Our 7 IN 2007 interview series continues with art crush CHRIS UPHUES! Okay, it probably goes without saying that fredflare.com HEARTS hearts so, naturally, it was love at first sight when we saw these funny-faced guys plastered ’round our hood. So we stalked the artist Chris Uphues and asked him to do a mural on our facade. It makes us so super happy every day!
Now we have decided to share the love and have asked Chris to create a limited run of 100 red paper hearts for Valentine’s Day. Each one is different but they are all AWESOME so grab one for your sweetie before they’re gone. We LOVE Chris and can’t wait to see what he does next!
How did you begin your career? Were you formally trained in art or was it something you just decided to start one day?
I went to The School of the Art Institue in Chicago for college, but i had always been interested in art and began painting and drawing at a very early age. As a kid I loved to draw war scenes.
We were so excited when we discovered your hearts plastered on walls and buildings around the neighborhood. How did this all start?
At first I pasted up all different types of characters, but one day I made a heart and it just felt really right. The Heart is a simple iconic shape that is at least a couple thousand years old and can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia. The reaction to the hearts has been amazing. I think because it stands out so strongly from most other things on the street, and is unabashedly friendly.
How far have these hearts traveled? Tell us the farthest, the craziest and your favorite place these hearts are.
The Hearts have traveled throughout the U.S.A. Mostly in NYC, Chicago and San Francisco. I love when people send me images of hearts hanging in their homes or of them posing in front of them on the street. What I would love to do is hit up Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. Maybe this year!
Have you ever gotten harassed by anyone or had a run-in with the law for putting them up?
NO. Surprisingly I’ve never been bothered by anyone. I was stopped once by a guy who saw me pasting up some hearts, but he just wanted to tell me that he loved my stuff and asked if he could help.
We love your other non-heart art also! You seem inspired by cartoons. What were some of your faves growing up?
Some of my favorite artists growing up were Paul Klee, Charles Schultz, James Ensor, Jack Kirby and Keith Haring,
We’ve seen you go from overalls covered in paint to sharp blazers. How would you describe your personal style?
I would call my personal style… American Dandy?
What’s next for Chris Uphues in 2007??
Continuing my campaign for world domination!
Alright. Good luck with that. Time for a SPEED ROUND!
DISCOVERY OF 2006: 100 More Poems by the Chinese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth
MUSICAL HIGHLIGHT: Adam Green at the Bowery Ballroom
ART HIGHLIGHT: Artist Jason Robert Bell’s show Tetragrammatron at Newspace Gallery, Manchester, CT.
MEMORABLE MEAL: Ribs at MOTO w/ my girl
2006′s VIBE WAS SO VERY… Pointy and ironic
2007 IS ALL ABOUT: A New Romanticism