For his first ever project in the UK, LA-based artist Joshua Vides has taken over the freshly whitewashed courtyard of NICCE’s new London HQ. Renowned for his monochromatic street art that draws its influence from a love of comics, Vides plays with process and perception, transforming the physical world into what look like two dimensional sketches. By whitewashing an object and reimagining it’s core lines and vertices with bold black sharpie, Air Jordan’s, street signs and even cars lose their everyday physical properties and appear as 3D illustrations.
Vides has employed a similar approach to the new NICCE courtyard, which will act as a cultural hub for the brand, hosting numerous events from new line launches to brand parties. We caught up with the artist, who earlier this year enjoyed his first exhibition at LA’s The Seventh Letter Gallery, to discuss his new commission.
Finn Blythe: Talk us through your vision for the NICCE mural you’ve just completed. What was your starting point and what was the brief they gave you?
Joshua Vides: The starting point was a solid white building. Fortunately, the NICCE team just wanted to see what my the final product would look like, so I sent over a rough sketch and they were happy with it.
FB: This was your first full building mural, how do you approach such a project?
JV: Yes it was the first building I’ve painted. I approach every project alike, I take photos of the physical space or object, sketch out the concept, then buy materials and get started.
FB: Were there any unexpected challenges you faced?
JV: No challenges besides painting with a hangover.
FB: When did you start drawing and when did you realise that it was what you wanted to do full-time?
JV: I’ve been drawing my entire life. I knew at a young age that I would need to find a career that was based around animation, design, or just creating in general.
FB: You’re influenced by your love for comic books, which ones in particular really influenced your own style?
JV: I’m influenced by all types of things, people, lifestyles, eras, etc. Besides comic books, I’d have to say the sketchy lineage of Charles Schultz (Peanuts), and the bold clean lineage of Matt Groening (The Simpsons), have taught my hand to move the way it does today.
FB: Have you ever thought about creating your own comic book?
JV: No but I am working on a children’s colouring book.
FB: You’ve done quite a few fashion collabs now, what is it about fashion that excites you in terms of applying your own artistic style to pieces?
JV: I’ve always wanted to dress differently. Whether it was wearing Stussy in middle school as opposed to Billabong or Quicksilver, to now wanting to wear anything everyone isn’t, I’ve always been about creating an image for myself .