Saturday, March 31, 2012

HOTTEA - Street Art


City/State: Minneapolis / Minnesota

How did HOT TEA come about and what does it mean?

The two words hot and tea or more specifically the phrase "HOT TEA"was chosen to highlight the relationship between the two words. We so often over look the meaning behind what we say and how special some ofthese words and phrases really are.These two words compliment each other both physically andgrammatically. Without one or the other you wouldn't have a phrase that evokes a sense of comfort, warmth and relaxation. 

In a physical sense without hot water all you have is tea, and without tea all youhave is water, but when both put together you have "HOT TEA". Hot teais greater than the sum of its parts.This idea was the basis for the HOT TEA project. There will always be a relationship between things and that interconnection we have witheverything around us is the backbone for how HOT TEA navigates. 

The project is a comment on all relationships good and bad and the thingsthat lie between them. Like the phrase itself Hot and Tea are two totally different words brought together to represent something new, which reflect on the media and surfaces that the project makes use of.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is
this different from past projects?

My work is interactive. It is non-destructive and semi-permanent.  My work takes inspiration from connections, both positive and negative between people.  The project also utilizes forgotten, neglected or passive parts of the city that we sometimes take for granted.

Currently I am working on type exploration and new ideas of how to create installations that are interactive with the motion that surrounds it.  For example, underneath a bridge.  There is traffic above and in some cases below.  How do I create a piece that interacts with these movements?

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

It's very simple actually.  To experience happiness and to be
inspired.  I am very passionate about my work and I want that to read when viewing my work.  My entire life thus far, I have supported the underdog, the less fortunate, or those who people just don't care about.  I feel growing up I was put down for being different.  I felt that it was a bad thing to express myself because if I did I would be made fun of.  With my work highlighting neglected and forgotten spaces I want people to re-consider their surroundings and how beautiful they can be.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

For me it's not so much about a sentence or phrase that has had a major influence on me but rather my experiences with other people.  I suppose being able to admit that your own work may be bad and to be open to growth. Yeah, we would all like to think our work is the best but in order to keep pushing your work forward there also has to be a level of dissatisfaction.  Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of my work but I know that it can always be improved.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.

My work space consists of the city streets of the world. I am aninstallation artist who prefers the city streets as my canvas.  I havebeen fortunate to do work all over the globe and with that comes thechallenge of how to interact with each space effectively anddifferently.

The creative process starts out with researching the locations.Looking into the general aesthetics of the space, anywhere from thearchitecture, the movement and the history behind the space.  Fromthere, I decide what materials would be best to use.  Once I havedecided the materials I sketch different ways in which the materialscan be used to their fullest potential within the space. Part of myprocess is also the documentation of it because of the semi-permanenceof my work.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 

Well my interest in other artists is very eclectic.  I am veryinspired by all genres of art.  I could go on and list other streetartists who I enjoy but I would be neglecting all of my otherinspiration.

From the day I met Piotr Szyhalski I was inspired and am continued tobe inspired by him.  His work is very diverse, which I LOVE!  He is aperformance artist, multimedia artist, designer, sculptor, the genreshe has worked in are vast.  You can view some of his projects here :

Another creative person who's work I enjoy is that of Emmet Byrne whois design director at the Walker Art Center.  He was the one whosparked my passion for typography.  Hearing him lecture on type and tofeel his passion for design is contagious.  Actually when I firststarted the HOTTEA project I met with Emmet to have him critique theconcept and the execution of the work.  To this day he continues to bea constant source of inspiration.  You can follow his blog entrieshere :

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places
would we go? What would we see?

I wouldn't necessarily take you to see art, but to see things that are
inspiring and in return may inspire future work. I would take you to:
Gooseberry Falls /

I would then take you to the beginning of the Mississippi River / then back into the city where we would go urban exploring throughold abandoned buildings and through forgotten spaces of the city.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a newartist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

My main source of inspiration is a blog called "This Is Colossal",based out of Chicago.  What I love about this blog is that Christopher, the man behind the mammoth blog, is that he covers allgenres of art and design. One day he will make a post about streetart, oil paintings and photography.  The next day he may coverexperimental film, light painting and miniature sculpture. It'sabsolutely fantastic! Please check it out here /

Another constant source of inspiration is the street art blog UNURTHbased out of Los Angeles.  What I enjoy about this blog is thatSebastian posts street art that is very sophisticated and wellrefined.  Some of the artists may not be well known, but the workitself is his concern not a big name.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Large scale installation in places you wouldn't expect.  Installations best viewed at night and work that will make you question the movement around you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool stuff until it becomes litter! My neighborhood is full of grey yarn rotting on fences. And that sucks.