AFQ - Maya Hayuk
I met Maya Hayuk in 2004. I emailed her about being in a show with me and a few others and when I finally go to meet her I was stoked on her whole vibe. She’s sarcastic with a touch of dark humor thrown in to keep the smiles going for hours. I’ve always been a fan of her work whether it was the huge murals she was doing with the Barnstormers or her highly detailed pen and ink drawings. She’s a true craftsman and her skills and talent touch numerous outlets. I managed to corner her for this edition of AFQ. Enjoy the words and the works.
1) So I hear you are preparing for a new show. What are you working on? Does it involve wizards or hot tub scenarios?
i’m actually in atlanta right now, waiting for my best friend’s baby to be born. i’m using this holding pattern time to work on making this old rocking horse look like a filipino jeepney with stencils and spray paint and also to do some sewn paintings. right before i got here, i sent off all of the work for a solo show in columbus i just finished called doMeASolid. it’s all very bright and colorful and it’s like what wizards paint inside their hot tubs, yes. i also sent work to this show at the Democratic National Convention that Shepard Fairey and Moveon.org are organizing. the painting i made is called “The Future’s So Bright, I’ve Got To Get Gay”(you can see it on the homepage of my site)
2) I love your paintings and drawings that deal with sex/love and it seems to be a constant theme in your current and previous work. Is there an explanation behind the chosen subject matter?
i pretty much quantify love to be the same as god. sex, therefore, is probably one of the purest expressions of love and therefore of god. the interpretation of the bible that all of our public policy is faultily based on is that sex is sinful, but i think this is a really awful, offensive and socially unhealthy way of looking at it (and a terrible misinterpretation of the bible in my opinion). it blows my mind that we are as evolved as we are, yet there’s still major issues about sex, same sex love and basic human rights that involve love. it’s truly, truly sick and sad. with that said, i love to paint people having sex, because it turns me on and i find it exciting to create, kind of like harold and his purple crayon, but with hotter subject matter. the most exciting parts for me, though, started being the hair and the flowing, nuanced parts, so i’ve brought that subject matter to the forefront and am focusing on that right now
3) When you use to bartend did you ever see a bar room brawl go down and were you ever involved in one?
thankfully no, but i did see all kinds of other hilarious stuff go down involving breasts and powders and wasted-wasted-wasted people. it’s extremely fun being sober behind a bar - it’s very much like watching a national geographic special about sexy monkey
4) If you had to choose one thing you couldn’t live with out what would it be and why?
love. is that a gay thing to say? shit would suck without love. also, i would hate a world that didn’t have the word ‘gay’.
5) What sort of advice would you give to an artist trying to live the dream (painting for a living)?
1. set your priorities. if you want stability and need to own fancy things and drive a fancy car, etc…if those things matter - find the kind of career in art where you get a paycheck on a stable basis. if you actually enjoy the taste of ramen noodles and hate alarm clocks and thrive on really not knowing what’s going to happen next, then dedicate yourself to your studio and treat it like a full time job.
2. make art with the hopes that one person will like it - like, make stuff with a specific person in mind. don’t expect that everyone will like it, either. share your work with other artists and learn to collaborate.
3. remember that neither life nor art are a competition. if you find other people with like minded spirit who you can work with, you are so much better off than living alone in a high tower.
4. when it comes to prefoessional relationships, don’t ever let anyone not pay you for a project in trade of “‘exposure”. trades are cool, but don’t get taken advantage of - it’s actually really amazing how many people hope that artists will make them free designs that they themselves profit off it - it’s kind of pathetic. and, inversely, don’t ever pay to have your art shown. do not enter contests or put your work into publications, websites, etc that charge an entry fee.
5. ride a bicycle.