Photography / Editorial / Print

Agent X
artist interview

Agent X describes himself as the "Afro-American Edward Scissorhands," and an "agent of the unknown," in as much as he pays homage to "early American history, where most black slaves last names were given the last name X. I honour them as well," albeit "I am a slave to my art in a twisted way." He grew up in Louisville, K.Y, Vancouver, New Haven and Atlanta, starting his art background in college and furthered at The Art Institute of Vancouver. "What led me to this point is a gift from God to create, plus collectors and people thankfully liking my artwork." Drawing on pop culture for inspiration, he tells us he loves the work of "Romare Bearden, Andy Warol, Bansky, Takashi Murakami, Dondi, Jacques Villegle, Damien Hirst and Syd Mead" as most of these artists "invoke a sense of social commentary, unique artistry, Futurism and commercialism." However, there is a strong sense of individuality in trying to create a unique style, "art means expression. I look at artists from the past and present but try not to be influenced by them much. I grew up where copying someone else's style was a Sin. Educate yourself with the best art and like food, you are what you eat."

Futurism, history, politics and music are the core themes explored, telling us "my artwork is like the movie Cloud Atlas. It has to look back to look extremely forward." Influenced by pop culture from the 1920s to the present, the multimedia works incorporate iconic imagery from genre magazines from the past eighty years. The work entitled Osmosis Entitlement "deals with wealth, beauty, religion and chaos. How humans are sliced and visualised for an osmosis of vanity. The entitlement is passed down to every human generation no matter how chaotic, thus the background. This piece has Pepto Bismol dripping in it," showing an aversion to such such entitlement.

The work is abstract but has an underlying meaning, whether political or social, its about "how society is viewed, sometimes political, how the poor get fucked over or vice versa. Politics can mean many things." London Pound refers to the British economy and fashion, "he is in a faded suit, faded by the day to day grind, but has a head of a Tiger, Lion, Panther in the economic jungle. She is is styled to the nine. The paint dripping is the weather. Colours bland, muted by status."  In FireAnt, the work is abstracted further, "pure Abstract like Q tip and Pollock."

G.B.S "is a joke on me," he says, "that's me on a Saturday night when I was 15. Going out and planning parties, in my Star Trek teleport , Moving time and space, heaven and Earth for me and my crew! On my Funkmaster Flex exclusive Johnny Depp after hours shit. The scrabble game of the Nightlife."  One of the more favourite pieces he has done is KINGZ. There is reference to ancient Egyptian history, mixing "Afro American Heroes of mine. Hieroglyphics and Graffiti." There is also a strong musical influence, "I think music impacts all society as it brings us all together. I can live anywhere in the world and know about a culture's music with one click. All my friends are into music, rapping, producing, DJ's, spoken word. If you didn't do something you weren't down." He currently is listening to "Oddfuture, A$AP Rocky, Jeff Mills(Techno), Beatminerz radio, House DJ's and Drum&Bass (Goldie,Grooverider,) plus anything electronic, Jazz and 80s and 90s rock and alternative." Like his work, the stimuli is diverse.

The work he says is "always spontaneous with extreme execution," with each work dependent on "how I feel and what statement I want to make or not. I will make pieces like ‘Golden Girlz’ or ‘Ice Cream’ as they are like my Norman Rockwell type of artworks or something like ‘2320’ with a Sim card, steel wool, Memory card reader, key chain, watercolour, oil and magazine clippings. I never make the same thing twice." His exhibition at SoHo Gallery for Digital Art "has been very well received and I have shown my artwork there for every show since early 2012. Susannah Perlman and John Ordover are awesome and I am very grateful to have a home in New York to show my artwork." His artwork ultimately is a creative outlet for his thoughts, thanking God for "creating so many things with so many different shapes, colours, thoughts" and his parents, who he calls his true heroes, "so much exposure to greatness."  2013 and beyond will see him look to "have a place for my artwork in England, Japan, Europe and more. Plus do some Fashion and maybe music as well. Grindin."

Interview by Nardip Singh
Artwork images supplied by Agent X
Copyright © Agent X

As featured in Unfolded Magazine issue 13
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