“Lasting effects include a clear artistic path and voice; being open to new experiences; and finding meaning in every experience.”
For his fellowship, Samuel E Vázquez found himself at the collision of art and history. His creative renewal process was to conduct research for a historical project on Style Writing. While his process did involve digging into historical books, much of his learning happened off the page: from building detailed, full- sized replicas of 1970s New York City subway cars; to painting a subway car in front of a live audience at the opening reception of an exhibition at Newfields titled “City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the 70s & 80s”; to attending events related to style writing and hip-hop culture, including a Doug E. Fresh concert and a screening of the movie Wild Style (1983). “Through this process I deeply connected with the cultural movement that is the foundation of my visual art,” Vázquez said. “My work is reflecting a deeper authenticity and speaking more directly to my upbringing and life experiences.”
To get even more proximate to his subject of interest, Vázquez traveled to New York City, where he met with style writers who pioneered the artform. Immersing himself in the world of style writing broadened his perspective about his artistic passions and reminded him of the meaningful lessons that come from style writing: confidence, problem solving, community-building, and more.
Through this fellowship, Vázquez cultivated a cleared artistic path and voice. Fans of Vázquez’s art can expect to see greater references to his New York City upbringing, including period-specific colors, typography, and other visual identifiers of the era.