By Tamara Jenkins
A contemporary artist with a style ahead of its time, New York native P. Scott has created his own course in the art world. Fusing art and fashion together on fabrics, including denim, Scott has brought together his loves as well as created a signature style he calls “fashionism”. His talent exceeds beyond art as an established barber and aspiring fashion designer.
His latest exhibit, Vision of a Fashion God, features a Polo Christ, a Gucci Buddha, a Ganesh Ferragamo and an Apollo Versace. Recently, UnRated Urban got a chance to speak with Scott during the second opening of his exhibit.
When did you know you had a gift for art and/or knew you wanted to be an artist
I really realized that I was an artist and had talents or skills was when I did a project for my art teacher. I duplicated this piece but did it in my own signature way; I did it with colored pencils. It was some gold fish in a glass bowl and it had this really ill checked board type pattern to it. When I did it, I realized I really have skills and this is not just a hobby.
My teacher realized the same thing and he took my piece and never gave it back to me. He said it was plagiarism. I was a young boy and was like what, I’m just trying to learn how to draw. I’m pretty sure he has it to this day waiting for me to become famous.Yeah, it was that good, I think he wanted to keep it for his house or something. I knew then that I had skills.
When I was 11 years old cutting hair, I knew I had some skills with cutting hair, but at that point I really that sharp in terms of cutting so at that age it was just designs, I didn’t fade, I didn’t have any blends going on, nothing, it was just a line, some designs and there you have it. It wasn’t that good of a haircut, it was more like hair art and then eventually I learned how to do tapers and fades. I guess you could say I initially started off as a hair artist.
Everything to me is like art. When I do hair, it’s a form of art, when I draw and art, obviously that’s a form of art, when I design clothes, that’s a form of art. It is categorized but I choose not to categorize , I choose to put it in one big bowl and call it art.
How would you describe your style
It’s hard to put my style in a box only because I touch on a lot of different styles. I guess you could say expressionistic, contemporary, a little pop, but in all honesty I try to look at my work, I want to coin the phrase Fashionism because my art is heavily intertwined and fused with fashion. Its art meets fashion on all different levels, visually I show you my artistic capabilities with drawing and painting or pastels, ink whatever but I do it on exotic fabrics and that’s how I kind of merge the two and also through subject matter.Somewhere within the piece you’ll see something that references fashion. So that’s why I was like eventually I’ll coin the phrase and call it Fashionism, maybe eventually they will be like there’s a whole other genre of art.
Do you think the cities you’ve lived in (New York, Philadelphia and now Chicago) have affected your art
Yes, definitely. I’m from New York so, I say this all the time, it’s ironic that as an artist I was always trying to find a niche, I was always trying to find something that suits me or that would be unique and people would recognize that as signature style.
I was always searching outside of what was really what I did, which was, since I was a kid, I’ve always painted on different clothes, I’ve always painted on different shoes or whatever it was, it was always somehow related to fashion because in New York back in the day, there was a lot of graffiti done on jeans, denim jackets, everything and then sneaker art became real heavy in New York, so I opened a boutique in New York and I was doing a lot of sneaker art and a lot of custom stuff. But it’s always been that I’ve painted on appeal.
Why did you come to Chicago
I moved to Chicago because I had a business offer. I do the buying for a few stores in New York and here (Chicago) now but at the time I was just doing the buying for the stores in New York. My partner made me a business proposition, he was like you come help me with the two stores in Chicago, help me with the décor, because I’m pretty good at interior design as well, and in turn we’ll get the clothing line going. So I came out here and I was only supposed to be out here for maybe six months at the most and it ended up turning into five years.I ended up managing a few of the stores for a couple of years, but I was like this isn’t why I’m here so I just fell back and started working on the line, which is in the pre-production stage.
Explain this exhibit, Visions of a Fashion God
I found my lane with fusing art and fashion together with the different fabrics, so I was like what can I do that will be provocative, thought provoking and draw people into an exhibit. I came up with the idea of the name and once I came up with the name, I was like that’s controversial, that’s something will draw people in and then I started to figure out what my subject matter would be from there so I conceptualized the exhibit’s name and I went from there.
I did the Gucci Buddha and then I was looking at it and thought I need to do something crazy to it, it looks good but I’m not feeling it all the way so I came up with the idea to put mind, body, and soul, cross the soul out and put fashion. And the colors kind of go with the Gucci, so I added the Gucci, put it in the eyes and added the colors and then from there the whole idea just got birthed and I was like, you know what, Vision of a Fashion God– that’s the name of the exhibit, I’m shooting to do it during Fashion Week so it all coincides and I just ran with it. The initial opening was during the closing of Fashion Week in Chicago, it all kind of fell into place and I just ran with it.
Do you have a favorite piece
From this show I would say the Gucci Buddha the most because I like the posture of the head, I like the way it looks in terms of it draws you in, I like the technique that I used and the concept, it’s the one that triggered the whole series. In a sense it’s the Vision of a Fashion God. I like the Polo Christ too.
One of your inspirations is Jean-Michel Basquiat? Do you have any others
Yes, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, I like Monet as well. Those three are very influential on my paint style and how I approach art because I was fascinated with their work. And there are a few newer artists that I like one is from Canada and he moved to New York and does portraits and graffiti type stuff; and Hebru Brantley.
Do you have any upcoming projects
Yes, I’m going to give myself about a month’s rest and then I’m right back at it again.I’m shooting for my next show to be in the spring. Venue, not sure yet, we’re working on that but definitely except to see another show in the spring, either March or April.
A final public reception for the exhibit will be held on Monday, November 21 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Lacuna Artist Lofts & Studios, 2150 S. Canalport, Suite 5C-14, Chicago, IL. For more information on Scott, please visit www.pscottart.com.
Photos by Joshua Smith