You may know Houston, Texas raised Jasmine Monsegue from her own DIY fashion work, but you may also know her by the moniker Spacebrat for her airbrush paintings that straddle the line between fantasy and industrial surrealism. Now that she is in Los Angeles, her works have come to define a new generation of artists who have taken the airbrush and transformed it into a new tool for works on clothing, canvas and paper.
Has the past year impacted or influenced your work in any way? How so?
I would say yes, this past year gave me time to dig deeper into what I love doing. I had multiple jobs and sometimes little time to paint or draw before the pandemic. Last year gave me a chance and more recognition when organizations tried to shed more light on black artists and entrepreneurs.
How has the mood of your most recent work changed or shifted from past work we’ve seen?
Most of the time when I release something I'm already over it/ thinking of different ways to express my vision. But to be more concrete I would say my previous works lived mainly on clothing which was how I made money to support myself. Around July 2020 I started to continue more pieces on canvas and furniture which I found more interesting.
What would you say is the medium that has defined your work as an artist?
When was the last time you produced works on paper?
I do this often actually, because it's the easiest thing for me to access in the moment. I would say I make pieces on paper almost every day.
What does working on paper look like for you?
I used to think of working on paper as a starting point for something bigger, like a blueprint. But now when I see pieces framed I like how it can live on the wall in a delicate way. Almost always the original pieces I do on paper look cooler than whatever I had finished on canvas. I like the messiness of the mind rather than something that can be too precious on a large scale.
It seems like in the past year artists everywhere quite literally went back to the “drawing board.” What was that experience like for you as an artist or an individual?
It's actually interesting when society goes back to these states of mind because it can show what is truly important to you. For me this experience was like showing the world how proud I am of my roots, my upbringing, and my genetic background. Taking responsibility as an artist is like understanding that you can manipulate reality, trends, and stock markets, and with this understanding showing the world what we lack culturally. It can be overwhelming but important to keep in mind when you put something out there. Personally this experience was incredibly inspiring.
What does urgency mean to you?
I'm an extremely punctual person and can stress myself out easily over deadlines etc. but at this time I realize the only thing urgent worth stressing over is your health and stability. Truly nothing is urgent anymore when it comes to making art. With the current state of the world, helping your community and environment is the most important when it comes to being urgent about something.
Has your relationship with time changed at all in regards to creating?
Honestly no, I have always set aside a lot of time for myself and my work generally because I’m not a fast worker. Airbrushing is very tedious and masking tape can take hours in itself. Just like anything, the more time I have to build on a painting the better it turns out. With this year being a little busier I've just been more strategic on the time I spend for each project.
What are some new hobbies or skills you cultivated in the past year that you have continued to keep up?
Skating has really helped me get outside the studio and exercise. It helps to take the edge off and have breaks for fun.
Any playlists or podcasts you listened to while making your works on paper?
I like to listen to movies while I'm painting because music can be distracting sometimes. The Shiver of the Vampires has a beautiful soundtrack, also my favorites Santa Sangre and Holy Mountain. I'm also trying to be fluent in Portuguese so I listen to a lot of Portuguese podcasts and novellas.
BEYOND THE STREETS ON PAPER is on view at the Southampton Arts Center in Southampton, New York through August 28, 2021