Hello all! This week on the blog I would love to share with you my favorite new goodies in the store right now! Here at Street Scene we love to support local artists. We carry handmade jewelry from from Stella Bella, Wehnerdog Creations, Bob Love, Rachel Dodson and more. Most recently, we started carrying Sun Hex prints from local artist Sonny Crooks. I am completely obsessed so I immediately wanted to know more about the artist! Enjoy my interview with him below and come by Street Scene to grab a print before I snag them all up for myself!
1. Where are you from?
I’m originally from a tiny town in Louisiana called Dry Prong where there aren’t any stop lights and you’re about 45 minutes in any direction from anything remotely of interest. I moved to Kentucky in 2009 and studied graphic design at Eastern Kentucky University.
2. Where do you draw inspiration from for your art?
Even more so than art my biggest passion in life is music and although I’m not necessarily all that great at making it; I’m a huge nerd for all the nuances of music culture. Especially album art. Beautiful album art is a a big inspiration. Storm Thorgerson’s surreal covers for Pink Floyd and others. Stanley Donwood’s conceptual pieces for Radiohead.
It wasn’t an accident that my prints are 12x12 (roughly the size of an LP) and archived in LP slip-sleeves.
3. Can you explain your artistic process? How do you create your art?
I’ll often start with a photo I’ve taken on my phone or cut out from my collection of vintage magazines and manipulate it beyond recognition. Combining those images with textures and layer effects is a process not unlike digital collaging. It's entirely intuitive and thus hard to explain in a step by step fashion. 90% of the work is done on my iPhone using image editing apps i’ve collected.
Most people are surprised by that but in 2016 mobile apps have the ability to do just as much as, if not more, than a program on your computer can. Often I’ll find myself in Photoshop wishing it could achieve the same affect as iColorama S or the ease of processing as Snapseed.
4. Which piece is your favorite?
I’ve deleted far more pieces than I’ve printed or posted to my Instagram, which is to say I don’t keep anything I don’t personally enjoy looking at for one reason or another, but I suppose some stand out more than others. The illusion achieved in "The All Diverted Eye" is fun. It looks as if it’s radiating as you move by it. “l’amour est un epee tranchante” was a complete accident and so looking at it is like looking at someone else’s art and I like that.
5. Who are your favorite artists?
If we’re sticking to purely visual art, lets talk about Marcel Duchamp, Caravaggio, Mark Weaver, Hieronymus Bosch, Giorgio De Chirico, M.C. Escher, Storm Thorgerson, and Rene Magritte.
6. What music have you been listening to lately?
I can’t stop listening to the new Kanye West album “The Life of Pablo”. The man is divisive at best, and hated at worst but you can’t deny his ability to entertain. And as a being pure personality—whether you like him or not—he’s an incredibly intriguing character.
Los Angeles indie songwriter Julia Holter released an album last year called “Have You In My Wilderness” that I’ve had a hard time turning off since I first heard it months and months ago. It’s full of lush and unconventional, often psychedelic, pop songs that really stick with you.
Oh, and I’m always listening to Boards of Canada while I create. Always have, always will.
7. What's your favorite thing about Street Scene?
I’ve been to plenty of stores that dabble in vintage ephemera and clothing and although Street Scene has some of the same items you might find elsewhere you won’t find another establishment that is so well thought out in terms of display and atmosphere. Since the redesign of the store walking in is a transportive experience. You’re no longer just shopping—you’re exploring. Combined with Coffee Times, that building has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing places to step foot in Lexington.
8. What are some of your other favorite things about Lexington?
I love the size of Lexington and the culture it sustains despite that size. There are so many people that grew up here I’ve met that feel stagnant. I understand where they’re coming from, but, between the food, the beer, the music, the art, the nightlife, and considering the fact that living here is still reasonably affordable and you’re within a few hours of anything else you might fancy doing—they shouldn’t forget that we have something truly special here. I’ll never ever forget this city no matter where I might venture off to.