THE FINE PRINT: You’ve had the chance to collaborate with the likes of Vfiles and Patricia Field. How do these collaborative products evolve into final products?
SCOOTER LAFORGE: The beauty of collaborations is that they give me a full creative outlet. I can express myself and develop what I want. With VFiles, we had an army theme; lunch boxes, coats, tents. It was awesome. With Patricia [Field], it’s an ongoing collaboration and my main outlet for selling clothing. The last thing we did together were these white parkas; we painted on them and had beadings and sequins added – it was beautiful.
TFP: Anyone in particular you’d love to collaborate with?
SL: Oh yeah – collaborating is one of my favourite things to do as it is how I grow as an artist. It also makes me see through other people’s eyes and perspectives. If I had to pick, I’d do a Hermes Scarf, a Swatch watch, and a Chanel piece with some painting. Vivienne Westwood is also someone I’d love to work with.
TFP: How do you see art and fashion being interconnected in your work?
SL: I think of each piece as a separate work of art – I use whatever I can get my hands on; leather or jean jackets, pants, t-shirts, parkas, and I paint on it. I collect a lot of pieces that I sew unto the clothing too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It is a lot of trial and error and takes a lot of practice. The painting comes as a second nature to me as I’ve been doing it for a long time. In order for an artistic fashion piece to work, it must be special, magic needs to happen. If not, you try again.
TFP: Any medium you haven’t explored yet that interest you?
SL: Large-scale public works. Maybe moving pictures too.
TFP: Paintings, sculptures, clothing… does everything you touch turn into gold?
SL: You should see what I put in the trash. When something doesn’t work out, I just rip it off and start the next one. The failures are very very important to me as I learn a lot from them – taking the risk, experimenting with different products is where and how I grow.
Right now, I am with working with a brilliant young girl, Aurelia Cotton. She’s right out of school and she’s got amazing ideas. Having her as an assistant as changed everything for me. She’s got a fresh eye and even if she’s not able to execute everything, having her around gives me another strong perspective on my work. This is all new to me, and creating with others really changes my views on my work.
TFP: Your work is a mix between pop culture icons, cartoons, fun fonts. How do these collide and all make sense in the end?
SL: It comes very naturally to me. With the clothes, I don’t think twice about what I am doing. If I ruin a t-shirt, it’s not a big deal, I just start again on another one. I see it as a reckless abandon to art. I do what I want to do – it comes from my insides, and that’s why I think they are successful. I don’t overthink the process, it’s freedom of expression.
TFP: How does your NYC lifestyle inspire you?
SL: I lived in San Francisco for 8 years. Moving to New York changed my whole vantage point. There are so many artists and inspiring people here – actors, singers, dancers poets. My spectrum opened up to 360 degrees. I get most of my inspiration from my circle of friends. I am always looking at what they are doing as well. Working with people from the industry like Rihanna’s stylist Mel Ottenberg, Madonna, Debbie Harry, Patricia Field helps me surpass my creative limits and boundaries.
TFP: Favourite party flavors?
SL: I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs. I do go out all the time and love to party and go to events, but never too late. I also love have dinner parties at home.
TFP: What are your upcoming plans for the next year?
SL: I have my biggest solo show opening on September 19th at the Howl! Happening Gallery (Howlart.org) here in the East Village. Next week, I fly to Sweden for a collective show at the Spritmuseum called “Powerful Babies”, which explores how Keith Haring influences current artists . It also hosts all the Absolut Vodka artwork! There will also be a show at the Theodore: Art gallery in Bushwick on October 22nd, where I will be presenting sculptures, prints and drawings.