A: 8 Years ago a friend of mine, the artist Andrew Potwora, brought a DVD to my home of a short :10 animated art piece that was inspired by one of his paintings of Hollyood and Highland.
We watched it on my flat screen TV and I was mesmerized. It struck me immediately that digital animation had potential and as an art form and that there needed to be a platform to distribute the work. I was specifically interested in working with artists to transform their traditional work – paintings and photographs, into moving art by collaborating with talented animators.
But the technology to stream to TV’s hadn’t been established yet so I waited a few years for it to catch up. Once Netflix started streaming into homes, and then Hulu and Amazon Prime came out, I revisited the idea and began developing Likuid Art. By then, digital art platforms were springing up… no good idea exists in a vacuum.
Q: Do you work with any LA artists?
A: We consider Los Angeles to be our home base and fortunately there is a very rich and thriving art scene here. We work with a number of very talented LA artists including Risk, Annie Preece, Hueman, Starfiightera, Craola, Krush, Bill Barminski, Andrea Fellers, and many more.
Q: What event or venue has been the “coolest” you have done in LA?
A: We’ve projected our work at a number of venues including nightclubs… last year we projected a 30 by 20 foot loop of Likuid Art onto the exterior of the Chinese Theater for an event by Los Angeles art curators Branded Arts – to see our work that big on such an iconic venue was incredible.
We’ve also projected onto the downtown Standard Hotel and are in plans to work with some other major venues.
Q: How do you select the artists?
A: Our team – myself, Creative Director Chris Saunders, and VP of Artist Relations Chris Kane, work closely to determine whose style is suited to Likuid Art. Of course the artist also has to want to work with us to transform their work.
We’ll pursue an artist, and if there’s a good creative vibe, we’ll select a piece, or in some cases multiple pieces, as a basis for the animation and then find an animator who has a style to match.
Then we’ll spend months building the piece and modifying it until it’s ready for the site.
Q: Why now video/digital art? Do you think there is a big market? Do you have many competitors?
A: Digital Art has a lot of potential. It’s not going to replace traditional art the way Netlflix wiped out Blockbuster – it’s more of an expansion of art – providing artists with new tools with which to create art and art lovers a new way to experience it.
It hasn’t reached the mainstream yet but it’s definitely coming. Many companies are manufacturing screens exclusively for digital art, and these screens will eventually be commonplace in homes and commercial venues like hotels, offices, clubs and restaurants…
Yes, there are competitors to Likuid – some very well established – Seditiion Art and Framed to name two. Digital art is a new market, there is no dominant player and no one really knows how big it can be – but if you factor in that the art market reached over $66 Billion in global sales last year (according to a report published by Arts and Economics) the potential could be vast.
Q: Why would people want this subscription service? Top 3 reasons.
A: For one it’s just plain cool. It’s a re-imagining of traditional art – and it adds a lot of life to a room, especially your flat screen TV which, when off, is like a giant black hole hanging on your wall.
Likuid Art also provides subscribers with a relatively inexpensive way of experiencing the work of some of the top artists in the world – not everyone can afford an original painting or even a print.
Plus, with a subscription, you can change your collection every month – meaning you always have a cycle of new artwork to experience.
Q: Some guy on the beach was telling me he makes a fortune on Youtube with all his beach videos, just hour-long videos of beach scenes around the world. Do you think people will want Likuid art in their homes to escape or for entertainment purposes (like parties)?
A: People want art in their homes for a variety of reasons – Likuid Art adds a lot of ambience to a room… you can lose yourself in it if you’re alone, and because it’s always moving it’s also great for parties.
Q: Where do you think people will use Likuid Art the most? dinner parties, events, home/personal?
A: In addition to homes, Likuid Art is great for both commercial spaces like hotels, blubs, bars and restaurants – it adds a lot to a space that might have generic content on their screen.
Q: Likuid Art made its big debut at Voodoo Festival in New Orleans. Tell us what it means to be able to launch on such a huge scale and with Pepsi as a sponsor! What was the exhibit like?
A: Working with Pepsi as a sponsor was an incredible experience. There’s a division inside Pepsi called Creator, designed to amplify brands at the cutting edge of art, music and technology, and they asked us to create an installation for Voodoo Fest in New Orleans.
We told Creator that we wanted to redesign and rebuild our artwork to produce a fully immersive and communal VR experience with 5.1 surround sound inside of a 40’ dome. We partnered with two companies – Vortex Immersions based in Los Angeles, and Fulldome Pro based in Thailand, to create the installation.
It challenged us to reimagine our work for an immersive space – and pushed the boundaries of what had been done before with digital art. We worked furiously for six weeks with an international team of animators based in Russia, Thailand, Barcelona, London, Berlin, Philadelphia and Los Angeles to build an 18 minute digital art piece inspired by our Likuid Artists; and we hired Dynamite Laser Beam, based out of Colorado, to score and design the entire sequence – making it a complete sonic and visual experience. We also built an original digital piece for the show that was inspired by the famous Pepsi red and blue colors.
The end result exceeded our expectations – unfortunately the third day was rained out, but we packed the dome for two full days and nights – taking people on an incredible roller coaster ride through the world of Likuid Art. It’s a wholly unique experience – one of those things you have to see to believe.
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