An Interview and Studio Visit with FriendsWithYou in Los Angeles

Cedar Pasori
May 12, 2013 4:17PM

I have been a longtime fan of FriendsWithYou, way before I ever thought I would have a career in art or journalism. There's something about their amorphous, colorful figures that enchants me, and as far as I can tell, I'm not the only one captivated by their work. When you're looking at so much art and seeing things trend towards the hyper-digital and overly-conceptual, a reminder of art's simple, transformative power to create positivity, happiness, and joy is refreshing and almost necessary. It's as if their reduced forms trigger my inner child and remind me that all the noise is so unimportant compared to what you learn on the journey and remaining positive.

Whether they're creating installations, releasing prints and other items, or sharing films (like one of my favorites, "Cloudy"), it all encompasses "service art" and social engineering with the aim of greater consciousness and connectedness. 

I was very lucky to get a last-minute interview with them for the premiere of their episode with MOCAtv, and last month, I stopped by their studio during Paris Photo. Here is one of my favorite questions and answers from the interview:

What advice would you give to aspiring artists, especially those interested in social engineering beyond simply “making art”?

Work hard and do it for the right reason. Everyone is needed to make something so bright. It’s time to connect our world for good and start the process of what we were really put on this Earth to do. The more artists and people that join this state of consciousness, the better. We are going to see amazing things in our lifetime, and this moment is so important. Every action creates a wave, and together we think the world can really do something incredible with a unified goal.

Read the interview here and check out the rest of the photos from their studio here. Also check out their proposal for an installation titled "The Sound of Time" at Toronto's Waterfront, which would be a sonic sculpture garden using sound as a healing device through the act of play.

Cedar Pasori
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019