Black57 has accumulated a very diverse portfolio, producing artwork all over Las Vegas since 2007. Patrons of black57’s art work open to the public include “The Palms casino” ,”The Linq” ,”Stratosphere”, “Red Rock Casino”, “Tivoli village”, “Tomo noodle and dumplings”, “”, “manamed”, “Bowlology” and many more. Wall to wall Interior murals have been commissioned by “Urban underground”, “Smash iron fitness” “King Solomon’s round table”, “Dirt Dogs” and “Amazing Thai”.
Private collectors from all over the world have commissioned Black57 to contribute to their art collections, including Johnny B, owner of Brenden Theaters, and several Las Vegas real estate Moguls. Black57 also actively works with a childhood cancer charity to bring art and hope to brave children fighting the real boogiman.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Black57: Las Vegas streets at night have served as the stage for many dramas, comedies, and tragedies over the course of my life. They radiate with an energy that can be felt, even when vacant. I strive to capture that residual energy humanity has imprinted in the streets. Buzzing street lights lighting roads leading to a distention only the viewer knows of, in the black background of the city. Other works I produce that aren’t of this subject matter, come to be as a conversation between my subconscious and conscious mind, the “ME and the “I”, as I refer to them. These works are starkly different from the street series and are compared often to being dream like, or DALI-nian due to their surrealist environment and content. Consisting of things Iv collected in my mind, phrases, images, concepts, and words. I compare these images to a backup hard drive for my mind for that specific moment in my life. All my worries, desires, and focuses manifest in these works. The graffiti I produce is pure expression and explosive of energy. Graffiti is a full-body dance and is one of my favorite avenues of unbound creativity. For all my canvases I paint with acrylic and latex only. I rarely sketch any image before painting them, even my graffiti.
What is the message you are trying to give with your art?
Black57: I only strive to do the Devines work, to manifest what the collective consciousness directs me to bring forth. I strive to remove myself personally from the process of my creations to create a truly honest image. The message of the artwork will be interpreted by all who it encounters in a way they choose to interpret it. If I have a specific message to convey I am usually able to say it with spoken, or written word. Thus I wouldn’t need the medium of painting. The unspeakable is the message to be deciphered by those who feel it’s effects emotionally within them.
What is your process of creation?
Black57: It is the responsibility of an artist to express their cosmological perceptions, but also to allow the collective conscious to use their mind-body complex as an instrument to vibrate creations through. Every human has a feminine and masculine side of their mind, through a combination of these two aspects together we may produce harmoniously mentally. My masculine mind the “I” or “conscious mind” projects it’s will power towards my feminine mind the “ME” or “subconscious mind”. Thus yielding mental images to be recorded in paint. This is artificial creation due to me diving into the library of my mind’s storehouse. This is also possible through a higher source of knowledge above myself known as a collective consciousness, but only maybe attained through a relinquishing of self, that when your “in the zone”.
Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?
Black57: I find the fast pass Jazz, experimental music, or any complex genre of helps break monotonous thought patterns. I listen to very wordy rap and audiobooks to listen to something other than my own thoughts. This helps take myself, away from myself as to not make arbitrary or contrived decisions on the canvas. Also a good Sativa with black bitter coffee is super dope haha.
What creative and technical skills have played the largest role in your success?
Black57: When I started my artistic career I was in high school at the age of 17. I genuinely was far below a decent standard of skill to sell art, I felt. As I took on more and more clientele over the years I developed as an artist due to the different types of commissions. I essentially got paid over the years to learn art techniques and develop my skill. My biggest skill strength for my success is being flexible, listening to what is to be delivered, giving more than what’s expected, and being 100% honest with a positive and motivating attitude.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired your artwork?
Black57: As a graffiti writer, you become used to the anonymity of the culture. It’s all about your name alone and has nothing to do with you or your face, so you get really used to just putting your name up and going about your business. The first time I met a kid face to face who was a fan of mine blew me away. I was shocked and surprised anyone knew who I was, super excited to meet me, and called me by the name Black57. I knew right then and there I have the potential to influence a lot more people with my art and it put the fire in my heart to be better as an artist and human being.
What do you think about the state of the art in the world today?
Black57: I see each artist as a flower blossoming, each flower will blossom differently and beautifully in ways we can’t predict. I think when more artists listen to their heart and go where the universe is guiding them, we’ll see more absolutely amazing flowers blossoming. The ones who do blossom all on their own naturally lead by example and guide us all. Art all over the world is always changing, growing, expanding, and evolving. All is as it should be, art trends come live thrive, die, and rebirth anew art is perfect today , and always has been.
What’s your favorite artwork?
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Black57: When I paint a graffiti mural on the streets somewhere, the community gives me instant feedback as I paint. I’m very happy to say 9/10 people seem to appreciate my efforts in a very positive way, some even ask for my contact information. The Las Vegas night street series gets a lot of love from my locals, they see that subject matter when they step out of their front doors every night, and I’m very thankful for all the love I receive.
You have a very diverse portfolio. What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about (or canceled due to the Covid-19 situation)?
Black57: No none right now, I stay pretty busy with commission work, to be honest. I do events and gallery shows, but commissions are my main focus right now.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Black57: Art is a medium we connect to each other through. It’s to make you feel happy or connect with a more somber emotion, it’s to pull out an emotion period. To elicit a reaction in any regards, if my work has done that, it’s doing exactly as it should, connecting.