Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Philly Art Jawn is pleased to introduce our featured artist of the month, Doug Nox (a.k.a. Harleqvin)!
Check out the interview below to learn more about our featured artist of the month:
Q: How did you first get into street art and who were your first influences?
A: It was around 2005 or 06 when Banksy was first getting a lot of publicity -- I'm wondering if art historians have given a name to this era yet, like the first wave of contemporary street art or something -- but anyways that's when I started experimenting with stencils and the like. I would check the blog Wooster Collective every day and that's how I discovered Swoon, who I'd say is still my biggest street art influence. I think you can see it in the sometimes masochistic level of detail I apply to cutting out my bigger pieces. But yeah, she's the GOAT.
Q: In what way/ways does your work comment on current social or political issues?
A: It's not very obvious but I actually think of my street work as having a big political dimension to it. In my opinion, a lot of problems that plague western civilization (white people) -- addiction, mental illness, mass shootings, etc -- can be attributed to a collective anxiety and existential dread that comes from having a purely materialistic and logic-dominated experience of reality. It's simply spiritually and energetically unhealthy to have all these facets of reality segregated into the realms of superstition, or commodified into a yoga class or whatever. That's why my work can seem scary or unsettling to some people, as the suppressed parts of our imaginations and subconsciousness come to the surface, the underworld of dream and shadow that we must reintegrate with for real healing to be possible. So, that idea, filtered through my nerdy anime-addled brain onto the walls of the city in an As Above/So Below, alchemical approach.
Q: What's your inspiration behind the work you create?
A: I think I kinda bled into this question in the last one, or at least outlined my goals. The process of self actualization behind the Hermetic sciences - the philosopher's stone - the journey of the wounded healer - climbing the holy mountain - the Great Work. To change the world you have to change yourself. I'm thankful for the masters who have opened gateways of power and imagination for me along the way: Alex Grey, Grant Morrison, Marjorie Cameron and many others in a great lineage. For anyone looking for more substance out of their lives, I implore you to explore their work with an open heart and mind!
Q: Do you have any future projects we should be looking out for?
A: Yes! Everything I've been rambling on about above and more I'm exploring in my graphic novel, Low Magic, which I've been working on sporadically for too long, but is definitely coming into fruition in some form by the end of 2020. Thank you Philly Art Jawn!
Thank you for sharing with us, Doug Nox!