“When I create a painting, usually by pouring out some conflicting ideas or emotions, the end result is always to implement power and progress. With every painting I produce it is a piece of me- I put my heart and soul into it. I love using layers of words, imagery, shapes and abstract patterns mixed in with vivid colors. The use of color is significantly important as well because it reflects the energy of the painting.” – Indie
We recently talked with New York graphic designer and graffiti artist Indie as she took us on the Run Thru of her debut RUNs highlighting strong feminine historical figures Maria Montes and Marquita Rivera. Read on as she gives us the lowdown on her latest work, past and present influneces and much more in the latest installation of the 1xRUN Thru Interview…
1xRun Thru Interview
Own Your Power + Don’t Get It Twisted by Indie
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about these original pieces, when were they drawn and with what materials?
Indie: I created these pieces in my old studio in the Bronx in April of 2012. The original is painted on canvas with acrylics, enamel and paper. In the first phase, I added the enamel base imperfectly, added graffiti tags, sayings and quotes that resonate or whatever words I am feeling at the moment. The second phase includes wheat pasting the black and white photocopied image of a strong female icon.
Then I keep tagging until all negative space is filled, usually this when I apply my graffiti piece in full color or outline mode with spray paint or markers depending the scale of the piece. My graffiti piece is the most calculated design in the painting since I try to make it perfect…sometimes. Then I added custom stencil designs of several hearts and stars. Lastly, I drip house paint, spray and splash it with spray paint. With this series, I kept the canvas squared so they are a “sister” set along with my “Be Free” painting. The originals are currently on view at 1004 Gallery for the “50 Shades of Art” group show in Wynwood, Miami and are still available for sale.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Indie: These pieces where originally created for my first solo exhibit “Go Hard” in LA. The title and theme of the show came about from an epiphany I had and motto that I live by. In my life, I have many roles and at the end of the day no one is going to show me or tell me how to do it. My success all depends on how hard I want to go. I am my own artist. All the pieces are worlds of personal declarations; they are constant reminders on to help me stay empowered. Basically lots of self-motivation, fear conquering and with an undeniable twist of feminism in most of my work. The female icons I used not only for the purpose of their stunning beauty but also their story of how they came, conquered and rocked the world. “Don’t Get It Twisted” with Maria Montes, Queen of Technicolor, and “Own Your Power” with Marquita Rivera- Queen of Latin Rhythm. I loved how they where small town girls, pursued their dreams, broke barriers and made it to worldwide legendary status, thinking BIG. I like that badass female touch to the pieces.
1xRun: How long did these pieces take?
Indie: A few days, I worked on the canvases simultaneously.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Indie: All the graffiti, splash, drips and paint marks are unique because it cannot be replicated exactly. I freestyle mostly everything including layers, texture and found objects. Also every piece is rare mainly because of the personal phase it’s a part of.
1xRun: Why should people buy these prints?
Indie: Because it’s a beautiful and authentic work of art. It’s super colorful, will brighten up your space and inspire you.
1xRun: Describe these prints in one gut reaction word.
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Indie: As a little girl, it would always draw family members working around the house as any child usually does. I always had the art bug in me but didn’t nurture it as much as I wanted to. Later, I started experimenting with fashion and graphic design, working in the industry to pay the bills. Then eventually in my early twenties I really got to some graffiti artist friends which opened my curiosity and helped me create an alter ego with lots of confidence and fearlessness that I needed to help me wake up and start building.
My first piece was out in the streets of the Bronx, painting with Cope and other friends. I first started making paintings with Che Guevara icon and selling them at local events for fun. I was obsessed with icons and stencils. But what inspired me the most was graffiti, I would paint replica pieces from the streets on canvases then it all evolved from there.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Indie: Early on Cope2, Seen, Serve, West, Jonone 156, Lady Pink, Shepard Fairey, Fafi and Tilt. Inspiration for style and aesthetics comes from those same artists that inspired me from early on to Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kasuma, Takashi Murakami, Kenny Scharf, Jose Parla, Kaws, Marget Kilgallen. Also, friends such as Swoon, Aiko, Scien, Klor, Buff Monster, Dabs and Myla.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Indie: Music motivates and invigorates me. Has to be something uplifting and empowering such as Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Maluca, Nina Sky, Rihanna and Uffie. Basically dance and pop! There’s nothing more inspiring than fierce female lyrics blasting all day in the studio. Oh and when my partner is not around, I turn on the Broadway musical soundtracks like Chicago. Life’s a stage and you’re the star!
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Indie: I’m lucky to have collaborated with a few of my inspiring artist friends already such as Cope2, Serve, 123Klan, Fafi, Aiko, Swoon, Dabs n Myla, West, Jonone and Tilt. But I would LOVE to collaborate with KAWS in this lifetime!
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Indie: Andy Warhol of course, he is one of the fathers of the pop art movement and true genius innovator. He personifies the simplest form into raw, imperfect, and stunning masterpieces. I love his perspective on the art of effortlessly being you. His art is timeless and always makes me smile.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Indie: First piece of art I purchased was from Siloette (Meagan Spendlove) character on a wood panel it’s from one of the first shows I curated, “Queenz Arrive” in Brooklyn, I knew I wanted to purchase it from her. Yes, I still have it part of my growing art collection. The last was when we were in Montreal in the Summer, we popped in at the INSA show with LNDMRK at Yves LaRoche Gallery and bout the “Exterior Gloss” teal #4 print. It’s printed with glitter – pretty juicy!
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Indie: Working on paintings for a couple of group art shows in Wynwood during Art Basel. After that, I’m working on my next solo show in Paris, the new Kweenz Destroy collection of my street wear brand, and releasing a collaboration with MAC Cosmetics in the Spring. I’ll be peeping busy and producing more paintings.