Indie184-piece

Indie 184 Is Pure Magic

Indie 184 gets it done. Day in and day out, the graf writer, artist, designer, and entrepreneur conquers yet another corner of the globe with color. The bright bubble-gum pop and neon swaths of paint are her siren song, beckoning to you from streets and galleries the world over – from the Bronx to Berlin and back.

Ahead of her upcoming pop-up show, Pure Magic, we caught up with Indie to talk what she’s learned from the writing game, her evolution as an artist, and why ambition can sometimes be tricky.

Indie-184-Beyonce-Piece
noslideshow

 

Mass Appeal: What can we expect from Pure Magic?

Indie 184: It’s about 12 new mixed-media paintings. I might throw in some of the new styles I’m doing. We’ll see.

So what is pure magic to you? Is it the work itself? The effect on the viewer?

It’s my world. My paintings are like pages of a diary. It’s like I’m coming out with an album and that’s the title and every painting is a song. That’s how I like to organize my work. So basically, this is my next album coming out – my visual album.

With your streetwear brand, Kweenz Destroy, and definitely in your art practice, you’ve never shied away from being a woman and incorporating more “feminine” colors into your work. Can you talk about using color, pink in particular, as armor, as a weapon?

Color is a language. Color is energy. I’m all about positive energy. This world can be a challenge. There are so many ups and downs in life. I just like to use color as a language. It’s going to sound cliché, but for positivity. I don’t know if it has anything to do with my Caribbean roots or not, but I just love bright colors. It’s just a way to communicate the energy.

In this new work, empowered female icons remain as muse to you?

Yes. They are my muses. They translate the mood of the picture, the whole point of what I’m trying to say. They are like my sirens, my mermaids in the ocean.

It feels like a declaration of sorts in your transformation of a Hollywood icon into an Everywoman. By giving them doorknockers and a bright lip, they become the women you and I grew up with. You show the beauty in the around the way girl. 

Very true. At the end of the day, as much as you idolize someone, we’re all just human. We all experience emotions – insecurities, jealousies, sadness, anger – and we’re not perfect. Even goddesses have their weakness.

And we can celebrate that.

Exactly. Sometimes I think I want to get away from images like that, but I think that will happen naturally. I don’t want to push it. Right now, I’m just having fun. I go with the flow too.

There’s still something that you need to say with them, through them.

Exactly. I need to finish the stories I started.

How has where you grew up and how you came up influenced your work?

I lived like everywhere in New York City. Every grade was a different school in a different borough. It gets pretty complicated. It touches things on an emotional level. I realize, as I’ve gotten older, as I start to crack my own shell and start to paint and let things get deeper into that, I’ve learned a lot about myself. What I’ve learned living around in all these different areas is that I don’t have emotional attachment to material things. I don’t know. I feel like I’m getting all Woody Allen here, but what I’m trying to communicate is linked to my childhood. Again, I’m just living it. I’m just living it but I’m definitely learning a lot.

How would you describe your evolution as an artist and where do you want to go from here?

As I’ve gotten older and doing less graffiti pieces in the streets, I treat it like a job, you know? I’m now a lot more focused and I know where I want to go. If my older self could go back in time and tell my younger self, I’d say, “Stop wasting so much time – like chasing all these things that don’t matter or people.” I’m much more focused and I know what I want now. I want to be a painter. I want to take my paintings and make sculptures with them. I’m also working on this comic book, which kind of falls into that world I’ve created and am still creating. It’s gonna be real cool. Like the street meets this other realm that exists. There is so much to come. I’m kind of superstitious in a way. I don’t want to talk about things and then not do them. You know when you workout and then you tell people how much you ran and then the next day you don’t even workout or something? It can take the thrill out of it. I just want to do it. Basically, I just want to evolve in my painting and my work. You know the T-shirt thing, I’m still doing it. I mostly do it for fun. Running a streetwear brand is definitely a full-time job. I’m a mother of three, and honestly, sometimes it can be overwhelming. Doing all these things is a great thing, but sometimes you have to like narrow things down. I want to keep doing gallery shows. I want to paint more in the street. I want to do a mixed-media wall and things like that. There are so many things to do. I don’t event think I can achieve what I want to do in this lifetime. I want to learn a language. I want to do too much. It kind of scares me. Like, “Dang, what the F? Do I have time for all this?”

