Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Art on tape: Interview with Erika Iris Simmons, aka iri5

Ghost in the Machine: Jimi Hendrix

Where did you grow up?
I grew up mostly in Orlando, FL. I've lived in many cities across the US, in the UK, and in the Virgin Islands. I live near Atlanta at the moment.

When did you start making art?

I have always made collages and painted. My first job was as a face painter at a theme park. I didn't start making art with the intention to sell it until about two years ago.

Do you have an art degree?
I never studied any formal art in school. I was more into math and science. I got my degree in Russian.

What inspired you to make art from old cassettes?
I was very poor growing up and I have always been fascinated with people who can make things out of strange stuff. When I decided to try to make some money selling artwork, I wanted to use what I had around the house before spending money. lol. I had put some cassettes on top of a blank canvas near my door. Everyday I would glance at the pile as I came and went to work, waiting tables. Then one day, lightning struck.

How long does it take to create each piece?
Every project is different. Some pieces take a few days, but most take around a week. Some take months.

How would you categorize your art?
I say that my work is conceptual art. Some of it isn't "pretty" but I try to always communicate an idea through my work. At least that is what I hope to do. I don't know enough about art to be able to give a knowledgeable answer!, lol.

What do you want to say with your art?
I want to say that resources abound. If you approach a problem with thought and intention, great things can happen.

What are your artistic goals?
The only goal I have is to keep working. I would love to teach art to children one day.

Where is your art available for purchase?
I have website: www.iri5.com with a small storefront showing my available pieces, but I prefer commissions. I love using cassettes that people send me, like their old mix tapes, to make the work really special. My email is eisimmons@gmail.com for anyone who has questions, comments, or just wants to say "hi."

Check out iri5' s flickr page for more amazing art made with non-traditional materials

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview, thanks for sharing it!