Artist Spotlight + 10 Questions for Forrest Bacigalupi

Forrest Bacigalupi, inspired by the frenetic energy of New Orleans, launched Arts Kinetic post-graduation from Tulane University. After focusing most of his attention to French Literature and Philosophy in college, he became hungry for a new means of self expression. He’s made his home here in New Orleans amidst the tropical heat and Caribbean color of an antiquated and soulful city. We sat down with Forrest and asked him 10 questions.

 

What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.

When I was a kid of about 11, I introduced at least 20 Tibetan monks to the amazing and revolutionary Nintendo Entertainment System while my mother was hosting a dinner for them at my house. We played Mario, Kid Icarus, and Mega Man until Mom shut it down. The mandalas the monks subsequently created were all influenced by the wonders of 8-bit technology. Too cool!

 

Describe your art in three words.

Eclectic, Structural, Unexpected.

 

Describe yourself in one word.

Dynamic.

 

What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?

New Orleans simply supports and values creative self-expression more than any other American city. My studio is housed in a General Store from the 1830’s that I renovated and brought back to life after Katrina. My jewelry line largely is marked by the same approach – vintage and historical influence brought into a wholly contemporary context.

 

Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?

My creative process is materially driven. I find and produce bits and pieces that move me, place them around my studio-looking at them daily- and cultivate an evolving design approach that is organic and instinctual. In this way, streams of consciousness design dovetails with intentional outcome.

 

Where do you draw inspiration?

Casting familiar objects in new light. Transposition inspires me- the idea of commodification, or transforming organic objects into more industrial ones- and conversely taking industrial or technological pieces and presenting them in more organic ways.

 

Who are your artistic influences or gurus?

Jean Tinguely, PT Barnum, and Roald Dahl.

 

In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?

James Booker is my man! – blending classical, jazz, funk, and R&B seamlessly, and presenting it a way that is totally easy, virtuous, relatable, sublime, unique, and accessible… all at the same time. He was a weird and enigmatic performer whose art is one-of-a-kind.

 

Where can we find you when you are not creating art?

At any one of a mess of different events, festivals, and markets selling the work I’ve just created. Here’s to good food, funky music, and creative visual arts- the holy “life-improving” trinity!

 

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

The witching hour, every day, all year long!