Observer: Friends With You | Artist Collective
Interview by Emily Barnes
What’s your AMMO?
FWY: You! We love you! We are FriendsWithYou!
FriendsWithYou operates on a variety of artistic platforms. What kind of work does FriendsWithYou do and how did it come to be?
FWY: We do anything creative that makes the world sparkle. Mostly interactive installation but we aren’t excusive to any one medium. We’re trying to affect the entire world with a happy message, so we are always trying to affect culture on a large scale. So we make fine art ideas that encompass large initiatives like animations and public art, paintings, products and more.
There is a dynamic duo that is behind the fantastical world of FWY. What are your educational backgrounds and how do your personalities and different artistic abilities compliment each other?
FWY: We are both of the new school learning method where all information is up for grabs so the narrow view of school wasn’t appetizing to either of us. We are similar guys on a similar mission and it drew us together organically, I feel we have strength in different parts of our brains that compliment each other’s thinking and skills beautifully. We both work accepting the best ideas from each other forever growing a better solution project by project.
FWY just launched their first large-scale installation in New York City entitled “Rainbow City.” Tell us about the installation and the story behind it.
FWY: Rainbow City is an environmental experience created to connect people in an exciting interactive way through play. We colorize the people in proximity to large monolithic living totems of power and allow visitors to step inside themselves and act as they were completely free to laugh smile and be themselves. We reinterpret this ritual for the religious Hindu festival called Holi, in which the people colorize each other and themselves through beautiful color pigments celebrating the coming of Spring.
In addition to the opening of the installation, FWY also opened its first solo exhibition entitled “:)” at The Hole gallery in NYC as well. What can people expect to find within The Hole and is there any relation between the exhibition and the installation?
FWY: Yes where as Rainbow City is one slid story, the 🙂 exhibit offers a mystical cabinet of magical seeds that we have been working on for some time. Each piece having its own story and emotion. Each idea a unique and reflective figurative idea that pulls all different types of emotions from the viewer. You find kinetic sculptures, vibrant paintings and a lot of surprises at the Hole gallery.
Why create installations? What motivates you to create interactive art?
FWY: It’s service art. We do it for people. We want to give people a chance to connect to each other. To open themselves to their own personal feelings. Are you happy, If so why? If not Why? Just play. Let’s play together and find out what it feels like to be connected. We wish to destroy isolation and awaken people to how beautiful this world will be all together.
If FWY could create its next installation piece anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
FWY: China. Or outerspace. Or anywhere. The more people we touch the more people they will touch and we just want to create an ever flowing cycle of magical river spurting form person to person. One day helping to unite the global village.
FWY has worked with many clients including VH1, AOL, and Dunkin’ Donuts to name a few. Has there been any particular client or project that can be deemed a favorite? If so, which client or project and why?
FWY: The brands that help us to make amazing art always hold high esteem in our hearts, although the challenges of helping a brand to do their own mission is puzzling and quite fun for us.
A lot of FWY’s work is about creating a fine line between reality and fantasy. Do you find yourself constantly getting lost in fantasy worlds while working? How do you differentiate between reality and fantasy in your own life, or do you believe that your reality is actually a fantasy in itself?
FWY: Yes it’s all an illusion. We are in control of it as much as we would like. Everything is malleable. It’s a very exciting time to be awoken to so much possibility in the world. Reality is so fun to play with and so important to recognize. We are super tuned in to the reality of the world we just choose to deal with it on a case-by-case basis.
The light heartedness and playfulness of FWY is very unique and certainly grabs people’s attention. What is it that you want people to take from your work?
FWY: Happiness. Connectivity. Magic, Luck, and Friendship!
What’s next for FWY?
FWY: The continuation of the mission to spread a happy virus to the entire world.
For more on Friends with You go to, www.friendswithyou.com