Announcing 2017 Makers Muse Artists!

Oct 04, 2017

Hey hey, it’s that time of year again: Makers Muse! We’re thrilled to welcome eight artists into the Kindle Project crew.

They are globetrotting creators making their work in New Mexico, Paris, Austin, Montreal, Philadelphia, New Orleans, the Amazon, Rome, Mexico, Senegal, Haiti, Pakistan… to name a small handful of spots. They are a diverse group in every sense of the word. From their backgrounds to their mediums, this is one of the most eclectic and international group of artists we’ve ever had.

They are painters, illustrators, multimedia mavens, musicians, poets, and sculptors. They are anything but ordinary. They use paint in a way that gives tough subjects a beautiful voice. They ask us pleasantly confronting questions in public spaces. They make music that transforms and poetry to keep in your pocket. They make works that quite literally glitter and they mash metaphors and break free from tradition.

To top it all off, each of these artists are participating in round deux of our Boomerang program! Mic drop.

Until then, get to know these brilliant creatures below and stay tuned, here on our Nexus and Instagram pages where, starting next week, we’ll be featuring each of these artists one at a time. You’ll get their behind the scenes, inner workings, secret images, and surprising stories.

Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Candy Chang creates work that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche, the threshold between isolation and community, and the role of the commons in mental health. Trained as an urban planner, she channeled her emotional questions into her work after struggling with grief and depression. Her participatory public art project Before I Die reimagines our relationship with death and with one another in the public realm, and has been created in over 3,000 cities worldwide. Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, Tate Modern, and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Initially trained as a miniature painter from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, Mahwish Chishty has aggressively combined new media and conceptual work with her traditional practice. Ms. Chishty have exhibited her work in over fifty exhibitions in national and international venues so far. Her best-known, on-going project, ‘Drone series’ is inspired by her visit to Pakistan in 2011. By camouflaging modern war machines with folk imagery, Ms. Chishty is shedding light on the complexity of acculturation, politics and power. Ms. Chishty is also the recipient of prestigious Solomon R. Guggenheim fellowship.

2Fik is a multidisciplinary artist. He’s the photographer, model, stylist, and artistic director. Born in Paris to a Moroccan Muslim family, he moved to Montreal in 2003, finding himself in Quebec, an environment that inspired him to examine identity and its socio-political ramifications. This led him to develop a group of recurring, full-fledged characters stemming from his own life experiences and inner tensions. In 2Fik’s works, both subject and artist find themselves in front of the camera, questioning the identity, the perception of genders, the prejudice and the questions that surrounds these themes.

Jules Buck Jones creates art inspired by the mechanics and mysteries of the natural world. His body of work ranges from dense, organic watercolors and drawings, to large-scale performances employing costumes and puppetry. He is a founding member of the non-profit, MASS Gallery, and the artist collective, Animal Facts Club, both located in Austin TX. Jules has attended art residencies in Maine, New York, Tennessee, Vermont, the Florida Everglades and Barcelona. He shows extensively throughout TX with solo shows and representation in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Jules currently teaches painting and drawing at TX State University in San Marcos, TX.

Mateo Kingman, 25, is a singer-songwriter of Ecuadorian Amazonian music that fuses traditional Latin American sounds with hip-hop, rock, and pop. Respira, his debut album, is an energy overload that sings of biodiversity, sketching natural landscapes of magic and water colors. It is infused with sounds guiding the listener from the jungle and to high mountains, between the tangle of trees and the meandering sound of the wind on the moors. Kingman’s childhood was spent in Macas, a small town in the Amazon, where he was exposed to the cultural richness of the Shuar community and Amazonian mythologies. There his feet grew calloused on mountain grass, there he dove in the Amazonian rivers searching for ancient sounds of water devils. In this environment, Kingman began experimenting with the guitar, drums, and traditional instruments. He began exploring the universal nature of music, which ties the finite and small human condition, full of passions hard to understand, with the cosmic, the chaotic, and the infinite.

I create my work based on stories and imagery from whichever environment I find myself in. I grew up valuing being lighthearted, full of humor, and finding optimism in face of adversity. While incorporating this into my whimsical illustrations, I use animals in my work, bright colors, and imagery of home and the comfort that the idea brings.

Zahra grew up in two deserts which vary drastically and have many similarities in culture. One close to the sea, the other close to the mountains. She studied the visual arts in France, and continues various pursuits to further educate herself. She currently lives and works in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she incorporates Kuwaiti tendencies into her daily life.

RAUL DE NIEVES (b. Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, 1983) is a multi-media artist, performer, and musician. His body of work encompasses narrative painting, decadent multimedia performance often with his band Haribo, large-scale figurative sculpture, live music, ornamentally crafted shoes, and garments. De Nieves has exhibited widely, including at MoMA PS1, The Museum of Art and Design, Rod Bianco Oslo, Mendes Wood DM Sao Paulo, and Shoot the Lobster. He has performed at Performa 13, Documenta 14, MoMA PS1, ICA Philadelphia, The Kitchen, Artists Space, Real Fine Arts, and numerous other venues. He was included in MoMA PS1’s Greater New York 2015 and the Whitney Biennial 2017. De Nieves lives and works in Brooklyn, and is represented by Company Gallery New York.

MartyrLoserKing has just tagged his screen name onto the White House lawn via remote drone. He’s working from a remote e-waste camp in Burundi, Central Africa, neighboring the more well-known Rwanda, with equipment scrapped together from our old Dell PC towers and Sidekick IIs. Homeland Security, the NSA, and the CIA are tracing his signal back to a place that isn’t on the map or on the grid, and the alert level rises when he hacks NASA just to show he can do it.

At least, that’s what Saul Williams will tell you when you ask about his upcoming album and the story it’s inspired. Written and recorded between Senegal, Reunion Island, Paris, Haiti, and New Orleans and New York, Martyr Loser King is a multimedia project that engages the digital dialogue between the 1st and 3rd Worlds, and the global street sounds that yoke the two. “In Senegal, I was buying iPhones for $20, Beats for $10, because they get all the influx from China, with no regulation,” Williams explains. “So everyone’s online. Everyone’s high tech.” He cites Beyoncé, Fredo Santana, and Haitian field recordings as musical inspirations for his self-produced 6th album, straining trap hi-hats and mbira strokes together for a nuanced, entirely original sound. “I’m just letting you know what I’m reading and seeing while I’m writing. When I’m writing, the music leads.”

Williams has been breaking ground since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, was released in 2001 and executive produced by Rick Rubin. After gaining global fame for his poetry and writings at the turn of the century, Williams has performed in over 30 countries and read in over 300 universities, with invitations that have spanned from the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, The Louvre, The Getty Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, to countless, villages, townships, community centers, and prisons across the world. The Newburgh, New York native gained a BA from Morehouse and an MFA from Tisch, and has gone on to record with Nine Inch Nails and Allen Ginsburg, as well as countless film and television appearances.