INTERVIEW: JOSEPHMAIDA - A CONSUMERISM OBSERVATION
A CONSUMERISM OBSERVATION
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
My work is a visual and intellectual barometer of the future’s relationship to the past.
WHAT DOES YOUR ART FOCUS ON?
My art explores the complexity of identity by picturing subjects that inherently challenge both notions of normativity and conventional modes of classification.
WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR IMAGINATION?
Travel, language, and looking. I’m most inspired by what I see, no matter where I am or what language I’m speaking, and by this I mean looking at the world. Of course I look at screens, too, but the material world is usually more surprising to me than the virtual one.
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I’m based in New York City, Tokyo, and Honolulu depending on the time of year.
WHEN DID YOU JOIN INSTAGRAM?
HOW DID IT MAKE YOUR WORK EVOLVE?
Instagram was the platform that led me to make art specifically for online circulation and to ask more pointed questions about how we make, read, and consume images in an age of information. I show my work across numerous platforms — in exhibition venues including museums and galleries, in print including books and magazines, and via digital spaces including social media channels. The work I’ve made for circulation on Instagram purposefully functions in physical and printed spaces as well and takes on different lives depending on where you see it. It’s identity is fluid.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH?
I’m surrounded by terrific people, including fellow artists, fellow professors, curators, art dealers, magazine editors, and my students, all of whom I work with in different ways. I have exhibited my work throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, and my project, New Natives, was recently released as a beautiful monograph of the same title by the Italian publisher, L’Artiere. I’ve done commissioned work for many major magazines, too, including W, Wallpaper, The New York Times Magazine, and Vice. Many
of these assignments have been syndicated around the globe.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU POST?
I usually post two to four times a week.
WHAT ACCOUNTS DO YOU FOLLOW RELIGIOUSLY?
WHAT IS YOUR MOST LIKED ARTWORK/ PHOTO?
It depends on how you define “liked.” Any artwork that I put into the world for exhibition, publication, or on social media, I like for particular reasons. Otherwise you wouldn’t see it. Certain photographs and videos of mine have been bought and collected more frequently than others, and some are published more extensively. Inevitably the most liked art is the most seen art. You could look on my Instagram to see which images have the most likes, though that’s relative to how many people have seen them. There are a lot of amazing things in the world — and on Instagram — that are not getting a lot of likes, and that’s probably for the better. As artists, we need to leave some space for transgression. That said, all of the work I put on Instagram is meant for mass consumption, so I’m glad it’s getting so many looks and likes.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
I love Hawaiian music, especially ka leo ki’eki’e, which is the Islands’ version of falsetto.
WHAT ARE YOUR LATEST PROJECTS OR COLLABORATIONS?
I’m working on a bunch of exciting things including a project that’s for exhibition and print, which you won’t see on Instagram, and a new series for Instagram that relates to my previous project there, but incorporating the human figure. I’m also organizing an international symposium on Gender and Representation at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City in October 2016 and I’m collaborating with this terrific company based in Honolulu and NYC, called Pono Prints, on a portfolio as well as some clothing. And then there’s what on tap for 2017, but I try my best to not get ahead of myself and enjoy the now.