We like Aiko. That’s the reason we assigned her the creative task of bombing our stairwell in The Standard, New York and The Standard, Hollywood. Earning her stripes on the streets with the creative collective FAILE, Aiko went solo and began concocting her own alchemy on large walls. When asked about the thrill of graffiti itself, Aiko admits that there is a “high risk of danger, anxiety, and adrenaline rush” to the whole experience… “facing jail time and fines to make beautiful art”. Luckily, this fresh new piece of Aiko’s is hotel approved! We took a hot minute of her time to ask a few questions about the New York installation…
The Standard: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where you are from? How you got into Muraling?
Aiko: I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. I moved to New York City during the mid 90’s. I met American friends doing street art and we founded the artist collective, FAILE. We traveled to major cities working in public spaces, galleries and Museums throughout the world. In 2006 my solo career started as AIKO. Since then I have been exploring with various mediums and techniques such as paintings, jewelry making, fashion designing, music performance, and sculptures. In 2009 I was selected one of the 15 most influential of today’s mural artists for the WYNWOOD WALLS, curated by Mr. Jeffrey Deitch (MOCA Director, former Deitch Projects) which became a successful project during the Art Basel Fair in Miami.
For this particular piece in The Standard, New York stairwell, can you explain the characters and narrative you choose to paint? Describe the inspiration.
I love the hotel theme as an adult playground. I combined different elements with the vocabulary and symbolism such as EROTIC, ECSTASY, LOVE, ANGUISH, GUILT and AGGRESSIVENESS — to describe the atmosphere.
Whats next for you?
My upcoming project will be two exhibitions in the West Coast. Right after, I will be traveling in Shanghai, China for an artist residency. I am super excited about getting new inspiration and experience during the summer. There are so many upcoming projects in different perspectives and performances.
Stay tuned to www.ladyaiko.com. New York Photographs by Martha Cooper
Also, check out this video of Aiko painting the staircase at The Standard, Hollywood.