Interview: Arinze Stanley Speaks to the Indelible Impact of Police Brutality and How Extreme Emotion is the Key to Change
For the past few years, Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley (previously) has been at the forefront of hyperrealism with his powerful and sometimes surreal portraits that are arresting in size and emotion, which he discusses in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. His charcoal-and-graphite works are rendered in stunning detail and bear broader political messages, particularly in relation to state-sanctioned violence and his own experiences suffering from police and military brutality.
What people don’t recognize about Bullets and Denim is that the artwork shows emotion on all parts, but if you have a gunshot to your head, you should be dead, right? Well, these people in the photo are not dead. That encapsulates the concept of endurance in general. Even as we try to stitch the patches of our reality, I want people to see that, that we’ve had it to the head. Enough is enough. It’s a visual representation of enough is enough because from here onwards is death.
Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert joined Stanley for a conversation in March 2021 about how he brings his subjects to points of extreme frustration, the ways his drawings resonate with different audiences around the globe, and how he envisions his artworks as catalysts for meaningful change.
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Interview: A Conversation with Curator Tam Gryn Unpacks the Innovative Mix of Art and Retail Behind SHOWFIELDS
We recently sat down with SHOWFIELDS head curator Tam Gryn for a conversation about the unique blend of shopping, art, brand activations, and events that drive the innovative retail concept. With locations in New York City and Miami, the relatively new space already has generated fruitful collaborations between an impressive array of artists, companies, and organizations, including Perrier x Murakami, Tax Collection, Brooke DiDonato, Kenny Sharf, Ekaterina Popova, Filthy Luker, and the Whitney and Brooklyn museums.
Often working in response to cultural shifts and consumer demands, Gryn’s curatorial decisions are geared toward sustainability and collective movement. She explains:
As a curator, I try to find patterns in generational truths. What I see since last year is that our whole generation is screaming for healing at the top of their lungs: healing from this pandemic, healing medically, healing holistically with all kinds of contemporary spiritual practices, healing as a society. Therefore, I am showcasing artists who can interpret this phenomenon, and we are partnering with small businesses who are giving consumers what they are asking for.
In this interview, Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson spoke with Gryn about the efficacy of structuring collaborations based on shared missions, the humor and play that permeate both SHOWFIELDS locations, and what we can collectively gain from blurring the boundaries of art and branding.
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Interview: Lalese Stamps of Lolly Lolly Ceramics Discusses Her Wildly Ambitious 100-Day Project, Brand Activism, and the Need for Vulnerability
In the summer of 2020, Lalese Stamps (previously) found herself in the middle of a boom in her then-fledgling business, Lolly Lolly Ceramics, an experience she recounts in the latest interview supported by Colossal Members. The timing coincided with increased attention on Black creatives and brand activism, two points Stamps considers profoundly impactful still today.
You reach a certain point in your personal life and in living in America, where you’re fed up, especially as a Black person. We live in a country where history gets forgotten. I want to be as joyful and positive that I can be every day, but I’m also not going to let people forget that things are continuously happening and that you have to use our voices.
In this conversation with managing editor Grace Ebert, Stamps describes the arduous and vulnerable task of designing 100 different mugs in 100 days, the difficult decisions necessary in small business, and where Lolly Lolly is headed next.
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100% of students receive merit scholarships; Fall ’21 applications are open
Finding an art college that best fits your desires and wallet can be challenging. Studio arts training should provide the foundational skills, intellectual context, discipline, and creativity needed for a lifelong pursuit of making art. An art-school experience that supports student development through curriculum, highly-mentored education, training in the business of being an artist, and access to a world-class museum sounds like an unattainable dream. Adding financial support and flexibility to the list makes it seem impossible. Making the impossible possible for student-artists is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) mission.
PAFA educates artists worldwide to be innovative makers and critical thinkers, to cultivate a deep understanding of traditions, and the ability to engage with and to challenge contemporary trends. Fall 2021 will be back in person at PAFA, and rolling admissions means you still have time to join. Several programs and degrees include the PENN BFA (a coordinated Bachelor of Fine Arts with the University of Pennsylvania pairs PAFA’s fine arts studio training with an Ivy League degree from one of the most distinguished universities).
This specialized and unique art college educates the most committed and promising students from around the world. They study animation, drawing, illustration, painting, printmaking, and sculpture with a distinguished faculty of working artists. PAFA’s national prestige, cutting-edge studio and classroom facilities, private studios, a historic cast collection, and the opportunity to exhibit and study in the museum create an incubator for the next generation of artists. PAFA’s close-knit community (a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio) is evident upon meeting admissions counselors and throughout the enrollment process.
100% of PAFA students receive merit scholarships up to $20,000, determined by the quality of a prospective student’s application and portfolio. In addition to the reasonable tuition rates, PAFA offers financial aid and assistance options for eligible students.
Picture Yourself at PAFA
Learn more about the admissions process, request information, schedule a one-on-one information session, and start your application today. Contact the office of admissions at 215-972-7625 or [email protected].
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Interview: Ýr Jóhannsdóttir Explains Her Playful Approach to Design and How Mending Will Shape the Future of Sustainable Fashion
The latest interview supported by Colossal Members dives into the story behind the playful, quirky knits of Ýr Jóhannsdóttir. Working under the name Ýrúrarí, the Iceland-based designer received considerable attention last year for her cheeky, slightly grotesque masks, a collection that exemplifies both her aesthetics and dedication to bringing others into her process.
Knit your own sweater, and you are going to care more about it than if you buy one of 1,000. That’s the idea. I want to make things that people respect rather than just making some product. It’s all coming together. That’s one of the solutions of slow fashion is getting people to mend their things also and have respect for what they buy.
In this conversation, managing editor Grace Ebert speaks with Jóhannsdóttir about her lighthearted, interactive approach to wearable art, her commitment to making design accessible, and how she envisions a more holistic future for sustainable fashion.
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Interview: Jeroen Smeets Shares the Story Behind The Jaunt, the Collaborative Travel Project Sending Artists Around the World
In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, Jeroen Smeets dives into the story behind The Jaunt, a travel project that he founded in 2013. Since then, the project has sent more than 70 artists to new destinations around the globe—locations are wide-ranging, spanning from Helsinki to Los Angeles to Caye Caulker, Belize—with the goal of producing a single, hand-pulled screenprint.
We try not to guide or give too much structure for their trip. And this is what I think makes this project unique. Usually, artists travel to set up exhibitions, work on a specific project, paint murals, but rarely are they going to a place with the sole purpose of finding new inspiration.
In this conversation with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Smeets recounts The Jaunt’s first-ever collaboration, some of the surprising experiences to come out of the artists’ excursions, and what’s next for the ongoing project.
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Editor's Picks: History
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.