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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Can't stop won't stop: Art Nouveau Magazine's third anniversary party

Contemporary art quarterly, Art Nouveau Magazine is celebrating its three-year anniversary this Thursday. Founder and editor, Kendrick Daye, talks about the absence of censorship, the refusal to quit and the “insanity” of the upcoming party.

What was the inspiration to start the magazine?
Art. I grew up with it. But as I grew up I begin to see the art in everything. To me, art is not just pretty paintings on the wall in a gallery, it's what you wear, what you listen to, where you live, what you do for a living, we are art, your life is your magnum opus. I wanted a magazine that represented that with content that presented no boundaries to its creators and readers. At first the idea was just a magazine, presented online that did just that. In three years it's blossomed to include quarterly print issues, monthly events and projects and products that expand to music, fashion, and more.

Cream mixed media collage
  • GreatEclectic
  • 'Cream' mixed media collage

What particular artists and artistic movements/eras have influenced you most?
Off the top of my head, Andy Warhol, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Keith Haring, Guy Bourdin, Shepard Fairey, David LaChapelle, Ron English, Banksy, Picasso are all huge inspirations. In terms of art movements and eras, pop art is definitely a major influence on my work, and the work I'm attracted to as an editor. But I'm also very interested in pin-up art, street art, surrealism, futurism, minimalism and what some would consider the 'low brow' art movement. I'm also fascinated by ancient periods in art. I'm fascinated by Egyptian, Greek and Neo-Classical art and love including references to those works in my own work.

What do you most want to accomplish on the art scene?
A lot. In terms of the magazine I want to see our print run expand and launch in boutiques and galleries in LA, New York, Miami, San Francisco, and of course Atlanta. The magazine and my art getting national attention is the plan, but for me it's bigger than that. When people think of art scenes, they instantly think of the big three: New York, LA, Miami. There's so much talent in all mediums in Atlanta, and I think the city has a huge opportunity to position itself as an art capital like those cities. The risk takers just need more support. But the potential is here.

What are you most proud of so far?
Not quitting. Honestly, this shit is hard for everyone. I'm seriously proud that I haven't walked away from this.

Art Nouveau is very young; tell us what you think sets you apart?
For one, a strong aesthetic. To be an art magazine, the product you create must be art. Art Nouveau Magazine is run by artists and designers, so the visual is at once unique, bold and eye catching. Also, the content. Ninety percent of blogs post the same things, and it's usually something they lifted from Hypebeast or Complex. When you go to Art Nouveau, 100 percent of the content is original. The main thing I believe that sets us apart is the writing. We write with a unique style that doesn't censor anything. It gets us in trouble sometimes but I'm never one to stray from controversy.

Tell us what to expect at the three-year anniversary gathering?
Insanity. Pure and simple. Each event I like to play with formats. They become the ultimate mash up. Ethereal, Savvy Society and myself (GreatEclectic) will include DJ sets that pop-up performances from some of the finest in Atlanta's indie music. The DJ's will be meshing their sound with the artists for one time unique performances. You can expect to see Tendaberry, Rahbi, TheDolldaze, Aware of Mach 5, Corinne Stevie, Bosco, Naira, Iyana and Freeman. During the entire show artists Sean Fahie and Paper Frank will be painting live. Our host for the evening, Guy Anthony of Gas Up Radio, will entertain the crowd during down town. And of course, the night will end with a show-stopping performance from Theophilus London, who's making his debut in Atlanta. It's just one of those things you don't wanna miss.

What's your next move?
My solo exhibition, Want To See a Sad Boy Smile? Pay Him, is set for March 31 at Studio 900 in Little Five Points. I've been working on this body of work off and on since last fall. The more I worked, the more the style progressed. The show is my musings and rants on love, fame, the rise and the fall, power, politics, sex and my favorite — money. I'm still working on pieces, but I'm very close to finished. I've worked mainly in mixed media collages, but the show will also include sculptures, paintings and drawings. I'll also be releasing an eponymous coffee table book to accompany the show that night.

We have more amazing events and projects lineup up for the rest of 2011. Expect more first time debuts from more awesome indie acts, more art and more Art Nouveau. This August, I've been invited to curate and show my work in a group exhibition entitled Mass Production at the Papillion Institute of Art in Los Angeles. So apparently what's next is more work, even less sleep. Hopefully more money.

The Art Nouveau third anniversary is taking place at the Defoor Centre at 1710 Defoor Ave. Atlanta, GA 30318. Doors open at 9 p.m. Free drinks will be served from 9-10:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $10 at

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