In The Lab: ASVP [VIDEO]
Video by Keith Aronowitz
July 2016 Chicago, Illinois
”An Artist is someone driven by giving gifts to others” ...ASVP
When you look at a piece by the duo ASVP, it is hard to distinguish which artist is responsible for each part… and they like it that way. Theirs is a true collaboration where separate voices blend with such perfect harmony that they create one unified vision. When asked about individual strengths, they were quick to say that while they certainly have them, they don’t like to talk about them: it might create an imagined divide.
Dwarfed by one of their largest canvases to date, the duo is happy to share their history and process. Together as ASVP since 2008, they actually met earlier while both working in advertising. They credit that profession with their ability to work well with clients, giving them what they want while still maintaining artistic integrity. Those skills have allowed them to complete commercial works for organizations such as Spotify and participate in projects, including the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. Most recently they created an iconic Les Paul guitar for Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) and Gibson USA, to be auctioned off for VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. Early years spent illegally wheat pasting have also shaped their creative vision. The streets of NYC were the launching pad for many of their famous images, most notably the “Down to Earth” Baby.
Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, April 2014 Gibson USA/Rick Nielsen/VH1, May 2017
Just how do they create their iconic images? Their method is undefined as far as who is responsible for what tasks as they are equally versed in all aspects of their creative process. Together, apart, brainstorming, quiet, alone: all are part of what it takes to form a cohesive image and message out of two minds. Conversations about goal and focus lead to sketches and, eventually, a shared vision which they move into production. The production itself is extremely time-consuming: a large canvas can take many weeks and can be made up of more than 200 different screens, layered multiple times. Each screen or layer is individually created, an operation that can take more than a day, but it’s that attention to detail and the complex layers that have become the hallmark of ASVP’s body of work.
So what’s in the future for the duo, a new direction involving comic book characters and superheroes. At this year’s Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens they debuted a piece featuring a take on "The Thing" from Marvel Comics' Fantasic Four. Look for more of these on the horizon!