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    Tiffany Chung

    08 Aug 2021

    Text by Tiffany Chung

    CITIZENS: REGINALD SYLVESTER II

    08 Aug 2021

    Reflecting the world we live in today, Reginald Sylvester II is an abstract artist that captures moments in time on canvas. In this edition of Citizens, the New York-based painter tells us about his foray into the art world, his creative process, and the characteristic an artist needs to push the work further.

     

    How did you become an artist?

    “I worked corporate for a while as a graphic designer for Gap. Corp, specifically Old Navy. Got some really great advice from my Senior Designer that I should pursue my creative endeavors outside of work. That working corporate could become a bit stale for someone as young and creatively driven as I was at the time."

     

    So, did you go through a starving artist phase?

    “I wouldn’t call it a ‘starving artist’ phase but I definitely struggled."

     

    These Songs Of Freedom II & III, 2020. Acrylic on canvas.

     

    Is the business side of being an artist something you had to learn as you go?

    “Most definitely. You learn as you go. The unique relationship I have with my Dealer and good friend Max has been fruitful in the sense that I’ve been able to learn as he grows. Having full transparency with your business and business partners is key."

     

    When you're creating a piece where do you start?

    “It all depends on the day and circumstance. I’ve noticed since I'm right handed it’s usually the upper right hand area of the surface that is confronted first."

     

    How do you know when you're done a piece?

    “Hard to say. Paintings are like time stamps. I suppose when I’ve lived with a work long enough, when that time is finished the work itself is finished. Then again you could say it’s never finished until it’s realized in front of the viewers beyond my studio walls."

     

    When you're in the studio what do you need to help you work?

    “Music, then sometimes silence. Focus."

     

    What music are you listening to?

    “A lot of different things. From Hendricks to Miles to Jay Z. I’ll transition into Hans Zimmerman then to Lupe Fiasco to Mary J. Blidge. Depends on the feeling, time and day."

    Last Laugh, 2021.

    Last Laugh, 2021. Late 1800’s early 1900’s bronze slave transport, discarded car parts, rope, and black oxidized bricks..

     

     

    What do you wear in the studio?

    “Painters pants, tee, and Rick Owens Birkenstocks."

     

    Do you ever feel insecure about your work?

    “Without a sense of insecurity there’s really no need to feel as if you need to push your work forward. No room for what ifs."

     

    Shoot for @plastermagazine.

    These Songs of Freedom II, 2020.

     

     

    Complete this sentence. ‘An artist should always…’

    “Create with humility."

     

    True or false. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    “Possibly true to a certain extent."

     

    Here's a difficult question, do you have a favorite color?

    “Navy blue, brown, and black."

     

    Which artists do you pay attention to or think other people should be paying attention to?

    “Artists that excite me are Janis Kounellis, Frank Bowling, Julian Schnabel, and David Hammonds to name a few. Artists to pay attention to today: Tschabalala Self, Spencer Lewis, Somaya Critchlow, and Coco Capitan.">

     

    Heel chair, 2019.

     

    As the art world becomes more digital, what are your thoughts on NFTs?

    “No real thoughts on NFT’s pertaining to the world of art. I feel there’s other areas of focus that are more important to me at the moment."

     

    To wrap things up on an inspirational note, name a person, place, and thing that inspires you.

    “I think my dad is super inspirational in the sense that he just wants to build. That's all I want to do. So, the conversations that we have had as of late, or as I've been becoming my own man, they've really been based off of building belief systems, family, generational wealth, heritage."

     

    “A place that inspires me is tough. It’s between Mexico City and Tokyo. They actually remind me a bit of each other. Tokyo is more of a grander place and definitely more industrial, but I think the things that I like about Japan are the little nooks and crannies. I like how things are kind of crammed together. I think with Mexico City, you find little essences of that. But the biggest reason why I like Mexico City is just the balance I feel between nature and city."

     

    “The thing that inspires me is the act of making. The fact that you can think of something and use objects that already exist in the world in order to create something new. I just think it's like the closest thing we can get it to God, aside from women being able to give birth to children. Making something that didn’t exist at one point and then does for a minute, day, year, is just inspiring."

     

    Article image by: Jesse David Harris

    03 Jan 2023

    ØLÅF CITIZENS: GLORIA LANDENBERGER

    03 Jan 2023

    Gloria Landenberger is an Amsterdam-based designer, creative director, ceramicist, and the founder of the interior label 2222STUDIO. Firmly rooted in fashion and interior you’ll always find her shifting between both worlds. From leading the creative direction of a German fashion and interior brand to creating one-of-a-kind sculptural works in her studio, her projects all arise from the same creative drive and vision.

     

    How did you get into fashion?

    “I studied industrial and fashion design in Berlin and Paris. Since then I’ve worked for over a decade as designer, design manager and creative director for a variety of European fashion brands. And since a couple of years as creative director for a brand in Berlin."

     

    What motivated you to make the transition from fashion into ceramics?

    “After working nonstop in the fashion industry, I was longing to take my creativity out from behind a corporate computer and create something with my own hands which led me to experiment with clay. It initially just started off as some sort of meditational practice and developed over time into my passion and second business."

     

     

    Tell us about 22_22 studio.

    “As I had only worked for other people's companies, I eventually felt the urge to create a brand that would represent my own aesthetics and values that would help enable me to share what inspired me personally. Therefore, I decided to merge this idea with my passion for crafts and interior and started my own brand 2222STUDIO under which I design, make and sell interior objects. 2222STUDIO was inspired by my lucky number and time 22:22. Since I was a teenager, I have been superstitious about it and believed that catching this time over and over was no coincidence. I always felt compelled to make wishes for a whole minute until this magic alignment of numbers passed. "

     

    Advice you would give to someone who is interested in starting their own business.

    “Just do it! I believe that it’s important to start somewhere with a vision and then figure things out along the way. Too much overthinking and doubting upfront will just block you. "

    What do you feel is the best part of your job?

    “That it's so versatile, creative, and that I am independent."

     

    3 words that best describe your creative process.

    “Intuitive, meditative and passionate."

     

     

    Favorite song to listen to when you’re working in your studio?

    "Okwukwe Na Nchekwube by Celestine Ukwu & his Philosophers"

     

    Name a personal achievement you’re proud of.

    “Following and building a career for myself that reflects what I am passionate about."

     

    Name a mistake that taught you a lesson.

    “Taking on an order that exceeded my capacity and really challenged my entire setup."

     

    Your top 3 travel destinations. Dream vacation.

    “Mexico, Japan, Venice."

     

    Describe your personal style.

    “Minimal and eclectic."

     

    The one thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without.

    "All my Jackets and coats."

     

    Name a person, place, or thing that inspires you.

    "I really like the work of Alicja Kwade. But my brain just picks up on everything that I see around me. It could be super and abstract, light, textures, shapes."