SPEED BY MICHAEL WILLIS
Next app of WOK full 2013 calendar..on friday the 15th March Wok opens its doors to Michael Willis, who shows his new project SPEED.
Michael Willis is an english artist working in London and beyond. His eclectic vision has gained him notoriety within both the cultural and commercial sectors, exhibiting his work internationally and working with clients including Kenzo, Red Bull, It’s Nice That, Sixpack and Bloomberg. In parallel to his freelance practice Michael also runs the publishing imprint and cult art label Panther Club. Since it’s conception back in 2009, Michael has been creative director and editor at the label, publishing vanguard artists, curating exhibitions and collaborating with other forward thinking initiatives on a unique capsule collections.
Check BELOW he will tell us more about SPEED and …
W:Ciao Michael,where did you grow up?
How old are you?
MW:I grew up west of London in the suburbs, on the Thames. I’m 25 years young.
W:What made you choose the show concept for WOK?
MW:the shows concept emerged over a couple of months, the starting point was actually WOKs location, I wanted to link the narrative of the show to Italian roots…
W:Can you describe the speed collection?
MW:The collection is based on F.T. Marinetti’s explosive Futurist Manifesto (1909, Italy). Celebrating the audacity of the the 11 point manifesto it draws parallels with the text and the hedonistic pursuits of late 80s and early 90s european rave culture. Its a heady mix of Bauhaus and Factory inspired visuals that shiver under electric light.
W: Do you like any italian contemporary artists ?
MW:If I was to choose an Italian artist though, M.Bomba. Internationally though its such an exciting time for the arts, ironic internet art is fading and the influence of new media is really showing across all levels of the creative industry, it feels like the post digital renaissance has well and truly arrived.
W:You told me that it is a kind of new start for you, tell me more about this…
MW:Yeah, I’ve stripped back the colours and graphics for this collection, more confident and considered. A different direction from my normal maxi approach, it’s surprisingly hard to break away from a process you’ve spent so long developing, there’s nowhere to hide behind colours and patterns so every line has to be in the right place! haha..
W:Do you usually work alone?What do you prefer and why?
MW:Yes, I collaborate with others but 99% it’s just me.
I really like working with others but I’m a bit of a control freak so working alone often suits.
W:What is Pantherclub?
MW:P/C is a collaborative label and publishing imprint. I started it a few years back now as a space for all my non-commercial projects to exist. It keeps growing…changing, we publish prints, promote and collaborate with others, put on shows. I’m editor of our arts journal and direct all p/c projects.
W:You host many artists on the blog, I have to say very cool…
How does it work? do you contact them when you see their work or viceversa?
MW:Thank you, it works both ways really, I keep up to date with contemporary works and I get a lot of people sending submissions. There is no real criteria, if the work is exciting we want to promote it.
W:I love Radio Jiro ! who selects the tracks for the feature/project?
MW:Radio Jiro is one of the most popular things we’ve done. It’s edited by long term p/c collaborator Jiro Bevis (jirobevis.co.uk), he also runs Ying Yangs (yingyangs.blogspot.com) definitely worth checking out if you like RJ…
W:How would you describe your work right now?
MW:It’s hard to describe your own work, it’s always changing and I’m always changing. My work has always had a strong conceptual underpinning, I’ve always thrived in the space between art and commercial. At the moment my work is more stripped back with a heavy graphics influence. My output now is more focused creating more bold, confident graphics.
W:Describe how you see contemporary graphics scene in 3 words…
MW:Evolving International Trend
MW:Collaborating more with designers on fashion projects that intersect art/graphics, a really exciting space right now. I got shortlisted for a design award in Berlin so I’m working on a new body of work for a show over there. I’m discussing a really exciting project with a luxury car manufacturer, developing motion and 3D graphics and planning a new p/c group show in London for s/s 13.