, but I'll do the odd canvas as well. I just enjoy the feel of wood more.

You use lily's and roses a lot in your work, is there a meaning of the flower that makes you love them so much?

Well, not all of them - though I know full well that certain colors and flowers portray different feelings. I like it that the onlooker can get those feelings from certain flowers. The star gazer lily is the only one that has a more specific meaning: it was the favorite flower of a friend who is no longer with us, she's appeared in many of my works (sometimes subconsciously) and almost always with a stargazer.

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