Amit Greenberg, an artist and creative director based out of Brooklyn, New York sits down with Copy Editor Peter Makey, discussing his work that has been featured by the likes of Colette, Hello Mr., and IKEA and the artistic process that goes into creating what he calls “Pop Surrealism.”
Check out his work on Instagram @this.is.amit.
Name: Amit Greenberg
ROCKET: What is your creative process?
AMIT GREENBERG: Being a multidisciplinary creative means that there are endless ways to bring my ideas to fruition. In my creative process, once a concept starts crystallizing in my head I tend to start working on it right away. I explore mediums and different approaches and through trial and error a visual system that can convey my message forms. My favorite part of the creative process is meeting myself in that magical moment of eureka when everything that you do and everything that you are for a split second makes so much sense.
R: What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
AG: It would be more of a need of a reaction both in myself through the process and in the viewer once the work is displayed. If there was a word that could define the feeling of joyful-child-like-curiosity that would be it.
R: How do you see art functioning to build and enhance relationships between people?
AG: The contemporary art landscape is very inviting at the moment, its become a platform for people to come together. The expression of art has been evolving a lot in the past few years. It feels to me that art is seeking to become an answer to that general need that we have as humans for coming together in real life and away from the digital displays.
R: The names you’ve worked with obviously straddle a wide expanse – from IKEA, to Collete, Fendi, Hello Mister, and more – are there unifying themes that you try to incorporate across your work in terms of aesthetic and/or message?
AG: I always try to create work that will have a positive and uplifting effect on all sides of the project from the viewers, to the clients, as well as to myself.
R: You, as well as others, have defined your work as “Pop Surrealism.” What does that mean to you?
AG: It made a lot of sense to me when it was defined that way. My earlier work was based on the surrealist movement technique of automatic drawing, there was no sketching just pure uncensored thoughts translated through ink into paper. Today I still draw a lot of my inspiration from my own uncensored visions that I have. I can’t point why or where they come from, but they are exciting, they are challenges that are waiting to be solved. I think I am identified with pop art because my choices are very design oriented. I always thought of myself as an artist with design aesthetics and a designer with artistic tendencies, so the end products have both conceptual and aesthetic layers for the viewer to explore.
R: Where do you draw inspiration from, and who excites you in the creative world?
AG: I try to stay away from drawing inspiration directly from the art world; it feels like there is a collective consciousness among creatives that exists already. I love new information so science, anthropology, sociology and spiritual teaching are really what ignites my creativity at the moment. I listen to podcasts almost religiously few of my all-time favorite are Radiolab, Hidden Brain, Ted hour and Invisibilia.
R: Where do you see yourself going?
AG: That one is a tricky question, I’m teaching myself to see more where I am in the now then looking to where I am going because the path is constantly changing.
R: What was it like partnering with Colette, and how did the project push you creatively? What were some of the challenges you faced?
AG: My experience with Colette was exhilarating and I was embraced into something that felt like a family. Sarah and Colette, who are the owners and now dear friends, not only invited me to have my first ever solo show, but they supported me and gave me the full creative freedom to express my dreams. Colette was a vortex for creatives. Although I was involved with museums like the Whitney and other important galleries in New York City, it was my show at Colette that really helped me define what I wanted to be. As with everything, the main challenges I have faced are dealing with deadlines, but that too is healthy for the creative mind.
R: The content of ROCKET Magazine often moves beyond the aesthetic and attempts to engage politically with its readers. Are there ways in which your art functions politically?
AG: I think we are experiencing a very complicated moment where politics are more about public manipulations instead of working towards progression. In my work, I have a less of in-your-face approach and more of lets-massage-it-in-with-kindness tactic because, at the end of the day, if you are happy you make other people around you happy and that is what we all are striving towards.
R: Your recent feature as the Saatchi Art Artist-in-Residence at The Other Art Fair places an emphasis on human interaction with nature. What is your personal investment in nature? What messages about the natural do you hope to communicate through your art?
AG: Living in the big city I can feel the withdraw, we are detached from being in nature physically and mentally, and it affects who we are with ourselves and toward each other. I think for now, my art is more of an expression of a need and longing for nature while hoping to awake that need in others.
R: What is your favorite project that you have completed thus far and why?
AG: My first solo show at Colette will probably have that title for a long time. It was a pivotal moment in my reality. I explored and presented my universe through drawing, photography, products, fashion, interior design and even food. Through my show, I realized that everything is possible.
R: Both yourself and ROCKET magazine are based on our own respective versions of Williamsburg. Do you find inspiration for your work in your immediate surroundings? Is there any specific place that has helped you foster your creativity and imaginative spirit?
AG: There is no real formula for finding inspiration, I think as long as you are generally curious, the inspiration usually finds you.