Indie184-painting-in-her-studio
noslideshow

 

But it’s that kind of vitality that is conveyed in your work. That kind of electricity.

Well thank you. Ambition is great, but it can be tricky, man. Everything in moderation. Balance is key, man. Because too much ambition, it can drive you really nuts. I’ve learned how to balance things out.

Is that only learned with age?

Yeah, and I think it’s just the way I’m programmed. I’m very much into astrology. A lot of people don’t know that. I’m a Libra, so I think that’s pretty much how I kinda am. My moon sign drives me insane. It’s a push and pull all day every day. It’s cool, but it’s annoying. We all have like alter egos. My moon sign is Indie. She’s more like, you know, she goes HAM. She pops off and I could be a thug. I’m just kidding. But, like the real me, if anyone knows me personally, that’ll be more of the Libra, more balanced, the mother and things like that.

Sometimes it’s overwhelming and you gotta get help, man. You gotta let go sometimes. You know all these great artists like Jeff Koons or Takashi Murakami all got like a damn corporation of all these helpers. I’m not on their art level yet you know, but if they can’t even do it by themselves? They don’t even take care of their kids and like cook dinner. It can be a lot of work and you gotta know when to cross the line and when to get help. Learning how to do that is part of being productive. Sometimes there are dishes in the sink. This whole Martha Stewart-perfection thing, I threw it out the window, the whole concept. I can’t deal with this cookie cutter thing. I don’t have the time. As long as I give my kids my undivided attention when they get home from school or things like that, I’m ok with that, you know? I let that whole perception go and just really focus on what matters. Don’t sweat the small stuff. The best you can do is just be the best you can be, man. The best thing to do is to just rock and do it. All that other stuff can hinder your progress.

Do you have a favorite surface to create on? Canvas? Clothing? Concrete?

It’s definitely paintings, canvas. I like paintings because they have a longer longevity than a wall on the street. Out there, you got people going over you, whether it’s beef or toys, or it’s the city or the owner. You know, I love to get up and put my name on a wall and have everyone see it and have it be accessible to anyone in the community, but it just doesn’t last forever. I mean, nothing lasts forever. But, I like the paintings because they kind of get to travel more. And I can take my time with them too.

How has what you learned coming up in the writing game influenced you as an entrepreneur?

It’s just like using the guerrilla tactics of graffiti – the whole marketing thing. I mean just like in life in general, it pushes me. It fires me up. If you’re not in someone’s face, then you’re out of sight, out of mind. You gotta stay relevant. You gotta stay consistent. So, that’s what I learned. That and you gotta be well-rounded. Some people who can do throw ups, can’t piece. People who can piece, maybe don’t have a good throw up. So, it’s important to be well rounded in things.

****

Pure Magic: An Ephemeral Showcase of Paintings and Other Media (197 Rivington Street, NY) runs Thursday, June 25 through Saturday, June 27, 2015.
Gallery hours Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Related Posts

Music
Music

PREMIERE: Computer Magic Escapes the Suburbs in “Gone For The Weekend” Video

News
News

Is This Kid the New David Blaine?

Drugs
Drugs

Study: Magic Mushrooms Are So Awesome, That Even A Bad Trip Can Be “Meaningful” and “Worthwhile”

Music
Music

PREMIERE: Deerhoof “Model Behavior”

Drugs
Drugs

Magic Mushrooms Successfully Used to Treat Depression in Clinical Trial

Ad

Latest News

nas-rapture Film

PREPARE FOR ‘RAPTURE’

Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."
Video

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over