When we first started our collaboration with you some of the graphic elements you used were subtle but with these new styles they’re a little louder.
I love the range of shoes Generic Surplus has to offer and it’s been fun trying to translate my graphics onto what I’m given to work with. It almost comes down to what I personally want to wear. Much of my personal artwork is loud and graphic-based so it’s taken me some time to figure out how to create visual images that are also wearable.
Personally speaking, I really dig playful and colorful clothes so I felt like I accomplished what I wanted to say with these styles with a fun wearable twist to it.
People are also buying a piece of your art as well.
Exactly. Someone might buy them as a collector piece because they’re familiar with my work. I personally really like the idea of art as commodity. In regards to art, when I visit the Natural History museum I see no difference between a beaded moccasin or a hand braided bowl. Both are very much ‘art’ to me, and in a way, reflect the cultural state of affairs at that particular time/era. I kind of look at Generic Surplus in the same way. They’re well made, carefully crafted objects.
Tell us a little more about the technique that went into these styles.
With two of the shoes I experimented with custom marbling. The shoes are a reproduction of the hand-made marbled prints I made in the studio here. Within my personal artwork, I really like the marbling as a texture to screen-print on. I’ve been letting the ink do what it wants to do in a specific solution, making my own paper and then screen-printing onto final marbled piece of paper.
All these styles are very signature “Steven Harrington.”
That’s interesting because it’s not necessarily a conscious design decision. I guess it’s just the current ‘personal conversation’ I’m having at the moment. When I set out to start on a new creative project I tend to pick things up where I last left off. It’s like I’m taking this personal visual language and slowly evolving it into areas that I haven’t been before. Perhaps that’s what you’re seeing in the new collection?
Last year you had a pretty big show and new projects. What can we expect to see from you this year?
This year I’m making paintings for myself again. Painting to fill a show (with a deadline) can be pretty intense so I’m just letting things happen naturally and organically. Basically, I’ll be here in my studio making a
bunch of mistakes and forcing myself to learn from them. Intuition. We’ll see where it goes from here. But I’m confident, whatever the result may be, it’ll be satisfying in the end and I’m sure to grow from it.