“Art is everything, and everywhere” – Interview with Jeff Henriquez
No Comments | December 10, 2011
Jeff Henriquez was kind enough to participate in another installment of the Drawn in Black interview (more here). Graffiti has been a passion of mine for a long time, so it’s no surprise that Jeff’s work immediately appealed to me. His pointillistic photo-realistic renderings of gritty urban artifacts and scenes are a labor of love and patience. If you want to see his work in person, he has an exhibit at the Dorian Grey Gallery coming up in the spring.
What’s your name?
Where did you grow up?
Where do you live now?
How old are you?
What is your educational background? What, if anything, did you study?
I got my Bachelors degree from Bradford College in art with a concentration in painting. I went to Howard for my Masters and have a year to complete.
How do you make a living?
I’m an art instructor at the West End House Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Boston. Also on the side I do art exhibits and freelance work.
How long have you been making art, and what role does that play in your life?
I’ve been into art since car seats and fat crayons but never thought of myself as an artist until Junior High when I won a school art contest. Since then I stayed into drawing and painting.
What does “art” mean to you?
Art is everything, and everywhere. You see and use it all the time. From giant paintings and million dollar sculptures, to the shape, color and design of your toothbrush. So it’s all in how you see it. You can’t always define it.
What role does drawing play in your work? Is it a means to an end, or an end in and of itself?
I draw mainly to stay connected to my environment and challenge myself with projects of progressively increasing difficulty. I never use rulers when drawing in ink and I try to maintain a solid integrity with my lines. All together it’s a means to becoming a master of my craft.
What would you consider your “style” of art to be, if you have one?
Bruce Lee said, “Become the kettle… I have no fighting style.” Clearly I tend to lean toward the more realist type of stuff because I’m such a technical person and therefore I find it a harder skill to command. But I have done art “in the style of” some abstract painters, Hoffman, Basquiat, Pollack etc.
What’s your weapon of choice? What medium and drawing tool do you prefer to use?
The mighty Micron pen is my favorite tool right now. Most of my new drawings are laid out with a 2H Faber-Castell and finished with Microns 01, 001, 005. It creates super clean work, forces me to work patiently and think my way through the session without f*ckin up the piece. Nah mean?
What approach do you take for your work? Do you plan it out or does it emerge spontaneously? How long do you usually work on a piece?
Some pieces take a month some take only one day. The “truck” painting for example took about 11 hours but I did it one sitting. The “skool” piece took a month because I worked in short 2 hour sittings. Generally, a typical drawing can take 2 days. And, yes I plan the foundation and basic composition of the work then take artistic license in the details juxtaposing little bits here and there to get that “Oh shit” effect when you look closely.
What are you currently working on?
I have a couple projects on the table right now. I have a street sign drawing from LA that I’m doing for my own collection and a commission piece for a client in Boston.
Are there any people that influenced you that stand out? What current artists do you follow?
My favorite of all time is Chuck Close. I know it seems cliche but the first time i saw a 9 foot face staring at me, I was blown away and thought, oh, I need to get up in this… But today there are just too many good artists to reference.
What would you tell aspiring artists?
Keep doing what you do and get better a it. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of dumb habits like sloppiness, and lack of practice. Also, take criticism constructively not personally. Use every bit of time to learn from your mistakes. People who study art and look at a lot of artists work can tell the difference between a distinct style and a repeated weakness in execution. Polish all aspects of your work.
Anything you would like share and let us know?
My services are available for shows, live art, tattoo designs, interior decor consultations, commissions commercial and private.
What websites can we find you on?
You can also google me. Type “jeff henriquez, art” and some interesting things will pop up.
Do you have any upcoming events?
I have an exhibit at Dorian Grey Gallery in New York coming in the spring.
Thanks again to Jeff for taking the time to talk a bit about himself and allowing me to share his work with you!