When street art meets fine art, something wonderful happens: it breaks down the thin line between what’s displayed in galleries, and what’s in vogue. Spacegoth is doing just that.
Based out of Los Angeles, California, Spacegoth is bridging the gap between fine art and pop culture. Her grim reapers are by far her most popular pieces, depicting little reapers in everyday situations and accompanied by brief commentary like, “It’s nice to see you’re still not doing shit,” and “I can be here for you sometimes.” But our personal favorites are her eerie watercolor animals that are literally dripping with color. Using watercolor, archival ink, and occasionally Sakura metallic ink, she first freehands the animals using a kaleidoscope of watercolors that almost mimic an aurora borealis in tone. Carefully detailing the animals with ink, the effect is ghostly in nature with blank eyes that somehow peer past the canvas.
Heavily influenced by her own personal life and well-being, we recently spoke with Spacegoth to find out what inspires these hauntingly beautiful creatures.
Your style is so unique! Who or what inspires your work?
I started painting in 2013 in my apartment in Koreatown in LA. I lived there with a handful of skateboarders and my boyfriend, and we didn't have a lot of space, so the dripping came from my very, very first piece. It just sort of happened and I liked it. As for inspiration, I pull my inspiration from my life, as cliché as that may sound. I like to write directly from my life, and I tend to use direct dialog as content.
What’s your creative process like? Do you have a vision in your head of what you want the final product to look like, or do you just create as you go?
I usually get a little scenario in my mind — something I know I can draw. Anyone who has seen my work may notice a lack for intricate detail as I am just not that good at drawing, really. I get an idea in my head of what shapes an object is made of, and if my hand can do that or not. I choose a setting that can easily represent what I’m trying to say in the text that usually accompanies.
You’ve recently done some work for galleries in Los Angeles, what can you tell us about that?
I was absolutely thrilled to meet Jason, who owns Gabba Gallery in LA. I am so lucky that he took an interest in my work. He gave me the opportunity to paint one of my animals in his Alley Project, a mural project in the Rampart District of Los Angeles. Being able to contribute to the community made me feel really good, and I got a lot of attention and even coverage on national television about it.
Your reapers are definitely your most popular pieces, some people have even gotten them as tattoos. Why do you think the reapers speak to so many people?
So, I originally started drawing my reapers because I wanted to express myself as a character. At the time I had been going through a really hard time with an illness I've been dealing with for six years. I was really depressed and skinny and I just used that character as a way to draw myself. Based off what a lot of people have told me, they can see themselves in that reaper character as well, maybe because they’re also in a dark place. Who knows?
What can you tell us about your future projects?
Right now I’m working on a new series called “a dull ache,” where I am trying to introduce a softer side of my work. I think with the shit I’ve gone through this year (I’ve lost a lot of friends to overdoses) it’s been happening like that lately. I think I’m just subconsciously tired of being sad. I also think it’s funny that I’m talking about drawing a lighter side when all I'm doing is using pastel colors.