Interview with Aeryk Williams | Edition XIX.2

• Visual Artist •

Name: Aeryk Williams

Hometown: Houston, TX
Miami, FL

Short Term Plans? 

Short term plans would include a Tiffany blue 458 Italia and I’m releasing 4 books in the beginning of 2012 which include my Catalog Raisonne, and That’s Them, That’s Us Vol. 2. I’m also still filming my first feature film; it’s a reality movie of my life as an emerging artist. This interview will be in it and I would like to thank the staff at Convention magazine for this opportunity.

How do you describe your Art to people?
My arts purpose is to simply provoke thought first and foremost.  When I’m painting I feel like it’s my chance to speak to the world so I ask myself “What would Aeryk Williams say.” Going off that I would describe my art as my legacy. There is only one Aeryk Williams and I’m a independent thinker. It’s my voice and as an artist I feel I’m in my own lane, I’m a luxury artist. If I were to make luggage I would be Louis Vuitton and if I were to make cars I would be Wilhelm Maybach.

Who are some people you would like to work with?
Well when you say work it makes me think business so I would love to work with Warren Buffet. When creating art I would love to collaborate with Kara Walker on a project and bounce ideas off Marc Jacobs. I know I’m not a musician but to me the true essences of art is a humans expression of their true emotion and I would love to work with Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West because I believe they are creative genius that will have a major impact on the 21st century. Also, shout out to Pharrell, I’m ready for war.

How does music influence your work?
I was actually learning about Stonehenge and how the sound waves produce repetitive trance rhythm, which made me think of how music in general can sometimes put you in a trance. Which denotes a variety of processes, ecstasy, states of mind, and consciousness. The past few days I wake up and listen to a new mix tape from Rocko called Gift Of Gab hosted by DJ Scream every morning to start my day. When I’m in the studio or riding around the city I like listening to Symphony No. 5 and No. 9 written by Beethoven. Those two songs put me in a very creative state of mind and give me a chance to just think. I use a lot of words in my art and I love how musicians use words like Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne I’m a fan of their wordplay.

How is the Internet changing your craft?
My trade as an artist requires manual dexterity and knowledge which makes me curious to know a lot of things. So, I would say the Internet is advancing my craft, shout out to Larry Page and Sergey Brin. You learn from Wiz Khalifa and Soulja Boy that the internet is a great tool to get your voice out and connect with people so on that note, add me on Twitter @AerykWilliams.

Do you feel like what you are doing is important?
I feel like I’m the most important thing in world culture. My painting titled “Aeryk,” was inspired by the death and court trials of Jesus Christ, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., so it’s a very bloody 5ft x 15ft canvas. When I was done with it, I dedicated it to the citizens in China still under communist rule in 2011. The second painting I ever did titled “Irone” has a little red cross at the bottom of it and it inspired me to dedicate it to the AIDS epidemic going on in Africa. To be clear it’s not that there isn’t enough medicine to help them; they are just too poor to afford the medicine. 

When you started out did you think it would be a serious business?
As soon as I started out I found out it was serious business. I went from just thinking of conceptual art pieces to my magnum opus being in the hands of international fine art advisors, museum program directors, prestigious gallery owners, global wealth management advisors and art fair show directors. In the art world there are many factors and taste makers that can determine your career. I know to be great I had to take this business serious.

Must art have a relationship to the rest of the world?
Definitely. I have a friend who is a designer out in Melbourne, Australia and he helped me realize that art is everything. From the first sketches of the Mac book pro and designs on a Kellogg’s cereal box to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Personally, I want to bridge the gap I see with the art world and the regular world. I was at the MoMa a few weeks ago for the Willem de Kooning retrospective, and I felt like I was the only person there with an urban background. 

Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind
My upcoming exhibition in London, England is my primary focus when it comes to future plans. I have been working closely with artist out of Houston, TX including hip hop artist Heavy Chevy, fashion designer Brandon Willhite and urban model Simeon Bartee. Also, I see my foundation Adolescent Wealth Basic Needs Foundation helping those in need all over the world.