After college, I worked with a non-profit organization that took me to Africa for months each year. It was during my work on the ground that I first felt the pull to use film as a means of storytelling. It was a really pivotal time in my life. One of my fondest memories of my time there was meeting Malangatana while in Mozambique. My boss was from Mozambique and good friends with Malangatana.
I'm always drawn to art that exudes social and political themes and find his bold, allegorical approach captivating.
I remember spending many afternoons eating fresh peaches under the Acacia trees surrounded by painting after painting piled on top of each other throughout his sprawling property. He was kind and passionate about his country. Malangatana is one of the pioneers of modern African art and his work is unmistakable. He used a palette of both bright and dark colors, phantasmagoric depictions of creatures both real and supernatural. His work is the narrative of the struggling liberated nation of Mozambique. I'm always drawn to art that exudes social and political themes and find his bold, allegorical approach captivating.
SWOON (Caledonia Curry)
Working for much of my life in the journalism and documentary storytelling space, I am constantly pulled to individuals that can share raw human experiences. SWOON (Caledonia Curry) creates artistic activism pieces and tells socio-political stories in some of the most beautiful dream-like, live-sized artworks I have ever seen. I am drawn to street artists but really love how her work has continued to evolve into the studio space as well. I first came across her by the colorful houses she did with the Konbit Shelter in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
Her work has a mystical and spiritual quality to it that instantly draws the viewer in
Her work is representative of her travels and missions, which I align with a lot on a personal level. I shot my first film in Haiti and have a real personal connection to someone that is drawn to shed light on the beauty, life and troubles faced there. Her work has a mystical and spiritual quality to it that instantly draws the viewer in. A lot of her portraits hit you in an intimate way that I don't find in most artists. It feels like I'm seeing all of the life and struggles and beauty in this person when I look at her art.
JR was the first street artist that really caught my attention. Like the other artists I feel most connected and passion about, I came across JR's work in person while traveling in Kenya and then again in Brazil, both part of his "Women Are Heroes" project. Seeing the eyes of these women felt provocative, uncomfortable and extremely emotional. He connects humanity through large portraiture projects that I believe redefined what street art could be.
He makes the unseen, invisible and overlooked people of the world part of something that can not be ignored -- and begs to be celebrated.
When I first came across JR, he was using photography to celebrate the disenfranchised around the world. He is able to take ordinary, ugly and sometimes the most violent places in the world and create moving pieces of art. He makes the unseen, invisible and overlooked people of the world part of something that can not be ignored -- and begs to be celebrated. Watching his career grow has been exciting, from the New York Ballet to a documentary film, he is a passionate person I am always watching to see what he creates next.