Sunnyside Artist in the House

Posted on July 7, 2010. Filed under: Art, Off the beaten path, Woodside/Sunnyside |

I met Juan Hinojosa last September, but it was only a week ago I saw his artwork. In his studio he creates life size collages made from found objects, think: metro cards, food wrappers and clothing tags. His works were highlighted in a New York Times article not too long ago. I decided to catch up with him and ask a few questions about being an artist in Queens. Here is what he had to say…

How has living in Queens influenced your art?

Tons.  Queens, like the rest of Manhattan is mixed with all kinds of people, both ethnically and economically.  Witnessing these opposites blend, or at times not blend, is like watching a scientific social experiment.   I reference this blend in my works on paper and installations when I place items (designer logos & candy wrappers) next to each other.  There is there blend of high fashion and low consumer goods which I like to play with.  It’s interesting that these worlds are blending and now (because of a city like New York) it’s becoming harder and harder to see who is influencing who.

You collect found materials and make collages, explain the influences and the processes you go through to create these pieces.

It’s a lot of work in itself.  I collect things off the street, flip through tons of magazines, eat lots of candy bars, and I even have friends give me stuff.  Once I have everything collected I organize everything by category, color, and other subdivisions.  It can take forever to actually get to the fun part.

Although you have a day job that pays the bills- do you ever find that trying to make money from your work limits your creativity?

I would not say it limits my creativity. Sometime getting out into the real world can be a good thing.  The only bad side about working a day job are the long hours or being too worn out to clock in studio time.  At the same time when I have my day(s) off I go crazy in my studio and I appreciate it more.

Tell me about your most recent piece and what it says.

I’m working on a new drawing (mixed media on paper) that uses the image of Marvel superhero Shadowcat, what appears to be an image of a Dior snowboard, and a bunch of other things I have collected.  It also has a large faux jem that I “got” from the display at Michael Kors.  It’s one of my new favorite pieces.

Any gallery shows or events etc coming up?

I am a group show  at the Loads of Fun Gallery in Baltimore Maryland called “WHAT’S YOUR WAR” curated by Sarah McCann and Oasa DuVerney.  In the fall I am in a group show at CASEWORKS in Memphis curated by an amazing painter Paul Behnke.  I am excited about both shows and being able to reach an entirely different audience.

Any advice for fellow artists?

As cheesy as it sound, “Don’t stop believing”.

Photo take in 2009 by Howard Romero at The Vermont Studio Center

Title: 038 Coco Summers, 2010 SIZE: 23 x 30 in MATERIALS: Ink, tape, student Metro Card, vinyl, silk screen, and stolen objects on paper

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OMG!!! I LOOOOOVE the Buffy one!! Kick Ass!!!


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