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Blog 1704 Img 5386 1

Artist talk: Manila's Leeroy New

Leeroy New is a Manila-based multidisciplinary artist/designer who works with medias such as film, theater, product design and fashion.

Com­ing from a place that doesn’t have an art mar­ket per se and still stay­ing there takes a lot of courage. New decid­ed very ear­ly on he will try to col­or the Philip­pine art scene and make it bet­ter. His vivid imagery always serves as an homage to where he is from. With­out any inten­tion to move, New is grad­u­al­ly build­ing his own name and con­se­quent­ly enrich­ing Phillipino’s art scene.

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Blog 1704 Leeroy New Graphika Manila 2015 069

We talked to the artist about his past, present and the future.

What is your art about?
Gen­er­al­ly, I try to devel­op my own spe­cif­ic means of cre­ative pro­duc­tion based on my socio-cul­tur­al con­di­tions, specif­i­cal­ly the need for a more acces­si­ble and pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of artis­tic ideas through col­lab­o­ra­tion, com­mu­ni­ty work, and har­ness­ing oth­er cre­ative fields.

Can you remem­ber your first cre­at­ing expe­ri­ence as a child?
Ever since I learned to use a pen­cil for cre­at­ing images I just nev­er real­ly stopped. Whether what I made then was art may be sub­ject to debate, but I just kept on evolv­ing my meth­ods and ide­olo­gies with regards to cre­ative production.

How is the Philip­pine art scene like?
The con­di­tions that define Philip­pine cul­ture is quite unique, as with all oth­er cul­tures, so it fol­lows that the art scene that is con­stant­ly devel­op­ing here aims to respond to the needs and strug­gles of Philip­pine soci­ety. It’s always a good time to cre­ate art, what­ev­er time you’re in.

Do you ever get frus­trat­ed with where you are and the lack of the scene?
Ear­ly on I’ve learned to chan­nel frus­tra­tion’ into cre­ative ener­gy. Liv­ing in the Philip­pines, with the lack of or very min­i­mal sup­port for artis­tic endeav­ors, artists, and cul­tur­al work­ers learn to gen­er­ate alter­na­tive sys­tems that work just as well. Rather than be con­tent with frus­tra­tion we become exceed­ing­ly resourceful.

Have you ever con­sid­ered mov­ing?
I’ve nev­er real­ly enter­tained the idea of mov­ing some­where else even though my mom lives in the states. I love work­ing for my coun­try. I love chan­nel­ing the work into some­thing that can pro­vide solu­tions for improv­ing my country.

Tell me more about your work process?
I do so many dif­fer­ent things alone or with a few col­lab­o­ra­tions or even teams of peo­ple but always using an inter­nal process which I am able to apply to all these dif­fer­ent forms of cre­ative pro­duc­tion. It’s my way of giv­ing myself breath­ing room in between projects by doing some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent all the time.

What do you con­sid­er as your biggest achieve­ment so far?
That I am still able to do the work that I love and be a tool for change at the same time.

Did you always want to be an artist?
Even before I knew what that word meant until now that I don’t care much for the word.

What kind of art did you start with?
The basics. Sharpie, paper and clay.

What are you work­ing on at the moment?
Design­ing sets for a local TV-show and work­ing on sculp­tur­al pieces for my next exhibition.

What was your last phone call?
Was fig­ur­ing out a cur­ricu­lum for a week-long nation­al art teach­ers’ work­shop I’m facil­i­tat­ing with the organizers.

Last text mes­sage?
Sure, go ahead.”

Last song you lis­tened to?
Some­thing by The Weeknd

Last time you cried?
Last time I got real­ly drunk four months ago.

Have you ever dat­ed some­one twice?
Yes.

What did you do for your last Birth­day?
Host­ed din­ner and drinks in my studio.

What time did you wake up today?
11:30am

Blog 1704 52C
15 Dec 2017 · neubau eyewear