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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?

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

What time did you wake up today?

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15 Dez. 2017 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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