The calligraphy artist, who has exhibited alongside the likes of Jeff Koons and Kathy Grayson, collaborates with Earnest Endeavours and Cubic Zirconia
Aerosyn-Lex is one of those unique artists whose inimitable calligraphic work and timeless visual style transcends a diverse range of galleries and artistic platforms. He was part of the “Manifest Hope” exhibition during President Obama’s inauguration whilst also featuring in the iconic, Downtown NYC show, “Postermat” at Kathy Grayson’s The Hole. He was invited to exhibit alongside Jeff Koons as part of a Kiehl's and The Koons Family Institute charity event, whilst also featuring in the “RE:Form School” charity exhibition raising awareness for educational reform in the nation's school system.
In good company, he exhibited alongside Shepard Fairey, Friends With You and Chris Johanson. And for a music obsessive, there’s his collaborations with Questlove, Drop The Lime, Nick Hook from Cubic Zirconia and labels Trouble & Bass and Earnest Endeavours, all tied together with his position as creative director of The Keystone Design Union, the agency and private creative collective in New York City.
Dazed Digital: What drew you to calligraphy? When did that style start appearing in your work?
Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic: I grew up studying calligraphy from an early age. I have always been drawn to language and the idea of communication, whether it be in my professional work as Creative Director of The Keystone Design Union (The KDU) or in my personal fine art works. I spent some time living in Tokyo whilst in school and during that period I was fortunate enough to study under some great teachers who exposed me to another facet of calligraphic work. It took some time for these things to organically take the shape they have recently but it's been a long, continuous process.
DD: Can you explain the piece from “RE:Form School”?
Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic: The work is part of a series called “Culebra y Libro” (“Book & Snake “) and it's quite literally that. In the piece which was displayed at the NY exhibition I used antique papers from 19th century textbooks to create a large page on which the work was created. The calligraphic lettering was a re-interpretation of the book of Genesis as well as parallel passages from the epic of Gilgamesh. They all reference the original education of man, which came from the tree of knowledge. The print is a part of that work and takes various passages in Latin, English and Spanish to create the form of the serpent, Vesper who divulged those primal secrets.
DD: And you’ve always married that with the digital element?
Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic: Well, the ubiquity of digital design and process really informs everything out there - whether consciously or not. I have tried to make a clear separation between much of my fine art works and create pieces that are as much about the materials and tools used as the imagery created. I think that the very saturation and ubiquity of digital tools like Photoshop will put an increased value on those who are able to craft and create a process that breaks free of a reliance on digital process.
DD: How did the Jeff Koons hook up come about?
Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic: It all happened fortuitously. Kiehl's reached out to a community of NYC based artists and designers (via good friend Mike Ventura and the team at SubRosa) to help co-host a charity event alongside Jeff Koons. It was an honor to be a part of the event, he's an inspiration to say the least – and he couldn't have been more cool, calm and collected.
DD: What is your creative ethos, motto or maxim?
Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic: Write your words as if your blood was your only ink. Trust your instincts. Make marks with conviction and purpose. And remember, your achievements will betray you, your ambitions will not.
Watch out for his new art Tumblr, launching this month, entitled House of Alms.