AM recently stopped by Thinkspace Gallery to check out Ekundayo’s (featured) latest show “Joy Today Jeopardy Tomorrow” which included this pretty sick mural install (seen above). We also had a chance to chat with the artist and followup on our studio visit by interviewing him in regards to this new body of work. Make sure you stop by to check out the show for yourself as this is the last week it will be up.
Questions and answers after the jump…
Arrested Motion (AM): Please discuss the general idea behind the new works for “Joy Today Jeopardy Tomorrow”. You have mentioned before that the works were inspired by the life of Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Ekundayo (E): This show was primarily inspired by the personal struggles we all face in our lives and how that struggle is integral in living a fulfilled life. I wanted to relate this idea to a person in history who has gone against the common ideas of the time in pursuit of their passion. The story of Marcus Mosiah Garvey was one that always inspired me since I was a child.d Garvey was a black nationalist who had a grand vision of uniting black people from all over the globe in order to connect them to their roots in Africa while teaching people of self reliance at a time when black people were thought of as less then. Garvey once said “out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement”. I take that to mean that we can become and do whatever our minds can manifest, no matter the circumstance we entered into this world under, or the hardships we may face in life, we have the ability within to overcome any adversity without limit.
Arrested Motion: Care to share a bit about the significance of the stilts on your houses that
are prevalent in much of your work?
E: The houses on stilts first appeared in a piece I did in 2007 for my first solo show “Interlaced”. The piece was called “No Do Overs” and it’s all about my life on the run as a kid with my pops. The piece is filled with a bunch of houses on stilts with men on the inside who have grown much too large for their space but they still desperately try to hold on to the fallen shingles and bricks in hopes of repairing their broken homes. Growing up as a kid without having a stable home and moving from place to place so abruptly left me with a feeling of trying to go back and have a piece of that home life I never got but just like the men trapped in their broken homes, living in the shadows of the past is no way to live, so those houses are a reminder for me to let go of the past and live for today.
AM: What would you say has been the driving force in your life that has led you to your current artistic direction?
E: I feel so many things have pushed me to where I am now in my art. The never ending support of my mother and family, the crazy journey I had with my father, the joy of creating a piece and the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment I get when I have struggled with a piece and finally get it to a point were I can call it done!
AM: What/who do you consider your biggest overall influence?
E: When I first started graff was my biggest influence but as I grew and learned more about different forms of art I began to be inspired by all the amazing things people have created and continue to create. There seems to be inspiration all over, people are just doing amazing things these days!
AM: What’s your favorite color and why do you feel it is?
E: Me and purple go together like mashed potatoes and gravy!
AM: How much does music play into the creation of your artwork? Current favorite to create to?
E: Music is a must! I almost can’t paint if I don’t have something bumping. Right now I’ve been listening to Saul Williams “Niggi Tardust”.
AM: What’s your favorite thing about living in Los Angeles? What do you miss most about Hawaii?
E: The coolest shit about L.A. is that you need a car almost everywhere you go! But on the real the progressive nature of the art scene is what keeps me here… I would say the thing I miss most about Hawaii is all my good homies that I’ve been putting in work with from the beginning and the vibe there is so uplifting!
AM: What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your solo show with Thinkspace?
E: I’ve got a three person show with Morning Breath and Fernando Chamarelli at London Miles Gallery this October over in London, England. I also have plans to do some really big mural installations here in the States and abroad for the rest of this year.
Discuss this show here.