Erika iri5 (pronounced “iris”) is a self-taught artist. She holds a degree in Russian from Washington University in St. Louis. She loves working with strange experimental materials. In 2010 she collaborated with director Ethan Lader to help produce the hit music video for the Bruno Mars song “Just the Way You Are.” The video has received over 300 million views on youtube. She was recently honored as the Official Artist for the 2013 Grammy Awards. Past clients include: The Times, Oprah Magazine, MAXIM, Levis Strauss & Co., Hermes, Showtime, and RayBan. Erika iri5 lives and plays in the French Quarter, New Orleans.
Hi Erika, today you selected for MoW 6 of your artworks inspired by music. Can you tell MoW why you chose to create about these music artist ? What was the music behind them ? What inspired you to create those ?
Several of the artworks I included were made for customers or as gifts for people, but the Jimi Hendrix is one I created for myself. I like to think that the music on the tape is springing out in the wild spirit of the 70s music! I love the different textures you can get with the tapes, its very challenging to work with.
Why is music important to you and your art?
Music is important to my art because I think it affects everyone in some way... there is no way to avoid feeling moved by music. It can help you through hard times or just brighten your day.
If you had to choose between the artworks presented today, which of your artwork would be your favourite ?
Out of these the Beethoven is probably my favorite just because I love how you can read the notes within his portrait. If you read music you might be able to hear the music as you look at it.
Can you tell MoW more about the techniques you used. How old is your technique? How did it start? How long does it take you to make an artwork ?
I've been working with these techniques for about 6 years, but I'm always evolving and trying to push the boundaries. Every piece takes a long time; some take months of tedious work, but I think the details are what make them special. Some things are impossible to create in photoshop!
Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by music ?
I plan to continue making artwork out of the cassette tapes and sheet music. I just moved to New Orleans so now I'm creating beautiful scenes of the oak trees out of old sheet music. Its such a rich culture here with Jazz history; I hope to honor some of that.
What is the song you liked the most lately? Or album ? What was the last gig you went to ?
Right now I'm really digging some old Beck albums. "Guero" I've had playing all day!
Are you a musician yourself ?
I'm not a musician but I love live music and appreciate anyone talented like that, wish I could play something!
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