Interview with Haery Potter

 

Artist Haery Potter wearing a Haerwave hoodie

(Haery Potter)

Being an artist in the “internet age” has its own set of triumphs and tribulations. There’s a lot to consider when trying to create something meaningful in a culture which moves at a rampant pace. Social media is a marketplace of adulation, with a vast demographic to test out new pieces; at the same time, it is a place completely saturated with artists and musicians, vying for internet fame.

It takes some searching to find authenticity on platforms like Instagram and Tumblr. You must wade through the accounts full of celebrity drawings and calligraphy, and veer far, far from those who cannot distinguish between art and ‘arts and crafts’. When you find someone with a streamlined aesthetic, producing quality pieces, it’s a refreshing reminder of the power of social media, to connect and inspire each other.

Artist and internet wizard, Haery Potter is that person. His persona and art has kept us enthralled for years. He’s a digital and mixed media artist, and entrepreneur. He founded Haerwave media, which encompasses his artwork, as well as his designs, music, and everything else he’s creating. Under Haerwave Music, he mixes together eclectic artists from all different genres. and as the founder of Haerbrainschemes, he shares his cartoon-like sketches which adorn everything from snapbacks to hoodies, which can all be purchased through his online store. How this internet wizard manages all of this, we’ll never know.

 

Haery Potter artwork

(Haery Potter)

 

Ultimately, he is a tastemaker, refusing to be pigeonholed into a singular occupation, constantly creating and curating material for his followers. His work is based around personal nostalgia and it’s evident when you look at his creations that he’s fond of the ‘90s and its influential figures. Looking at the sheer volume of work that he puts out across many platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Soundcloud, to name a few) it’s baffling and inspiring at the same time. It must take a surmountable level of discipline to be able to consistently put out quality art, music and designs, but his attitude is always carefree. Sharing his work at a rapid pace, he seems to be free of the preciousness that sometimes plagues artists and their work.

We spoke with Haery Potter on Episode 23 of Screen Girls on Air and asked him about his beginnings in art and the moment that his art journeyed from hobby into profession. What resonated with us long after our conversation was when Christina asked him how both his mixes and art are so well produced and he told us that us that it’s all symbiotic – if he didn’t have an ear for music, he wouldn’t have an eye for art.

Haery Potter Mojo So Dope Tee

(Haery Potter)

We spoke with Haery on Episode 23 of Screen Girls on Air:

FUSE: The Noise of Silence

Once a season, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts FUSE night combining art, music and lots of mingling. Every event is unique in its curation and performances, and captures the tone of the gallery’s various exhibitions. For spring ’15, the theme was The Noise of Silence, a night curated by David Pay, the artistic director of Music on Main and produced by Media Lab. It was a night that was inspired by the idea of listening. It was an exploration of sound, with performances having themes of isolation and reputation in the music.

FUSE is also a great time to check out the exhibits that are housed on the four floors of the gallery. The Noise of Silence featured the Cezanne and the Modern exhibit in the last weeks of its run at the gallery. There were some new exhibits as well, like the projection room on the top floor, which was a huge draw for crowds, eager to snap a selfie before the projections changed. Other popular exhibits at the event were The Poetics of Space and The Material Future, which combined the architecture of Herzog and de Meuron and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The event focused on the notion of quietness, the space that a lack of sound creates. It was not an easy task to remain still and silent, especially in a crowd that can be quite raucous after a few visits to the courtroom bar, but it was a fun exercise, in patience and diligence. The performers experimenting with silence were contrasted with the spontaneous combustions of Jocelyn Merlock and James Maxwell, whose performance brought a harmonious balance to the evening. If the packed event on a particularly rainy evening in the city was any indication, FUSE nights are bringing home global themes in contemporary art, and it’s working well.

Check out our video coverage of the night here.

Woman views the wall of art at FUSE: The Noise of Silence at the Vancouver Art Gallery Line drawing at FUSE: The Noise of Silence at the Vancouver Art Gallery FUSE: The Noise of Silence in full swing at the Vancouver Art Gallery Projections at FUSE: The Noise of Silence at the Vancouver Art Gallery Bed covered in hair at FUSE: The Noise of Silence at the Vancouver Art Gallery Attendees take in the art at FUSE: The Noise of Silence at the Vancouver Art Gallery

FUSE: Revolution Counter Revolution

The latest FUSE party, titled “Revolution Counter Revolution” gave the city a chance to interact with both historic and contemporary Chinese art at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The event, which was curated by Paul Wong, kept the mood light as viewers walked through all floors of the gallery to see artifacts like porcelain from the Ming dynasty, and ceremonial armour worn by the emperors in the Forbidden City.

The theme of Revolution was playfully presented throughout the evening, with most FUSE goers donning masks designed by Paul, which featured various past and present world leaders. The crowd favorite of the night was the Sedan Chair (a twist on a classical mode of transportation in China) where performer Velvet Steele and her handsome cohorts charmed the audience with some wildly inappropriate humour.

The juxtaposition between ancient and contemporary art was powerful, and we’re excited for the next FUSE party (planned for January 30th). Forbidden City: Inside the Emperor’s Court runs until January 11th, and Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Art until April 6th.

New Forms Festival 14 celebrates a new wave of music & art

New Forms 14 brought together an eclectic mix of contemporary artists and musicians from around the world for a four day festival, turning a giant dome into an all night playground for lovers of art and experimental music.

Dj’s from around the world spun tracks in a plethora of genres, ranging from grime, house, electronic, and whatever you would call Inga Copeland. The crowd was as diverse as the music, everybody an individual, dressing and moving to the music differently.

Art was just as important as the music and New York based sculptor and performance artist Kevin Beasley whose work is largely based on sound experimentation drew large crowds with his performance, a cerebral piece which shook the walls. His demeanour during his set could only be described as intense, and at times overwhelming, the dedication to his craft immediately apparent.

A musical/visual collaboration between frequent collaborators Arca and Jessie Kanda,(most recently on the album of FKA twigs) was one of the most hyped events during NFF as their piece showed in Omnimax, to an audience of 400. It turned out to be the most controversial piece of the festival, with some viewers objecting to the highly sexualized imagery, but it was a risk they took and it made for some polarizing conversation afterwards. Perhaps the biggest hit at NFF were the ever changing projections on the wall, curated by a selection of artists such as Rick SilvaLaura Brother, Krist WoodLorna Mills, each projection lasting just long enough to snap a selfie.

The festival marked a change in Vancouver, a city whose “no fun” policy and strict alcohol consumption laws have been a longstanding point of dissension among residents. The festival proved that a group of adults can gather well into the morning, past usual closing hours, without disastrous consequences. It’s not clear whether or not NFF has paved the way for the city in that regard, but it’s changed how the city receives good art and music and we cannot wait for next year.

 

Music by Finn Johannsen, check out the mix here