Colossal Interviews

In our ongoing interview series, Colossal goes deep with some of our favorite contemporary artists, designers,
and creative personalities from around the world. These conversations are supported directly by our members.

Trevon Latin On His Impulse to Solve Problems, Navigating Solitude, and the Idea That Everything is Drag

May 19, 2022

For Trevon Latin, the best use of questions is to breed more questions. Each quilt remnant, each barrette, each string of beads he incorporates into the work asks, What does masculinity look like? What does it mean to present yourself as a Black person? In this conversation with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete, Latin explains why he’s only recently started referring to himself as an artist, his approach to fully feeling every emotion he encounters, and his whole-hearted belief that, to quote RuPaul, “we are all born naked, and the rest is drag.”

Nick Cave On Silence and Compassion Ahead of His First Retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

May 11, 2022

A portmanteau of forevermore and for others, “Forothermore” is a prescient title for the first retrospective of artist Nick Cave. His work spans sculpture, installation, and performance and consistently confronts racism, homophobia, and other bigotries through the alluring, affecting power of art. Amassing three and a half decades of work in one space has been an enlightening process, Cave says, sharing that he’s no longer allowing tragedy to function as a directive. In this conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, the artist discusses his devotion to silence, his role as an educator, and how committing 100 percent has produced awe-inspiring results.

DRIFT On the Unparalleled Potential of Technology in Cultivating Connections with Nature

March 21, 2022

Artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta founded DRIFT in 2007 and have spent the last decades exploring the intersection of technology and nature. Experiential and immersive, their broad body of work harnesses the power of robotics, manufactured mechanisms, and even algorithms to visualize some of the most stunning and captivating biological phenomena and ecological cycles. Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert spoke with the pair about the origins of their collaboration-driven studio, how recognizing and internalizing patterns can help us realign with the world around us, and why nature and the inevitability of change is the only guarantee.

Social Justice Sewing Academy On Community Activism and the Power of Remembering Through Quilts

March 11, 2022

In a time when witnessing inequity is like digging into an already numb wound, and participating in surface-level social justice is as easy as recycling digital shares, the Social Justice Sewing Academy offers the power of touch. In this conversation, Colossal contributor Gabrielle Lawrence speaks with program director Stephanie Valencia about the work of honoring the victims of violence and their families through community art, supporting young entrepreneurs with creative or social justice-oriented businesses, and most importantly, giving people something to hold on to.

Shantell Martin On the Power of a Single Line and Why Positivity Is Her Biggest Inspiration

February 16, 2022

Shantell Martin has been exploring the magic in a single line since childhood, and it’s that seemingly minimal marking that defines her practice still today. She works primarily in black-and-white, inscribing walls, canvases, and other objects with abstracted faces and affirmational text. Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert spoke with Martin about the vast potential of a line, the joy and fun of collaborating for the sake of collaborating, and her unwavering approach to positive thinking.

This Is Not a Gun: Cara Levine On Collective Trauma, Grief, and the Power of Ritual

November 16, 2021

In December 2016, Harper’s Magazine published a list of more than 20 objects that had been “mistaken for guns during shootings of civilians by police in the United States since 2001.” Artist Cara Levine found herself stunned then grief-stricken by the items, prompting her to launch the multi-faceted This Is Not a Gun project, which she discusses in an interview with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete.