In the Studio with ASVP

By - Thursday, April 10th, 2014

We visited the Brooklyn studio of artists, ASVP whilst they prepared for their show that opens this Friday, April 11th at Doyle New York.

Spaces: In the Studio With ASVP from 12ozprophet on Vimeo.

Tell us how you guys became involved with Doyle New York

We were asked to participate in the inaugural street art auction, we had two pieces in that show and they sold above the auction estimate so they invited us back for the follow up street art auction and that also resulted in record sales. They saw potential in us. Doyle is interested in changing their format so they asked us if we wanted to do a pop-up. We talked about it further and decided on doing this show with Skewville.

Talk a little bit about on the work in the Doyle show In many of the pieces for the Doyle show we used light sensitive inks so the pieces change depending on the lighting, so they look very different depending on the light source and time of day. The inspiration behind these pieces was the texture of the walls on the street and what happens when posters get ripped down, when the brick and cement start to crumble. We were thinking about the idea – is the wall actually bringing as much to the work as the work brings to the wall? The texture of walls eroding and rotting, the weathering, the pieces becomes more beautiful as they deteriorate. Thats part of what we are trying to do here is capture that moment, the ephemeral quality. As you walk by these pieces and they are directly lit, the forms change, the colors shift. That was the basis for much of the new work, we were inspired by what happens on the street.

How did you guys meet?
We were working together in advertising and partnered on many projects over a number of years so there was a comfort level there. We realized we wanted to make things that were more inspiring to us and felt like we were at a point where we were wasting our time with what we were working on so we decided to go out and start making our own images. It all happened at the same time, thats how we found each other doing this together. We were both at a point of saturation and just felt like we needed to move on. We realized pretty quickly we wanted to start making things in the street, getting it in front people. The work itself always evolves. Its not like in the beginning you know what you are going to be doing in the future. Its a huge advantage to be able to share the work and have someone else put their hands, it has a compounding effect. Its not like you have two people’s creativity, two people together feels like you are getting influenced by ten people because it opens you up to so many more ideas. It really takes you out of a box that is easy to get into when you are in an isolated work environment. We do have different sensibilities, which when combined lead to a sum that is greater than its parts . We mix our individuality together and thats when it starts getting a lot more interesting.

One of the first images you created with the ski-mask and the hearts, what was the thinking behind that?

Part of it was simply wanting to make something that got back to what we were doing before entering the commercial art world. We made a monster, a superhero, a disruptive thing that was just fun to create. We wanted to make something arresting and very disruptive. Conceptually the piece touches on how insatiable we can be, how quickly the icons we love and worship one day, we crucify and vilify the next.

What about other avenues you have explored like the collaborations with Agnes B and Spotify?
We were very fortunate to be approached by both Agnès B and Spotify. For us, its really about working with another artist who we respect and who’s work we connect with. Whatever the medium is that we’re asked to collaborate through, if a genuine connection exists, we will likely participate. That’s what happened with Agnès B, she saw our work in Williamsburg on the street and some other places around the city and she had her one of her people in NYC reach out to us. She was very respectful of what we were doing and we were humbled to have been approached by an artist as accomplished as she is. For Spotify, we were originally asked to create a single mural for them their new NYC headquaters, after working with them for a short time, they asked us to do 24 more. murals. We did 25 murals in six weeks for Spotify, it was insane, quite a lot of work but we are inspired by music and the people were amazing. What was great about the Spotify project was while one mural was purely ASVP imagery but the 24 others were all based on music venues like CBGB’s, The Vic in Chicago, The Twenty Grand in Detroit and the Filmore, etc., so we were basically thrown into a immersive massive amount of research of finding to understand who all things like what city each venue was in, what musical style or time period the venue was most known for and and which artists actually performed at each specific venue we were creating a mural for. We didn’t limit ourselves to only put in using musicians, for example, with Studio 54 included Truman Capote, Diane Von Furstenburg, Halston and of course Warhol. It was inspiring to learn more about, then to depict so many artistic melting pots that formed at these different music venues.

What’s 2014 going to look like?
The Doyle show opens April 11th and thats something we are super excited about. We also have an international project that we are still discussing but are feeling positive about. As far as the studio, conceptually, we already know what our next show is going to be focus on and we’re excited to start the work late this summer. We are also discussing a new collaboration with an artist who we’re definitely looking forward to working with, we will probably start this project within the next month. We’re looking forward to sharing more about our new projects with everyone shortly. twitter & IG: @asvpart

Words: Kelly Salih
Photography: Ethersock Video: 12ozProphet Video Editor: Eric Cruz

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